Truly happy and successful people live their life in total alignment between their values and their behaviour. Meaning that who we see them as on the outside is a TRUE reflection of who they are on the inside.
When your behaviour and how you spend your time is not aligned with what matters most – you may become unhappy, resentful, stressed, overwhelmed, etc. This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is essential.
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to. Examples of values could be fitness, creativity, security, joy, community- the list is endless.
Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that honour them. If you value family, but you have to work 70-hour weeks, you will feel internal stress and conflict. If you don’t value competition, and you work in a highly competitive sales environment, you are less likely to be satisfied with your job.
Write down your top values, not in any particular order. Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualise a situation in which you would have to make that choice. Keep working through the list by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.
Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself.
Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
Are you proud of your top three values?
Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?
Re-align your behaviour to match your values:
What new action/changes do you need to make to live your life according to what matters most?
Who do you need to communicate this with?
Who will support you in this new way of being?
As your definition of success changes, so do your values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.
So, take the time to understand the real priorities in your life, and you’ll be able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals!
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