Do you live your life according to your values?
by Jacquie Wise
Do you live your life according to your values? If your true values don’t guide the way you live your life, you’ll experience what I call the ‘cheese-grater effect’— your self-esteem, your authentic self and your happiness will be gradually crumbled, and your life will be like cheese being grated away, often painfully. In fact, we often talk about things that ‘grate’ on us.
A quick way to identify what you value most is to make a list of all the things that are important to you and ask yourself this key question: What would you be prepared to sacrifice for each one?
It becomes fairly obvious there are some things you would not be prepared to sacrifice in favour of something else, so that thing is of greater importance.
For example, I tell myself that I value my health. Of course I do. Doesn’t everyone? But would I be prepared to sacrifice a morning dozing in bed to exercise? No. So I value self-indulgence more than I value my health.
Still working on that one.
So you make your list of things you think you value. Once you think you’re done, give each a rating, maybe out of a maximum of ten.
These questions might help:
• What are the rules you live by?
(Whose rules are they, yours or your parents?)
• What are the things you day-dream about?
• What kind of people are you drawn to and why?
• When is life most fulfilling? Most painful?
• What objects do you collect for your home?
• What do you like reading or talking about most?
There are many other questions, but this is a start.
The people you respect can also give you good clues as to your values. Observe closely what behaviour or attitude it is you respect.
If you respect someone for the courage they display, you value courage. The next question is, how much courage do you display in the way you approach life?
Living your life according to your own values is the one thing that will avoid the ‘cheese-grater effect’ and give you a sense of being whole.
I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here.
You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.
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