When faced with a challenge, conflict, or decision, we have been conditioned to immediately jump to the question, “What do I do?” Our culture rewards quick action and quick fixes. However, quick action and quick fixes rarely lead to lasting and positive change. In fact, they often just create another problem.

In the Japanese culture, they speak of kokoro, a word that literally means “mind, heart, spirit.” As I understand it, the idea is that if you want to do something or have something, you must first “be” the person who would do or have that. Instead of jumping to “What do I do?”, the idea of kokoro invites us to first ask “Who must I be?”

Taking this into a Transformational Presence framework, the first step when a challenge arises is to pause and look deeper to discover the greater potential within the situation – the opportunity or gift that is present within what is going on. As the potential becomes clear, then consider what role is yours to play in helping that potential to unfold.

Once you have identified your role, you will know who you need to “be.” As you step into being that person, the appropriate action becomes clear and you know what to “do.” The “being” informs the “doing.” In my coaching work with clients, it never fails that once the “being” is clear and aligned, what must be done and how to do it also becomes clear.

The next time a challenge arises, resist the temptation to jump immediately into action. Pause for long enough to ask who you must “be” in order to best serve what wants to happen for the good of all involved. Become that person and you will then know what to do.

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