A therapist of mine once told me I was a human “doing” and I should be a human “being.” I was bent on performance and accomplishment at the time, and I often failed to experience the relationships and environments around me. If you had asked me at the time what my favorite part of any experience was I would have mentioned an action related to getting something done–an accomplishment.
This past weekend three of my boys and I went to Austin to attend the 41st United States Formula 1 Grand Prix. It was going to be a special race because Mercedes AMG Petronas (my team!) had already taken the Constructor Class Championship for the 6th consecutive time. Additionally, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes’ top driver) only needed 4 points to take his 6th Drivers Championship, becoming the second most winning driver in F1 history. Hamilton only needed to score 4 points to be the 2019 Champion.
The weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. The weather was beautiful, cool in the mornings and evenings with mildly warm middays. The track is phenomenal. I have watched a lot of F1 races and the coverage is excellent, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. Actually seeing 110,000 people covering the stands and the hills around the course is far more impactful in person than it is in a helicopter camera shot on TV. Then there is the sound. The cars are loud. Hearing the drivers shift and rev as they go into and come out of the corners and then the scream as they race down a straight section grasping for their top speed is exhilarating.
So, it surprised me a little when a friend texted me and asked what my favorite part of the weekend was. Without even thinking I texted back, “Being there with my boys for a Mercedes win.” Make no mistake, the whole experience was incredible. However, I wouldn’t have wanted to just do it or experience it. I wanted to experience it WITH my boys.
That is what we are saying when we say, “do life together.” It is healthy for us to want people we care about to share our lives and our experiences. We can complete a project, take a trip, see a sunset or have a meal alone, but it will not be as rich and fulfilling as it would be with people – people we have chosen to do life with.
Choice is a significant part of the equation. We choose who we do life with every day. I may not have had a choice in my relatives, but I can choose with whom I spend my time. We spend a third of our waking hours at work, so we should be very careful where we choose to work. We are going to be doing life with those people by default.
I get the privilege of speaking with each on-boarding class. I remind them that they picked us, and we picked them. It’s important. That choice means we are committed to making each person’s experience special. It means we are committed to be a team of humans “being” together as well as “doing” together.
I need to remember every day that I am a human “being.” It is easy to get bogged down in doing and forget to experience the richness available all around me through the people I get to do life with. More than being a successful valve company, I want Kimray to be a successful “life” company. I want us to export our way of life to others so more and more people can have the experience of human “being.” That is The Kimray Way.