Moodscope's blog



Human-Beings or Human-Doings? Thursday July 31, 2014

"In work we have to find high ground from the arriving tsunami of expectation concerning what I am going to do. Work, like marriage, is a place you can lose yourself more easily than perhaps finding yourself. It is a place full of powerful undercurrents, a place to find ourselves, but also, a place to drown, losing all sense of our own voice, our own contribution and conversation." David Whyte

This quote from David Whyte's excellent book 'The Three Marriages', I believe begins to explore a number of the blogs and comments on Moodscope.

There have been comments on how challenges start at work or how people cannot be themselves at work and I'm sure some will also 'lose' themselves in work. And then of course we also have the complexity of marriage and our own identity.

Many of us will spend far more of our living life at work than anywhere else and yet we mostly do so as Human-Doings and not Human-Beings.

Work also, as local communities diminish, can become our most constant and supportive or disturbing 'community'. The challenge can come if our personal values conflict with those at work and whether we feel empowered or disempowered, lead or managed, loved or left?

In the midst of a seemingly endless life, however, we can spend as much time attempting to put food on the table or holding a relationship together that we often neglect the necessary internal skills which help us pursue, come to know, 'and sustain a marriage with the person we find on the inside', as David Whyte would say.

Why do so many of us struggle to feel connected?

There is so much around to 'separate' us from ourselves and that third 'marriage' (to yourself) - after the 'marriage' to work and/or spouse - to be OK with who and what you are.

If you cannot like and love yourself - can you possibly like or love anyone else?

Our real challenge in life is often to be strong enough to be who we really are, whether in work or not, as so much around us attempts to pull and push us into becoming someone else.

How much do you believe you are truly happy in your three 'marriages' - what you do and who you live with (if anyone) and crucially with yourself?

A Moodscope member.

To read a poem Les wrote when he left as Chief Executive of Moray Council or to post a comment on the Moodscope blogspot:

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Anonymous Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 6:52am

Les, I remember reading and identifying with this poem to a great extent. I had suffered at work, and decided to leave as the undercurrents were pulling me further and further down. It was the best decision i could have made and four years on, i have found my true self and no longer feel the censure of the system, and those trying to get me to conform to a regime i was not me in. I am now happy and contented, but poorer!! Hey ho, always a trade off in life, i suppose... Happiness is not getting what you want, but liking what you get, as the saying goes.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 6:54am

Thank you for an excellent, thought provoking blog, Les.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 9:10am

Mmmm...I came to the conclusion some time ago about us being human-doings and not human beings. It was an authentic thought. I passed it on to someone else and because they didn't agree with me I devalued it. Pity, I should have(and now, will) run with it... Gill

Tim Clayton Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 9:48am

As ever, Les (and co-prolifix, Mary), a lucid and helpful post. I had never thought of the phrase "human-doings"; unusual for someone who so based his interplay with living, on words. I also love the notion of three marriages (allied to Clive Lewis's Four Loves, one wonders?) which makes a lot of sense and is a fantastic allusion, not just for its memorability. As a teacher, you just can't beat the imagery cameo which makes the elusive penny drop, and provides the eureka moment. Long may your writings continue! We can be sure of one (big) thing: as we go forward, ociety will be much more alert to, and probably careful with, folk undergoing the vacillations of modern psychological life. Whether there'll be as much paid-for healthcare provision as we'd like, is another question.

Tim Clayton Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 9:53am

By the way, I wonder if you knew that posting comment on an iPad is not as easy as you'd expect: if you move the cursor back through what you've typed (or dismiss a helpful predictive text suggestion) you can no longer add text. You can delete it, however. I've found that I need to choose Preview then continue Editing to regain control. (Now, there's a lesson in patience, planning, and authority!)

Anonymous Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:13am

Your thought provoking post lead me to think about how far I have come. When I worked, I was always a do'er - a work a holic to boot. I was left with no choice but to retire due to mental illness. Retirement was distressing. Not role to identify with, other than being a patient. It took time and yes, work, to find my "new"self. I was blessed with the support of my hubby and (mostly) good therapists. Now, though I am busy, I leave time for "being", even when on the golf course (my passion). I enjoy and relish the moments of life. I have learned to love myself and to truely love and appreciate the company of others and the activities I engage in. I can peacefully navigate my own destiny. I do not say contol, for crap happens, but I do have choices in how I respond to both the crap and the joys. Thanks Les!

Julia Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:47am

Your blog and poem Les might have been written for me. Does it resonate! If only I had known you when I worked in Scotland and had to leave through ill health brought on entirely by the unhealthy work environment I found myself in. I have written about this before. I dropped from a high place (not a high position but the drop felt brutal) and landed with a thud on the ground.After that I skimmed along the surface with many bumps along the way but now I have only myself to blame if life doesn't go well. Not blame exactly but you know what I mean.But that's normal. I feel connected to the people I know or choose to be around, mostly. I also identify with the first few lines of anonymous above 10.13am. Thank you Les (and the the others who have posted).

Anonymous Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 1:53pm

Outstanding Les. You have hit on the meaning of life (!) Life is about relationships and finding meaning. Toxic work environments or even ones that are bad fits to that inside person can be very damaging and stressful. We fight, flee (all too often to another bad fit in work or marriage or false self), freeze in place or lose ourselves to appeasing others.

Carl G Jung wrote in his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, that meaning comes when people feel they are living the symbolic life, that they are actors in the divine drama. That is what gives the only real meaning to human life; everything else is banal.
I think we find our true selves in relationships of love whether that be home, work, worship community or on the street.
Thanks Les. I am so glad you are back!!
Margaret J

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:19pm

Sounds like 'richer' to me ;-)

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:19pm

Run Gill run...........

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:31pm

Hi Tim

PQ - physical - To Live - Human Living
IQ - intellectual - To Learn - Human Doing
EQ - emotional - To Love - Human Being
SQ - spiritual - To Leave a Legacy - Being Human

"There is an Indian Belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete." Rumer Godden

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:33pm

Hi A

Cool.................great you can make yourself more aware of how far you have come.

Mindfulness would also help in 'being'.

Go well

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:36pm

Hi Julia

Feels like you are more connected now and choosing those you want to be around....healthy stuff.

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:39pm

Thank you for that kind comment Margaret J

"If the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way."
This Chinese saying, unfortunately, only too true, stands in sharp contrast to our belief in the 'right' method irrespective of the man who applies it. In realty, everything depends upon the man and little or nothing on the method" Carl Jung

Les Thu, Jul 31st 2014 @ 10:41pm

Thank you A. for taking the time to comment

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.