Have you ever wondered if you are living the life you want to live? What do you care about in life? How do you want to be
These are questions that we don’t usually ask ourselves very often and that depend on our thinking. We get carried away by the pace of life we lead, not realizing how we live and what is really important to us.
This personal reflection on the life we want to live it is essential to take the reins of our life and to go in the direction we want.
What are the values?
Since childhood, our parents have transmitted different messages that we each internalize. For example, “you have to be generous and share toys”. Thanks to these messages, we learn which actions are important and they define us as a person.
These acts that define what is really important to us are our values. These are our principles, they serve as a guide and motivation in life. They tell us how we wanna be, how we wanna relate to the world and what is truly worth it for each of us.
Values are chosen directions of life, our cardinal points determine where we want to go, where we want to orient our journey.
As a direction is not something which has an end, which can be reached, a value is not exhausted, it never ends. That way, if being a healthy person is one of my values, I can always do things based on that value. Like, for example, eating a balanced diet, exercising, having healthy habits, etc.
It never ends, it is not by exercising during a season that you will have reached this value (you were able to achieve a goal, for example running a marathon).
Steven Hayes, in his book Salt of Your Mind, Enter Your Life, talks about values through the metaphor of the “bus of your life”. On this trip, you are the driver of this bus. Passengers will board (emotions, memories, thoughts, sensations …) who will try to boycott your trip, wanting to go in a direction opposite to your values. Sometimes we get carried away by the fact that they lead a lifestyle or make decisions that don’t do us good. But they are not the ones who control the bus, you decide in which direction you will go, where your life is going, Regardless of the passengers accompanying you on the trip.
A value is not a feeling, as one can have a feeling, but one cannot have a value as if it were an object. It is not in the future, it is not a result, nor a desire, nor a goal to be reached.
The objectives lead us in the direction of our values. These are our roadmaps, the “visible” part of the values, that is to say the elements, the things, the situations that can be achieved.
Setting goals and objectives helps us stay on track. To do this, we would first identify and clarify our values, then set goals and objectives based on the values, and finally define the actions we need to take to achieve those goals.
Exercises to identify values
As we mentioned, in order to live a precious life, we must act according to our values. The problem comes when we do not know how to identify these values.
Therefore, the first step will be to identify and clarify our values in different areas of our life. This therapy work can be done with the help of the exercises below.
1. Attend your own funeral
Before I begin, let me tell you, this is not a morbid exercise. The aim of this exercise is to find out how you would like to be rememberedBecause it can give you information about what you value and is important to you.
First think about what you fear they might tell you. Next, what a loved one might tell you and what you would like them to say. What would you like to hear? Sometimes when they bury people they write an epitaph, what phrase would you like your gravestone to have?
2. Imagine you are 80 years old
To do this exercise you have to imagine you are 80 years old and look back to see your life as it is today. Once done, complete the following sentences:
- I’ve spent too much time worrying about …
- I spent too little time doing things like …
- If I could turn back time …
3. Ten valuable areas
It consists of discovering your values in the following areas: marriage / couple / intimate relationships; children; family relationships (other than nuclear family); friends / social connections; career / profession; education / training / personal growth / development; leisure / fun, spirituality, citizenship; health and wellbeing.
When performing this exercise you can achieve the areas that are really important to you and those that are not. If there is something in the box where you can’t find any value, you can leave it blank. There are no right or wrong answers, because there are no better or worse values.
it is convenient that each of us works on our values, on the way we want to be, in which direction we want to lead our lives.
Thanks to this, we are motivated for change, we take action by setting short and long term goals that give us meaning, direction and make us comfortable with them and with ourselves because ‘they are in line with our values.
If you want us to accompany you in this process of clarification and living according to your values, do not hesitate to contact us.