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"have-do-be vs. be-do-have" refers to the two major approaches or sequences to attaining a new state or becoming something new.

The first, have-do-be, is where one sets out to acquire, to have, the things that are the known and accepted accoutrements of a given position or profession. Once one has a sufficient accumulation of the right stuff one then can start to do the things done with the stuff. The train of logic thus leads that since one has the stuff, and does the things, then one must be whatever it is one who has and does those things is.

This approach is rarely successful. Usually one only becomes a poser (poseur), even though the desire to be and not merely appear to be is sincere. Modern, image driven, consumer oriented societies seem to foster this approach. The superficial "understanding" of various fields of endeavor promulgated by the media doesn't help either. The have-do-be approach is very often hidden within one's desire to acquire certain objects, objects which may require much planning, goal setting, and achievment to get, and this hidden agenda is the source of the disappointment one feels when the thing is in hand - nothing really changes, because it is merely having.

The be-do-have sequence is much more successful, since it involves growth from within, but it takes a long time before one sees (or others see) results. The first step is to be whatever it is one is after. This means learning, practicing, absorbing everything one can about the field, discovering the core priciples, internalizing them. As one proceeds with this learning and integrating, one will naturally come to do the things associated with the desired field or state of being - first in practicing basics, then spontaneously, since the core ideas and values are now part of the seeker's personality. Along the way one will come to have the things, the gear, the equipment, as one will need them to do the things. The irony is that one usually by this point sees many of the trappings as mere tools or even necessary evils.

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