I hope by now we all have a list or general idea of what our most important values are.
Mine are faith, family, creativity, friendship, wholeheartedness, and peace. In our family, we also value thrift, wisdom, justice, respect, responsibility, and compassion to name a few.
Now here’s the thing, there may be values that you just live by automatically. You maybe are ALWAYS respectful but there may be some that we know are important to us yet don’t seem to translate so easily into our schedule and daily lives.
Also while we may value many things there are probably only a few that if pressed we would say, “I really want my life to be ABOUT these four or five things”. That’s what we want to get to. Though absolutely some of these values go together, if I value family it would follow that we should all treat each other with respect, right?
I want us to go through our list and pick two words and compare them to one another. If you could only satisfy one which would it be? For example if two of your words are financial stability and travel. Would you be willing to let go of your desire to travel if needed? Or would you forgo a stable job and follow your greater desire to travel even if it mean letting go of some financial stability? Compare all of your words until you are able to get them in some kind of order. This is how we prioritize.
Next, revisit your ordered list and see if there is anything missing. For example, I would normally not consider “health” to be a priority value for me. However, I have realized that because of some issues like my fibromyalgia and back pain, I have to make it a priority. The truth is my family will suffer; my work and all other things won’t get taken care of properly if I don’t first take care of my health.
It’s important to make first things (like health) first. I don’t know what your first thing is, maybe it’s health, maybe something else but there may be something that’s absolutely essential to your own well-being that needs to be addressed before all other things are able to fall into proper place.
OK, hold on to your list, tomorrow we’ll address where there may be some gaps or discrepancies between what we value and how we actually spend our time.