A value is like a compass that keeps us moving toward what’s most important to us in life. But unlike a compass whose north can’t be changed… you can choose which way your values point.
10 years ago, if you asked me what I valued, I would have told you one of two things — I don’t know — or something along the lines of whatever values would get me a college degree, a sweet job, and a cute girl. 5 years ago, if you asked me again, I might have said — security, practicality, status, and possessing a bunch of nice stuff. And today, I’m feeling — Achievement beyond what would benefit me, learning, adventure, health, and passion. Now I just want to help people and go on adventures with my wife with a a bag of books in one hand and a jar of green smoothie mix in the other!
You see, what matters is not having values that remain constant… What matters, is that you know what they currently are and that your actions are consistent with them. Because when you know what they are, you live each and every hour of your day with intention. You fill it with the stuff that lights you up.
Can someone go through life without ever taking the time to discover their values? Of course they can. But if they give up the power to determine what matters, someone else inevitably determines it for them. And who knows, they might end up liking what’s given to them! Good for them. But what if they don’t? They end up spending their lives hustling for someone else. They accept their lot even though they’re not fulfilled.
Which one will you be? If you have the courage to understand what you’re all about, then get some paper and a pen and find somewhere you can be alone. I’m about to take you through 3 simple steps to determine your current values.
- Brainstorm: Write down all of the values that you feel are important to you. Then circle the 5-7 values that represent what’s most important to you in this season of your life.
- Define: What does each value mean to you and why is living your life in alignment with them important right now?
- Take Action: For each value, what’s one step you can take this week to live in alignment with it?
This is easy to do and it’s easy not to do.
What’s at stake if you don’t? Maybe not much today. But small actions have a way of adding up. 3 years of the wrong small actions added up to $200,000 in debt and nothing in my savings account or investments. 2 years of the wrong small actions added up to chronic sickness. Not having taken the time to discover what really matters to me got me those results. You don’t have to do the same. If you find that you’re in a low point in your life, there’s hope given that you start taking the right small actions today.
Take care and cheers to a week filled with stuff that matters,