Values: Am I living the way I want to?

Last post, we applied values to goals. But there’s more. Values can help guide your priorities, decision-making and behaviours as well. They help you understand yourself and live more of the way you want to live.

Building a life on values takes effort. But why put in this effort? To live well. Authentically. To live out the life you want. A worthy life; your unique never-before-seen-on-this-earth youness. Values, chosen by you, are your building blocks for your life. They keep you on track to be the you you want to be.

Each and every day you can ask yourself

 Am I living the way I want to?

Am I living out of my values?

We all fall short of our own values. Most of us value honesty, yet most of us lie at times. We value friendship, yet most of us have let a friend down at some stage. We value diligence, yet we goof off (not too much I hope). It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to fall short of your own values. The trick is simply to keep trying; again.

Build your life on your values, again. Everyday.

Monitor yourself in the priorities you keep, the decisions you make, and in the behaviours you display.

Priorities. Last post I snuck in a little value I believe we need more of: put people before productivity. We take people for granted: parents, friends, siblings and others, and then grow apart from them by putting things we make or do before them. Then we wonder why we end up lonely. To prevent this, look at your values and use them to generate your list of priorities, up to ten or twelve. Use the if I could take only a few people or things on a desert island with me … or use the If the world was ending soon, I’d want … scenario.

Know your priorities and aim not to put a lower priority in front of a higher priority. Particularly put people before products. This will add to contentment in life.

Decision-making. Your list of priorities helps drive your decision-making. If you have to let someone down, take better care of the person closer to you, the higher priority. Know your values well; then, when it comes to making any major decisions simply make sure your decision is in line with your values rather than conflicting with them. If you guide your decisions this way, you will be more of your own self and more confident that you are making the best decision for your long-term interests.

Good decisions make for a good life.

Behaviours. One of the most perplexing questions in life is why don’t we do the things we know are good for us? I won’t go into this just now, but, as a guide, make sure that your behaviours are in line with your values. If you say you value something, you want this to show in the things you do.

Monitor your behaviours, but remember to go easy on yourself. It’s OK to make mistakes, but pick yourself up again and reach towards your values again in your behaviour towards others. That way, you are doing the most you can to make your outside behaviour match up with your inside values. This is all part of living out of your values and living as effectively as you can.

Remember from last post that values are BUILT:

Broad, Unmeasured, Idealistic, Lived-out & Timeless.

Behave yourself (only most of the time).

See you next post.

Christian Heim