“Remember the to-do list, but don’t forget the to-be list.” – Richard...

“Remember the to-do list, but don’t forget the to-be list.” – Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group.

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As your daily to-do list grows, it can sometimes feel like it is taking over every aspect of your life. But to make it more manageable, I want you to add yet another bullet point into the mix – ‘to be’.

While it’s important to prepare for the demands of the everyday, it’s just as crucial to enjoy life. So, alongside the meetings, appointments and email replies, find time to be inspired, take in the beauty of the world, and laugh with your family and friends.

Salvador Abascal Álvarez, a Mexican entrepreneur, and good friend of mine, talked about striving to become a “master at being” when he visited recently.


Balancing doing and being has been a lifelong journey for me; affecting almost every business and life decision I have made.

Starting out at Virgin Records, I surrounded myself with friends and focused on an area that I loved: music. When our children Holly and Sam were young I worked from home so I could be there for them and enjoy watching them grow during their formative years. While building the Virgin Group we made a conscious effort to nurture a culture where life was put at the heart of everything we do.

The journey hasn’t always been easy, and a huge step was certainly moving to our home on Necker Island. Freed from the stresses of city life, I have been able to find inspiration and fresh insight on a daily basis, to the point that I now no longer have to seek a work-life balance.

Obviously, owning an island or breaking away on holiday isn’t within everybody’s reach, but as Salvador points out, we should all find our own island. A place – be it a physical space to retreat or a period of time set aside for downtime – where we stop doing to begin being.

At the end of the day, life is for living; and living is about health and happiness. Remember the to-do list, but don’t forget the to-be list. Listen to your internal voice, be present in the moment, and take in the world’s magnificent glory with both eyes wide open.

As read on Richard Branson’s blogpost on the official Virgin Group website.

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