DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Aligning Believing and Doing - Another Feature of Balanced Lifestyles?

A recent story on the NPR series called "This I Believe" featured an essay by a seven year old (Tarak McClain) of Austin, Texas. Tarak shortened his original list of 100 beliefs into a radio-ready list of 30, which he read on the air.

Aside from the remarkable fact that this very young man was thoughtful and wise enough to compose this list, (and poised enough to do an exemplary job of recording his interview), the notable feature of his story relates to his acting in ways that are consistent with his beliefs. Tarak has a commendable list of service projects to his credit already. This made me think about my recent posts on life balance, and one of the papers given at the life balance symposium I attended. This particular paper was about life balance as acting in accordance with personal values.

Values and beliefs are closely related. But few of us always stop to think (except on Sundays if we are church going Christians, or on other days if we practice other faiths) about how our actions align with what we profess to believe. For example, I believe in sustainability and conserving energy so that future generations will enjoy a high quality of life. But when I think about the actual things I am doing that are in alignment with this belief, I am embarrassed that the list is shorter than I would like. Perhaps this is why the phrase, "talk is cheap", was coined.

Tarak and I share some significant beliefs, and I suspect, that given the way 7 year old young men come to form their beliefs, that his parents have similar sentiments about community, peace, service to others, living in harmony and other values. But in the end, when it comes to making our communities and world better places, when actions and beliefs are aligned, we create the world we imagine. As Gandhi said "We must be the change we hope to see in the world."

I invite you to share your beliefs about living life well on this post, and to comment on the actions that reflect those beliefs.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog again is insightful and interesting. Personally, relationships are of deep importance to me as is personal health and fitness. Activities to nurture those relationships and daily participation in exercise and physical, mental and emotional activities of enjoyment are crucial to my well being. Your post got me to thinking about the relatedness between values, actions and activities. As though we may act on our values, we may too develop values and beliefs after participating in the activities and/or occupations. For instance, I have on more than one occasion seen people wander into my aerobics class with no particular thought in mind about the value of exercise other than their doctor told them to "get active". I have found that with some people, if they can stick to the new activity and develop a habit and routine, they derive the benefits, feel the difference, and then develop an intrinsic value of regular exercise. The transactional nature between values, beliefs, and activities are fascinating. Thanks for an insightful post!

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About Me

I am a writer, lifelong student, former academic and new blogger. My passion continues to be everyday living. I am interested in what people do, how, when and why they do it, and what it means for their their understanding of the world and hence, their well being.