We Believe What We Do

Photo by Tamas Tuzes-Katai on Unsplash

Devotion does not end at a shrine or image. It is only authentic when it reaches all the way into ourselves and into our lifestyle with an utterly transforming power.” 

— David Richo, The Sacred Heart of the World.

In the book, All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, the main character’s sister Greta has a simple philosophy of life–we believe what we do. According to her, our belief system reflects how we spend our time each day.

To demonstrate this, she created an app called MapU. It begins by asking us to list our values and other issues near and dear to us.

What do we value most? Would we type in Health? Equality? Justice? Spirituality?

This is what we say we believe.

The app then asks us to enter what we do each day. With graphs and charts, the app then “Maps Us” by showing how closely what we do aligns with what we believe.

The book goes on to say that Greta didn’t create the app to be judgemental. Rather, she believes in action. She hopes the app will help people become more self-aware and begin acting in ways more closely aligned with their beliefs. She aims to help people become better versions of themselves.

Although the app is fictitious, I think the concept is a solid one. It brings to mind, so many similar ideas by other authors and great thinkers popping up around me lately.

“How we do one thing is how we do everything” ­~Richard Rohr

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” 
~ Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“Words are from the lips, actions are from the heart.” ~ Rashida Costa

What we put our hearts and souls into and how we live our lives reflect what we value.

In a similar vein, when my kids were young, I wanted to encourage healthy eating habits. I told them everything they eat becomes part of who they are. Our bodies use what we eat to create new cells. We quite literally become what we eat.

Do we want to be made of the good stuff or junk?

This can also be said about the things we consume with our eyes and ears.

As Hugh Prather writes, “We become what we look at most.”

All of these ideas point to the same concept. We are what we do. What we look at and consume soaks into our cells to form and create the people we become.

An app like MapU would be a great way to take a peek at these parts of our lives. Does what we consume with our mouths, eyes, and ears reflect our beliefs and who we want to become? Does what we do in our day-to-day lives align with our values?

In which areas would we get a “you are on the fastest route” affirmation? In which areas would we hear the app say “recalibrating”?

I love the concept of this app especially since it measures us against ourselves. We’re our own yardsticks.

Not our parents. Not that buff guy at the gym. Not that overachieving gal in the PTA. Not those people out there who seem to always do the right thing and have it all together.

Just us.

The app encourages self-reflection. It provides both affirmations for what we’re doing well and insights into places where change and growth are needed.

It’d be like having a personalized GPS to help us navigate our lives and keep us on course. While detours can be fun and even beneficial, if we take too many we never get to where we want to be.

Bottom line: Your priorities aren’t what you say they are. They’re what your life shows they are.”

~David Akers

What we believe is what we do each day.

a curious firefly, © 2023

A big thanks to my friend, Christopher Robin for recommending the book All Our Wrong Todays. I borrowed a copy from the library and took photos of so many pages with ideas to ponder. I’m going to pick up a copy for myself one of these days so I can read it again and again. I’m sure many pages will end up dog-eared.
Thank you, Chris.

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