#6 —The Notion of "Being by Doing"

In Feb 2022, I worked on the Life Discovery project and developed a toolkit and a canvas for the project. I also developed the Project-centered approach with six basic principles.
One of principles is “Being by Doing” which is originally just a slogan.
Significant Insight
On Feb 27, 2022, I wrote an article titled and introduced six basic principles of the Project-centered approach:
Being by Doing
Engagement as Method
End as Means
Discovery as Development
Performance as Experiment
Curativity as Creativity
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I used the term “Being by Doing” for the article Life Discovery: The Life-as-Project Approach which was published on Feb 13, 2022. However, I didn’t write any detail about it in the article.
On Feb 17, 2022, I wrote a piece about “Life” and “Freedom” in . The piece mentioned an idea for the Life Discovery Toolkit. See the diagram below.
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On Jan 23, 2022, I used three dimensions of the concept of “Life” to develop the above model. There are at least three ways to understand the concept of “Life”.
Life as Organism: this is the perspective of biological theories.
Life as Practice: this is the perspective of social theories.
Life as Ideal Type: this is the perspective of humanities.

These three perspectives can be called Biological Life, Sociocultural Life, and Spiritual Life. I also defined three types of Freedom.
Why did I choose “Freedom” as a core concept for this idea? On Jan 1, 2022, I designed and used “Degrees of Freedom” as its primary theme. I learned the term from the Japanese strategy consultant .
However, “Degrees of Freedom” is a traditional term for strategic thinking in the context of business competitions. For individual life development, I don’t consider competition as the first thing.
Material Freedom: Independence of both Sociocultural Life and Biological Life.
Mental Freedom: Independence of both Spiritual Life and Biological Life.
Cultural Freedom: Independence of Sociocultural Life and Spiritual Life.

This model leads to a challenge: What’s Freedom? My rough answer is the following diagram. I use a simple formula to define “Freedom”. The pair of concepts of “Supply — Demand” is inspired by economics. Also, I was inspired by the developmental psychologist Robert Kegan’s 1994 book
In Over Our Heads focuses on the fit or lack of fit between what the culture demands of our minds and our mental capacity to meet these demands. According to Robert Kegan, “The psychological phenomenon is the evolution of consciousness, the personal unfolding of ways of organizing experience that are not simply replaced as we grow but subsumed into more complex systems of mind…The cultural phenomenon is the ‘hidden curriculum,’ the idea that to the list of artifacts and arrangements a culture creates and the social sciences study we should add the claims or demands the culture makes on the minds of its constituents.”(1994, p.9)
Kegan’s “psychological — cultural” dialogue approach is the seed of my ideas about the above three types of freedoms. I want to expand the “psychological — cultural” dialogue to the “psychological — biological” dialogue and the “cultural — biological” dialogue.
On Feb 27, 2022, I offered details about the “Being by Doing” principle. You can find more details
.
The Project-centered approach is a new theoretical approach for Activity Analysis. In a broad sense, the Project-centered approach is inspired by the Hegel-Marx-Vygotsky Activity Theories and the American Pragmatism tradition.
I use the slogan “Being by Doing” to highlight the philosophical roots of the Project-centered approach.
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The above diagram is my intuitive idea about the slogan “Being by Doing”. It looks like this is a dialogue between Humanistic Psychology and Activity Theory/Ecological Psychology.
Activity Theory/Ecological Psychology: Doing means delivering “Value” as Offers to others.
Humanistic Psychology: Being means maintaining “Equilibrium” as Order for self.

If a person wants to offer values to satisfy others’ demands, he or she should keep a good order for internal equilibrium to maintain the supply system. This is an interesting idea. However, it requires more deep work.
I use “Supply — Demand” as a pair of concepts for the Life Discovery Canvas. This is the starting point of the Life Discovery Activity and its canvas.
Finally, I published an independent post about on March 27, 2022.
Method
The method for this task was developed with the following heuristic tool on .
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The above model is called the Relevance of Zone which considers Other as an important social context for the long-term development of thoughts. You can find more details
.
Based on the model, we can generate the following questions:
Other: Who is the Significant Other for this insight?
Thing: What’s the insight about? Why do I pay attention to it?
Think: How did I get this insight? Is there a technique behind the process?
Self: Where did I capture this insight?
Self: When did I capture this insight?
Activity: Is this insight part of an activity? What’s the activity?
Activity: Has this insight led to a new action or a new activity?

The following section will use these questions to guide our reflection.
Analysis

Other: Who is the Significant Other for this insight?
This insight was inspired by the Japanese strategy consultant Kenichi Ohmae’s writings about “Degrees of Freedom” and the developmental psychologist Robert Kegan’s 1994 book In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life.
The “Kenichi Ohmae - Robert Kegan” connection can be considered as the archetype of the “Life - Strategy” dialogue while the “Life“ theme refers to developmental science and the “Strategy” refers to the field of strategic management. See .
Thing: What’s the insight about? Why do I pay attention to it?

I use the slogan “Being by Doing” to highlight the philosophical roots of the Project-centered approach.
The Project-centered approach is a new theoretical approach for Activity Analysis. In a broad sense, the Project-centered approach is inspired by the Hegel-Marx-Vygotsky Activity Theories and the American Pragmatism tradition.
I used the slogan “Being by Doing” and the diagram to refer to a dialogue between Humanistic Psychology and Activity Theory/Ecological Psychology.
Activity Theory/Ecological Psychology: Doing means delivering “Value” as Offers to others.
Humanistic Psychology: Being means maintaining “Equilibrium” as Order for self.
If a person wants to offer values to satisfy others’ demands, he or she should keep a good order for internal equilibrium to maintain the supply system. This is an interesting idea. However, it requires more deep work.
I use “Supply — Demand” as a pair of concepts for the Life Discovery Canvas. This is the starting point of the Life Discovery Activity and its canvas.
Think: How did I get this insight? Is there a technique behind the process?

I used “Concept Analysis” and “Diagramming as Thinking” to develop this insight. Three core concepts of the insight are “Life”, “Freedom”, and “Demand”.
image.png
I used three dimensions to understand the concept of “Life”: Life as Organism (the perspective of biological theories), Life as Practice (the perspective of social theories), and Life as Ideal Type (the perspective of humanities).
The concept of “Freedom” is inspired by Kenichi Ohmae’s concept of “Degrees of Freedom”. However, “Degrees of Freedom” is a traditional term for strategic thinking in the context of business competitions. For individual life development, I don’t consider competition as the first thing.
Based on the above three dimensions of “Life”, I defined three types of “Freedom” for life development.
image.png
Finally, I adopted Robert Kegan’s idea about “what the culture demands of our minds and our mental capacity to meet these demands” to develop the above three types of Freedom. Kegan’s “psychological — cultural” dialogue approach is the seed of my ideas about the above three types of freedoms. I want to expand the “psychological — cultural” dialogue to the “psychological — biological” dialogue and the “cultural — biological” dialogue.
Self: Where did I capture this insight?
I captured the insight of “the Project-centered approach” in my house.
Self: When did I capture this insight?
I used the term “Being by Doing” for the article Life Discovery: The Life-as-Project Approach which was published on Feb 13, 2022. However, I didn’t write any detail about it in the article. It was just a slogan!
image.png
Though the post didn’t say any details about the slogan “Being by Doing”, I designed the above two diagrams-in-drafts. On Feb 17, 2022, I wrote a piece about “Life” and “Freedom” in . The piece offers texts for the above two diagrams.
Activity: Is this insight part of an activity? What’s the activity?

It is part of the Project-centered approach and the Life Discovery project.
Activity: Has this insight led to a new action or a new activity?

On March 22, 202, I published an eight-step practical framework for dealing with a difficult challenge: I used the “Life Discovery Orientation” model for the first step of the AAS4LT 1:1 life coaching program.
On March 27, 2022, I published an independent article about .
The insight mentions a possible dialogue between Humanistic Psychology and Activity Theory/Ecological Psychology. It also mentioned the “psychological — biological” dialogue and the “cultural — biological” dialogue. These dialogues are huge challenges for me.

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