Episode 46: Doing vs. Being with Shivani Gupta

Shivani Gupta (00:16)

I'm Shivani Gupta, and welcome to the Ask Shivani podcast. I believe that one of the best presents that you can give yourself is time to be able to sit down and ask yourself some questions. I believe that the quality of the question that you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life.

Hi everybody and welcome to the AskShivani podcast.

Today, I wanted to talk about a topic that has been around for a very long time, it has been something that we've gone from these ancient practices into our modern world. And what we'd really need to do is to go back and reconnect to our ancient practices. And this is the art of doing versus the art of being.

Now there's a lot of yoga classes, meditation classes, teachers, people that help us navigate, mentors, speakers that talk about this whole notion of being but as you know, a saying that this podcast is mainly directed at women who are really interested in want to dive deeply into being empowered around their career and their confidence and have the ripple effects of that come out. What does this actually mean? And this is from somebody me who actually loves doing and has thrived on doing and has actually achieved a lot of things.

So, my personal experience has been is that ever since I was very young, there was a lot of, I guess, an expectation, it wasn't as pressure as much. But certainly, that expectation turned into pressure, in terms of being able to achieve lots of things, achieve really well at school, get into a great university course achieve really well in the university, achieve a really great job, work really hard at the job, achieve great goals, get promotions, etc. And that was in the business, education mindset perspective, the same applied in your family. So, you know, put all your heart and soul into your relationship with your partner, you know, be committed, have fun, be connected, get married, have children, and that path of this doing that it's almost expected and created by society. And it's something that I've personally struggled with. I know a lot of women that I've had the privilege to mentor have had the same sort of issues, we almost become these wonderful women at achieving things. Wonderful women are doing things and getting stuff done.

You know, I also know so many values that exist for women's businesses, which is all about getting stuff done. I am so good at getting stuff done. However, the question becomes, is it really the path for you? Absolutely. having that ability to be able to set goals, to be able to complete those goals and tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly yearly basis, help you towards success and help you towards getting certain results. But is that really often the way to do things, seeing there? We talk about I'd like to be on being versus this whole notion of doing. And also, you know, in my experience, I find that doing is known as achieving and you know, you're a star, you work through stuff, you're resilient, being sometimes almost has this notion of my experience of being a bit lazy, or this person has just been there just lazing around, they're not doing anything.

Is that really true? The fact that you know that we have that? What's your view on it? Well, how do you think about doing versus being? Do you allow yourself to be? Or are you actually allowing yourself to do more and more and more, and that's what you're really known for? That's really my question today. And when you do stop, why do you stop people say I'm stopping because I'm going to burn out. And so often, the being includes going to a health retreat, being includes going to going out for a cup of coffee being enclosed - I'm stopping Friday night from doing it, now I'm going to be being and I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine. Surely there must be other ways to be and we can't wait for alcohol or a health retreat, which now is becoming less and less so certainly at the moment. There are two retreats I've had to cancel this year because of COVID. And so does that mean I just feel my life that we're doing or do I need to create other ways to be more in my day-to-day practice in my day-to-day bang.

But again, like I said, for me, you know, you start to be when you've kind of need to stop when you want to just switch off when you want to almost become a little bit lazy when you need to pull away from the rest of the world. And that is one way of looking at bang. But there are also many other ways of looking at bang. Saying that mental health is becoming such an important and ever-growing issue concern not only in our families, in our communities and our society and globally. I know a number of states in Australia. And the psychologists and psychiatrists and support around mental health have closed their books, because they are inundated with requests, inundated where people resilience has been tested to the limit, whether it's been from the health concerns or fears about COVID, or their work, or their income, or homeschooling, or whatever those ripple effects of COVID have actually been.

And so, it's really important as we do that, that we have to find more ways to be, more ways to love yourself for being. And as you've probably heard this saying, so many times, we are human beings, not human doings. However, if our success and our story and our habits now have come from doing, then that's what we will do each day. And that's not to say you discard some of those practices, I guess my question today is, I think we need to balance that out with a lot of being in simple, easy, pragmatic ways. So that we are able to maintain that duality of things that we have to do, rather than one or the other.

And my other experience has been is that when I really comfortable with who I am, when I am, I guess almost saying that I love myself, and I'm comfortable with where I am, I tend to want to be a lot more. And I can be me. And I can do that in conversations, the way that I run my business and other things. We're not being really judgmental of being, and I'm saying - Come on Shivani, you've got to get this done, you got to get that done, I find it really difficult to be, I find it easier to sit in the doing. And I can go bang, bang, bang, let me give you some examples of that.

So, when it comes to my business, you know, having grown number of several million-dollar businesses over the last 15 years. One of the things that brought me some of that success is rhythms, systems, structure, doing, they're all doing things. And so, in terms of doing it's the pace I go, and I go at a ferocious pace, you can ask that of my husband, my children, my family, my friends and my colleagues. And absolutely you can ask my staff, I move at a ferocious pace. And I've always prided myself on actually having this ferocious pace – Shivani, the faster you can go, why would you take 15 minutes to get somewhere if you could get there in three? So, the pace is a doing thing, right? The other thing that I've always done, businesses have goals, and I've written down actions every day. So, I've got a to do list, which I still have. But I'll go through what I've actually changed around that. But one of the things is, here are the 15 things I'm going to achieve. And I pushed myself at the pace that I go to try and get to 15,16, 17 things, I pride on the number of actions that I do. And this is one of our issues, right? We're so pride and we've got so many things to get done as women, what we do is we make these lists, and we're constantly just taking, crossing over, highlighting them through and feeling the sense of achievement. And I'm not saying let's throw the baby out with the boat bath as the stupid saying goes, what I'm saying is that we need to balance that out with more being. And we need to actually incorporate that more and more into our daily lives.

The other thing is I'm really good at pushing. If something's not working in business, I push it and I push it and push it till I make it work. If there's a problem in the family, I'm going to break that family, that problem apart, and then I'm going to push through into a solution. That's what I do well, that's what entrepreneurs do. They get problems, they solve them, they get problems, they solve them etc. And so even though it's a real big skill, what does that look like on the other side? If you were being that nice, still had to get that done? What would that actually look like? So, there is this beautiful saying that says, slow down to get things done faster, or words to that effect. And when you listen to that, you know, it's a little bit like the chain, you go - What do you mean like that's completely the opposite in terms of what you're saying? How can I go faster if I slow down? So, this whole notion of mindfulness, mindfulness to me the best definition that I've ever heard that I can you know rephrase that and share that with you is your mind is full of one thing, when you are doing one activity, when you're not trying to multitask. When you're literally being with that particular task at hand. Not only will you get it done faster, and research shows that but you will actually enjoy it. It'll actually slow you down rather than trying to combat and juggle seven things in the air. So, the opposite of the pace that I've been so used to, is trying to become more mindful, more slow and doing one thing at a time. And that slowness of that mindfulness of one thing has actually improved my productivity. So, I'll just say that again, the same goes along the lines of slow down. If you want to speed up, become more mindful and become more being, if you actually want to get more stuff done.

The second pass in terms of actions is like, I've got to action this - I've got this meeting here. I joined this fantastic mastermind a few years ago, and one of the things you had to do in this mastermind was open the three-hour mastermind and close the three-hour mastermind with feelings. I'm like - Oh my god, I hope this is not going to be this one of these wishy-washy things. However, what we did was, one of the things we spoke about was feeling, how do you feel about it? How do you tap into the feelings, rather than I did this, this, this, this and this since my last mastermind, which is like this action list, which is the doing list. When I dropped into those feelings and the feelings of wishy washy, it is actually a list of like 150 feelings online that you can download. And I've tried to incorporate a little bit of this into my family as well. So, we are now starting to have like a mini mastermind every week. And we open which is only about 20 minutes, rather than three hours. But we open our mastermind in our family, every Sunday usually, with a feeling and ending with a feeling. And what it did was it got me out of action. And by getting into feeling it started to name the problem a bit more.

Let me give you an example. I had a staff member that really wasn't performing. So, my action would have been normally and pushing and making that happen, would be to have a one on one would be to then organize the list of things we needed to do put her on a performance management plan, get my manager to be able to make manager her and do all of those. So, I'm not suggesting we didn't do those. When I got to my mastermind, and I had to do a feeling. My feeling was sadness. My feeling to drop into that beingness was that I actually feel sad, I have invested so much into this particular staff member. She's been with my business for two years. And we have sent her to training and we have had mentoring. And we have, I have had one on ones with her. And we've invested a lot in there. And then the fact that performance dropped, what I was really feeling was sadness. By me acknowledging that sadness, the way that I went about those actions, including my conversation with her was that I ended up incorporating my beingness. I ended up incorporating the fact that I was feeling really let down with her in that conversation. So, my conversation in the end with her spoke about the fact that I felt really sad. I said to her, I feel really sad, because I've invested so much in there and your performance still haven't improved. And the reason I feel sad is I feel like I really care. And I feel whether that's right or wrong I said to her is you don't. And so, by dropping into the feeling and incorporating that into my actions, I was able to change that conversation. In fact, we had a fantastic one on one conversation, because when I opened up, she opened up and then we ended up having a really amazing conversation. But I wanted to share that with you what doing looks like, which can give me the success I'm has, but what being looks like around the same thing.

The other example I wanted to give you is this portion fulfill. So, when it comes to say, particularly in one of the businesses that I have, which is a speaking business, and as a speaker, I've been really fortunate enough to travel the globe, I've been able to speak to more than 150,000 people, I hang around some very smart, amazing speakers, some who do it full time, my speaking works only about 20 and traditionally, since sort of till COVID hit about 20% of my business in that particular business. So only about 20% of my revenue comes from that business. But there's this notion of pushing you know how much content you put out how, much speaking engagements have you done, how much follow up have you done there's and there's this massive pull push, push, push, push action list. And I know some people that are very successful using that particular methodology.

One of the things that was really important to me wasn't just about the number of speaking engagements. I got the new amount of revenue. I got the number of clicks. I got, what I was really interested in in speaking at events, even if they weren't giving me the highest paid money, but where I felt like I started to have more impact because I really went back to why I started speaking in the first place. And the reason I started speaking in the first place was to inspire and challenge people's thinking and transform them, I wanted a bigger audience. So rather than always take my message one on one, which I might do in a mentoring session, or in a group mentoring session, that I was able to take that one to many. So, whether there was 50 people in the room, or 320 people on the room, or I think the biggest room I've ever spoken to was 6000 people that I could get that message that I wanted to share that inspiration and that challenge in that transformation that I wanted to share to a bigger group of people at the time, same time. So, I decided when I started to work through this work on doing versus being, could I use the pull effect, rather than the push effect in speaking. Could I start to attract different types of clients, where I would still get paid, but maybe not the highest amount, but the audience there, I would get more value out of speaking. But more importantly, the audience that I spoke to, took more action, really listened to that message and it inspired more people, they started to take different level of things that they did as a result of hearing me speak. So that's how I put that into speaking. But I've also pushed, put that pull effect into friendships, with the kids, into friendships for myself, in terms of networking, and other things. And at the moment, I'm experimenting that and saying, I can send out a push to all these people that post podcasts and say I want to be on your podcast. Do you want to be on my podcast? and push, push, push. And an experiment I'm trying to play with from a poor perspective is I'm going to put it out there that I'm going to meet some amazing people and who I'm going to ask to be on my podcast, I'm going to meet some amazing people who are going to ask me to be on their podcast.

And interestingly enough, today, as I'm recording this podcast, I was walking in my stream. And I had just dropped my car off for a service. And I thought - great, that's about a 35-minute walk, that will clear my head, I'll put my mask on walk back home, and I've done my exercise tick. And then we'll get into recording some podcasts and around to a neighbor of mine. And her dog had run up to me to say hello, and she walks up to me, turns out that she is a specialist in an area and that I would love to feature her on my podcast. So, we ended up speaking, we just exchanged email addresses even though we always had each other's mobile numbers, because they literally live down the road. And our kids are about the same age of another go to different schools. And so, this whole effect is a way of attracting her in rather than pushing onto other people. One of the other people that I had the privilege of recording a podcast within the last week, has just emailed me and asked me to be on her podcast. So again, this push pull thing. So, it's not that I'm not going to achieve by pushing or doing. It's that why would not pull and be because it doesn't take much effort and I'm probably getting the same, if not better results. So, it's not only the fact that I might actually get, you know, better results, less effort, a lot more ease, why wouldn't I do all of those different things, if that meant that I could create that.

The last point that I want to speak a bit more about is this whole notion of loving yourself and I spoke about that earlier. But let me really harp on it. If you truly love yourself, would you do less and be more? And do you do more because you have some room to love yourself more? And if you already be and you sit a lot in your being and feeling and pulling, could you love yourself a little bit more? And so, if you're at that phase of your life, where you know, perhaps you're in a stage of your life and a phase of your life where you've got young kids or aging parents or your business has been severely affected and you're in this doing? What are some simpler ways that you could get the same results, if not better results by being? How could you build some being practices, some that I've spoken about, some you may, you may be aware of and that you just haven't put into practice more into how you could incorporate that into who you are. I just want you to ponder on that.

My website is called AskShivani. Please ask me any questions. If I don't have the answers, I'll find something or send you a link or point you in the right direction. And if you feel like it, I would love for you to rate and review this podcast and I look forward to you being more and meeting you. Thank you.

I'm Shivani Gupta. And you've been listening to the Ask Shivani podcast where I'd like to ask some questions. Thank you so much for listening. Please follow Ask Shivani on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And if you haven't done so, please go to the Apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. It would mean a lot. Thank you.