When I began working after college, I began my chase for time.
I hardly remember a period where time wasn’t a primary focus in my life. I wanted to squeeze everything in. The word values didn’t slip into my life until a few years ago. And it amazes me what happened. Shifting the focus from getting more time to living my values started a happier journey.
While I was working in India, I had the great luck of working with a coach given my new role and responsibilities as CFO. It began the process of connecting with something more important than time.
Interestingly, I don’t even remember discussing time with her. It was more about bringing greater meaning to my life. And the road to that was getting deeply in touch with what I valued.
A Journey into Values
Our conversations led me to start surrounding myself with new things. Books, blogs, journals, people, conversations. I discovered this lovely store called kikki.k in the Singapore airport on my way to a Board meeting in Sydney. I recently came across a sweet little journal I bought there that’s labeled “Goals”.
Flipping it open, it struck me. It says setting goals allows you to create a road map for where you want to go. It gives you clear vision on how you’re going to get there. And, this is super important. It says values guide your decision making, your personal conduct, and how you interact in the world.
This is so true. I find sometimes people mention their values. And then, it’s difficult for them to articulate them. I’m the first one to say that this was totally not a focus in my learning growing up. It was in the background yet not personalized. Now, I realize values deserve to be in the forefront of your mind.
To be crystal clear on what you value is precious. Instead of rattling off how you’re prioritizing your time, what if you could rattle off your top 5 values? How would that affect your daily experience?
You can always control how you live your values.
How to Explore Your Values
I encourage you to give yourself a space to do some inner reflection.
Perhaps, a cozy Saturday morning sitting on your comfortable sofa. Maybe you’ve got a warm cup of tea. There’s a beautiful journal there waiting to be opened and used.
Start thinking about what qualities you look for in a true friend. Try to list down 6-8. These are most likely some values that are very important to you. Be sure they’re internal values not external.
An internal value is something that comes from within like wisdom, curiosity, love. An external value is something that’s reliant on something external to you that you can’t control. Some examples are reputation, wealth, job security.
Review your list and select the top 5. This will begin your journey into greater awareness and a natural connection to living them more.
You’ll find that focusing on your values creates a richness in your experience that time can’t give you. Celebrate that you can easily list off your top values. See how you can layer them into your daily life.
It’d be great if you set a date right now with yourself to go through this meaningful practice. Put it in your calendar. I’d be glad to know what values arose for you so please share in the comments. Any other insights are welcome.
I wish you a deeply heart-touching time.