5 Questions to Help Identify Your Values.Apr 17, 2017
How do I do it all? From raising three boys, and working full-time as an occupational therapist and consultant, I still find time to grow as an entreprenuer and travel. How? I know, and prioritize, my values.
Identifying your values is an essential challenge. But scheduling room for and adhering to your values is an even greater challenge. I bet you can easily guess what my top life values are if you’ve been part of my sphere for some time.
CONNECTION (LOVE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, INTERESTING PEEPS)
HEALTH (HOLISTIC LIVING)
And then some:
I try to maintain a balance. Sure, things do get out of whack (especially when I’m not paying attention to the big picture) but I manage to reign myself back into alignment with my values when I find myself adrift. It’s taken years of practice, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t on the ball with identifying and living your values at first. It’s never too late to start.
While it may be obvious to you what your values are, are you really practicing them in your daily life? That’s the million dollar question. I know that if I asked you today about your values, you could easily roll off the common ones in a matter of seconds, BUT living by your values is a whole different ball game.
I am going to challenge you on your values.
Here is what you can do right now to get to know your heart:
- Take inventory. Bring out that journal, pen and your favourite tea. Make a list of all your values. Be creative. Think outside the box. Think of ones that you normally wouldn’t think about. (ps. Ever thought about compassion as a value?)
- Circle your top three. This may be difficult because it’s so tempting to pick them all because, y’know, they are all so good! But it’s important to know your core values so that you stay focused and on point.
- Think about how you can put your values into practice a little bit more when you wake up each day. You may not be able to exercise this practice daily but that seed of intention is perfectly enough. Sets the tone.
- If you want to take it a step further, make a preliminary list of 10-20 activities (bite size pieces are great!) that are aligned with your values and schedule them into your calendar. And commit to them. Trust me. You won’t regret it!
- Have a conversation with a close friend or family member about your values. Share them. Bring them alive. And in return, listen to theirs. I’m always curious about what motivates others to lead a good life.
I have the perfect story for you.
Let’s take my friend as an example. He laughed at me when I told him that one of my top values is Love. His response was, isn’t that everyone’s top value? Maybe so,I responded. I turned the question back at him and asked him if Love was one of his. He confirmed it was. I reminded him that for the past year or so I’ve been listening to him yearn for a romantic relationship which is completely aligned with his top value. Yet, he’s been working long hours and spending all his time in his office, leaving him with very little time and energy for a relationship.
The end result? Disconnect. A disconnect with where he is in life and where he wants to be. And that won’t change until he breaks the pattern. But here is the danger: we often convince ourselves that life is good enough.
Do you want to live a mediocre life or a life that practically makes you want to jump out of bed each morning?
Unless you make a conscious effort and have the courage to make the necessary changes in your life so that you can stay aligned and true to your values, discontentment will always linger.
No one said this is easy work. But it’s work that’s worth it.
Now I want to hear from you! Share your values on Instagram or Twitter with #liveyourvalue. I’d love for us to see each other, cheer each other on and connect through conversations.