Do less. Be more.


I love October, it’s one of the months when everything around pops with colour, I feel nostalgic and more attentive to the changes around, in the air, as it shifts from warmth to breezy to cool, in search for winter.

October is also one of the busiest months of the year, full of long meetings, last minute-updates and the neverending search for the perfect Powerpoint slide.

I find myself ticking boxes at the end of the day, snapping at people around me who dare disturb me in a working moment, or anxious because there’s so much to do, and so little time.

As I was trying to get my mind to ease down and sleep, a few nights ago, I realized that I’m way too much in the “doing” mode. My thinking pattern revolves around “I have to get up, drink coffee, go shopping, wash clothes, iron, clean up, etc etc” . Everything gets measured in results. Even when I rest, I think “I have to get to sleep so I get 9 h of sleep by tomorrow”.

Even sleep is on the checklist.

I look at the people around me – the ones who are truly balanced and blessed, they are the ones who don’t measure their lives around getting things done.

They don’t care about achievements.

They’re the ones who just are.

I’d like to just be, and let that be enough.

I’d like to be more myself, and not let the world around me dictate every move.

I’d like to resonate with the world, and look at the sky and notice the different colours; to listen to music, to draw and to make new clothes, without letting clothesmaking be a chore on my to do list, but doing it because I’m in the flow.

I’d like the people around me to not judge me by my results, but by how I smile when I see them (I should do that more often, I reminded myself), and how I help, or say a kind word, or inspire them.

I’d like to BE more and DO less.

How do you define your BE?

- who were you at your best time in your life?

- what did you do?

- what did you enjoy most?

- who were the people around you?

- what did they say about you? What adjectives did they use? For example: funny, heartfelt, creative, imaginative, courageous, adventureous, dreamy, self-sustained..or something else?

What did you resonate with?

Find a looong list of characteristics here and here.

In my case, the definition wasn’t a word, it was an image, like the one above – candles and a pot of ivy.

Find what you think best defines you.  Then get into the state, immerse yourself in it.

Become who you already are. And just BE there.

And when you ARE there, you may find that DOING doesn’t matter anymore.

I found a truly resonating article here.

How do you MAINTAIN the state?

Getting there is easier than keeping it. Cause sure, you may read this blog and think it’s all nice and inspiring, but then your boss comes by, or your kids jump on you and demand that you play with them…and there goes your mental peace and inner state.

Find a place for yourself and go there.

It may be a walk in the park, it may be your cozy armchair by the window, or a cafe you like to sit in. Find that place and go back to your center, go back to where you’re balanced.


Build a small ritual for yourself, like lighting a scented candle in the evening, or celebrating dinner with your family every Sunday. Find a repeating moment where you can truly be yourself, without any hidden agenda or things to do. Enjoy it, and don’t let outside pressure get in.

Gather inspiration.

Find what resonates with you and look for further things that connect. Build inspiration boards, vision boards. Decorate your home or your room in that spirit. Find songs that speak about who you are.

I like to use Pinterest as a source for inspiration.

Spread Inspiration.

One of the most powerful ways to learn something is to teach someone else. Inspire others to be who they really are, by opening yourself up and showing yourself to the world. Talk about what matters to you. Express yourself in other ways as well – cooking (if you were a spice, what would you be? I think I’d be nutmeg…), painting, clothes, music…there are so many ways you can shine.

You have a spark – let it glow through all your facets.

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  • Marilena
    October 9, 2012

    Hi Maria,

    I really enjoyed your post :) I find myself in it. I warmly recommend you to read Clayton Christensen’s article: “How will you measure your life?” (HBR 2010), it fits with your post.

    P.S. I would like if you could write more often.

  • Maria
    October 21, 2012

    Thank you Marilena! I actually read the article and enjoyed it.
    I’m doing my best to write more often :) promise to keep that in mind!

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