Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog

What's On Your To-Be List?

In a previous blog post I talked about the Be-Do-Have concept. It's often referred to as the best three-step process for reaching success with any worthy endeavor. Sadly, most creative people pursue the three steps in reverse.

For example, many musicians mistakenly think "If I could only HAVE a record deal (or a hit song or some other material symbol of achievement), then I could DO the things an accomplished musician does, which would then allow me to BE the successful person I want to be.

Again, this line of thinking is backwards.

First, you must BE a successful person (with your music, art, writing or film activities). From this inner sense of knowing and confidence, you begin DOing the things a successful person does. If you BE and DO long enough, eventually you will HAVE the material success that naturally comes from this three-step process.

It's best to work from the inside out, not the other way around. Doing things in reverse is like signing up for a class and saying, "Give me a good grade and then I'll become a smart student." It's like standing in front of an empty fireplace and insisting, "Give me some heat and then I'll throw in some wood." That's not how life works.

So I got to thinking about other success tools, such as the almighty To-Do List. Making a list of things to do is great. Giving yourself action steps allows you to focus your energy on the most important tasks -- the activities that will move you closer to your goals.

But there's a danger in becoming too obsessed with daily tasks. When you only focus on the tactics of your plans, it's easy to lose sight of the Big Picture. You must constantly ask yourself, "What is my ultimate goal? My primary outcome?"

Turning once again to the Be-Do-Have model, we know that one of the most important things you can do is BE the successful person you want to be. The real payoff of BEing successful (and of reaching goals in general) is the feeling you get. Therefore, in addition to a daily To-Do List, you should also use a To-Be List.

Make a list of words you'd use to finish the sentence "I want to be ..." Some possibilities are:
  • Happy
  • Creatively Satisfied
  • Appreciated
  • Confident
  • Prolific
  • Fun-loving
  • Passionate
  • Too Sexy for My Shirt
You get the idea. Who do you have to BE (and how do you have to feel) in order to DO and HAVE the things you want? Use your answers to make certain your daily To-Do List tasks are moving you closer to BEing who you want to be.


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