Play BIG: Choose Being Over Having

When do you find yourself alive – truly alive as in bursting with enthusiasm, joy, vitality?  Is it when you have donned on the costume of the successful Vice President? Or the up and coming Manager? Or the good corporate employee?  Is it when you are playing the perfect wife/husband?  Are you bursting with joy when you look at all that you own: the house, the car/s, the clothes, the children, your partner…?  Is it when you are sitting on the right committees?

When do you find yourself alive – truly alive?  Is it when you are cooking, composing a musical score, climbing a mountain, dancing, give a helping hand to those less fortunate than you, learning-speaking a new language, sharing-teaching that which you are passionate about, nursing plants out in the garden, out walking, painting, writing…?

I invite you to listen to listen, really listen, to the following words of profound wisdom. They do not make for easy listening. Which is why they are particularly worth listening to with an inquisitive-open mind:

The less you are and the less you express of your life – the more you have and the greater is your alienated life.

– Karl Marx

Don’t simply accept this! Take a zen approach: look into it and test it out for yourself. How much of you – your authenticity, your self-expression – do you sacrifice-suppress to play the roles that you play in order to have that you have? Do you even remember the last time that you experienced joy? I invite you to consider that you have been asked and have consented to sacrifice you – be less you – in order to be accepted and approved of by your parents, your siblings, your friends, your school teachers, your work colleagues, your employers…

Your life, your choice: being (as your natural self-expression) or having (titles, status, money, holidays..).


Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant. Passionate about enabling customer-centricity by calling forth the best from those that work in the organisation and the intelligent application of digital technologies. Subject matter expert with regards to customer strategy, customer insight, customer experience (CX), customer relationship management (CRM), and relationship marketing. Working at the intersection of the Customer, the Enterprise (marketing, sales, service), and Technology.

2 thoughts on “Play BIG: Choose Being Over Having”

  1. Hello Jaspal,

    Take the family. The less you express yourself, the more you fit in. The more you fit in with the ways of your family, the more you are accepted and rewarded. If instead, you insist on being yourself, the less you are likely to fit in. And for this you pay the price.

    Take school. The more that you fit in with the ways of the school, the more you please the teachers by obeying their instructions, the more you are rewarded. What happens if you think for yourself, if you challenge the teachers, or the authority of the school? Just take answers to test/exams. If you repeat what you have been taught you will get high marks perhaps get an A. If on the other hand, you come up with original answers, you are most likely to get a D.

    Take the workplace. The more you fit in do as you are expected to do. The more that you are rewarded with pay, recognition, promotion… What is the price that you have to pay for this? You must be a fake. The more you are yourself at work, including honestly speaking your mind, the more likely it is that you will be seen as a threat. And the more likely it is that you will be criticised, marginalised, even pushed out.

    Take your religious community. The less that you question the religion or those that are members of that religion, the more you are accepted and respected. What happens if you happen to experience doubts about the religion or those in the religious community and share those doubts with members of that community? What happens if you insist on doubting? The price can be isolation even death.

    Take beliefs. The more beliefs that you have, the more the beliefs have you. Now you are no longer open. You simply cannot be open towards new beliefs.

    I hope that makes it clearer.

    Live well.

    At your service | with my love


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