“How are you?” is a common greeting among people. But what do we mean when we ask that question? What is the true meaning of this question? Are we referring to our being or doing when we say, “How are you?”

What is Doing?

Doing refers to any activity which takes place outside the mind or one’s feelings, such as a physical action, work, or sport. When somebody says “I am doing well” it means that they have been successful in something.

If we are nothing but human doings, then we will not have any value in society. If we are only what we do, then who is to say that a person is worth more than another? But if we are defined by being human beings rather than human doing, then that gives us intrinsic value. Our being is what makes us different from everyone else in the world.

Doing is a result of our environment and is what we do because that’s all we know. Being, on the other hand, comes from within and is what drives our existence. Understanding the difference between doing and being is pertinent to our personal development. By owning what we do, we can take back control of our lives and not just be a cog in the machine.

What is Being?

Being means to be in one’s own skin and accept oneself as they are. It means to be at peace with oneself. So when somebody says, “I am being myself” it means that they have accepted themselves for who they are and stopped pretending to be someone else.

Our being determines who we are, not our doing. We are more than what we do. This philosophical argument is hard to disagree with because it explains that our purpose in life is not what we do but who we are. We don’t define ourselves by the jobs or careers that we have but by the content of our character. Our deeds don’t define us; it’s our being that defines who we are.

It’s important to understand what being means. Being is an inside job. Meaning it’s something that happens internally and stays with you. It’s not founded on external factors or other people’s opinions or expectations of us. It is a state of complete engagement with life and all that it has to offer–a state in which you are entirely in your body, mind, heart and soul–and your actions are completely aligned with who you really are.

It is crucial for us to realize that we are not our achievements but our being. We are more than the sum of our accomplishments. Our lives are about the whole, not just pieces of it. For this reason, it is important to find a balance between the two, and make sure that they complement each other as opposed to fighting against one another.

Asking “How are you?” is a question that is often asked, but seldom answered. Well, at least seldom answered honestly. It is not about how we are doing; it is our being that matter the most.

We are the fruit of our being. We do not define ourselves by what we do, but rather by who we are. We cannot be dissociated from what we are doing, and our doing is the fruit of who we are. For instance, if you work in a bakery and bake bread, it is not your occupation that defines you but your being. It can be said that in this way, the doing is the fruit of the being. Some people think that their job or other external factors can define them, but this is not true as our true self comes from inside us.

When we are in sync and aligned with our being and doing, it doesn’t feel like we have two lives. We don’t have one identity as a person who is defined by their career or another as a person who feels they are living a double life. It can be challenging to find that balance, but the key is to know yourself first. It all comes down to balancing the time you spend on what you want to do with the time you spend on what needs to be done.

Happiness is the result of living a life in line with our values, goals and desires. When we pursue these with passion, we will be happy. Therefore, the most important question to ask yourself is “What do I want?” and not “What should I want?” The answer to this question will help you find your purpose in life and dictate what work or career path you should pursue.

So, “How are you?” is a question that has no correct answer because there is no right way to “be.” The importance of acceptance is understanding that there will always be something that sets us apart from others. Which is more dominant in you? Is it your being or doing? Perhaps this is a good time to come to an alignment and let your doing be the fruit of your being.