thryver Thoughts: Being Before You Do

Welcome Everyone!

This is our first blog post.  We are kicking off our blog series “thryver Thoughts” with this first one about the importance of a living and performing out of what is inside of us instead of becoming someone because of what we do.


BY Dave Barrs

At thryver, we believe you must BE before you do. Let me explain two reasons.

We affirm intrinsic value in people.

First, most of us think about doing without ever thinking about being. The narrative goes like this: Do something great and then you will be valued. Most of us rightly imagine that we will be more accepted, praised and liked after we do something really great, whether that’s making the winning touchdown, becoming valedictorian or running a successful club.  (That is unless you are one these perplexing people who are famous for no other reason other than that you’re famous.)

But there is something at our core that tells us otherwise. We sometimes value people with the least lofty resumes over others. Walter Simms is a kind-hearted, plain talking, generous loyal man with Down’s Syndrome who has been washing athletic uniforms at my old alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College, for over 30 years. There are famous stories about his kindness and generosity. EVERYBODY knows Walter and loves Walter.

A mother looks at a newborn child who has done nothing and she loves her before she could do or say anything.

At the core, we believe people have worth and value. Nothing we ever do can change that intrinsic value. Our laws and Constitution affirm and protect that. We are each valuable BEINGS before we ever receive acclaim from anyone.

We recognize unique talents in people at a young age

Second, at thryver we believe that each person is endowed with certain strengths and drivers before their environment ever shapes them. In all of the families I have coached, I have rarely seen two kids raised in the same house by the same parents who have the same set of strengths and motivations.

I believe there was something there at birth! We can all think of child prodigies who clearly had something that the rest of us did not. Mozart began playing music in royal courts at the age of 6 and composed his first symphony at 8. In 2015 Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Algiers’ sold for $179.3 million! His mother had said that his first words were “piz, piz”, a shortened version of the Spanish word for “pencil”. He completed his first painting at age 9 and his first major painting at 15. At age three, Tiger Woods shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course.

“Head of a Boy” by Picasso

Most of us are not these sort of outliers. But these prodigies serve as an encouragement to each of us to look for and desire to affirm what is inside. That is why we must BE before we DO. If we leave it up to culture to inform our identity we would end up as failed rap stars, sidelined quarterbacks or rejected actresses. Walter Simms was never a star quarterback at my school, but he is more well known and more universally loved than any of our quarterbacks.

Could Walter teach each of us something about reaching personal fulfillment? When we each respond to our own strengths and passions, the best we have becomes unleashed to serve our world in unique and valuable ways. Be who you are and the best will come out.