Finding time to live your life as fully as possible starts with finding time to clarify and live out your values as fully and authentically as you can.
“Without values, there is confusion and chaos.” Deepak Chopra
So … how well do you know yourself? How does your daily life and the way you use your time reflect your values? Or, taking a step further back for a second … just what are values?
Your personal value system is comprised of both your internal and your external values. These values influence how you see the world and how you use your time and energy. They are both present and future-oriented.
Your external values involve areas of your life that are of utmost importance to you, such as your work, your family and/or your health. When you were younger, you absorbed the values of your parents. However, as you develop your own vantage point, you tend to redefine these values and their importance to you.
For example, as you age, the significance you place upon your health and spirituality might increase, while the emphasis you place on your work might diminish.
Just as external values provide a frame for what you do, your internal values provide a context for how you do it. These values are process-oriented. They embody a way of being.You might value, for example, integrity, responsibility and/or authenticity as a context or frame for how you live.Again, the direct and indirect teaching of your parents helps shape your internal values, as well.
Now, let’s focus on your external values for a moment. These consist of a cluster of activities that comprise the whole. The following exercise will help you explore what these may be for you.
- First, write down 3-5 of your most important external values.
- Next, prioritize them with “#1? being most important.
- Then, list 5 of the most significant activities for each value. You are now creating your cluster.
You have just concretized a values baseline for yourself. What have you learned? How do you actively manifest these values in your life?
© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.