“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” – Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Could you tell me your underlying why to everything that you do?
Do you strive to align your everyday activities with your deepest values?
I played poker full time for 5 years and from the outside looking in it was a pretty sweet job. The gig comes with location independence (as long as there’s an Internet connection you’re good to go) which means massive amounts of freedom and on top of that, the pay was usually pretty good.
Personal freedom has always been huge for me and so me and so poker was a perfect match. At least that’s what I thought.
However, as time passed I began feeling more and more discontent which was very frustrating since I seemed to have a pretty much ideal situation.
Years later, and after tons of personal development study, I’ve figured out what was wrong and why I couldn’t pursue poker without feeling bad about it.
As I became clear over my highest personal values freedom certainly was a big one but so was personal growth and contribution as well. For me, poker just wasn’t in tune with where my heart wanted to go.
Thanks to putting in the work and uncovering these values I could finally figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. – Ayn Rand
It all comes down to what your highest values in life are. So how do you figure out what’s most important to you?
1. Remember the beginning
Go back to when you were a kid. Before all the conditioning, socialization and conforming had you loosing sight of what you truly love. What were your passions? What could you not stop doing? What were you obsessed with? What were your biggest dreams?
2. Imagine the end
Dr. Stephen R. Covey called this begin with the end in mind. When your life is through, what would you like your significant other to say about you at the funeral? How about your children? Your friends? Your co-workers? The answer to these questions reflect your highest values as a partner, a parent, a friend and a professional.
3. Ask your friends
Now send an e-mail to the top 3 to 5 people who know you the best. An e-mail is better than in conversation as it gives your friend some time to think their answers through. Ask them what they think:
Make sure to ask them to explain their answers. Your friends are likely glad do this for you and you’ll learn a lot from their answers.
4. Take a personality test
Taking a personality type test is a great way to gain some insight into what could be most important to you. Here’s one I like.
5. Get to know your values
With the prior steps in mind, skim through this values list. Mark the ones that resonate with you and then go back and revise until you have a list of your top 5 values.
If you’re serious about figuring out if you’re on the right path in life I highly recommend going through each of these steps. It takes some work to get to know yourself but luckily it’s fun work 🙂
When you’re done I’d love it if you’d share your top 5 values in the comments and tell us what small step you will take right now to start aligning your life with them?