Spending time thinking about my Values and Why has been a game changer for me.
Something clicked when I discovered each of these crucial concepts and it’s made thinking about my actions and schedule much simpler.
In no uncertain terms, it’s been completely life changing.
Not only have these realisations crystallised what I truly want from my future, they have made clear what I don’t want.
They have allowed me to pinpoint what I want to spend my time doing day to day – with all that free time being the mum of a 9-month-old affords me!
I’m going to be sharing both my Values and Why with you in upcoming posts but first I want to talk more generally about what each of these terms actually means, and how they can help you live a fuller, happier life.
Your values are the road map that guides your day to day decisions and moves you towards achieving your Why/ideal life.
You could also think of them as the principles or ‘rules’ you live your life by: guiding lights that dictate what’s important to you and the kind of life you want to lead.
Your values should spark motivation and inspiration whenever you think about them.
They can be really specific, or more conceptual. It’s totally up to you. And that’s really important – no-one can tell you what your values should be, or the format they take.
It’s deeply personal so you should spend time uncovering the words, concepts and ideas that resonate with you, as they will likely underpin your true values and Why.
Your values work in tandem with your Why, and simply put, your Why is ‘The Why’ and your Values are ‘The How’.
Examples of Values
Your Why is your cause, or purpose – the reason you do the things you do.
It’s living a life that is guided by your principles, and one that makes you incredibly proud.
It’s not a destination, per se. It’s kind of like a mission statement for yourself, and if your values are aligned, they should enable you to live in accordance with your Why every day.
I have seen ‘Why’ also described as ‘Legacy’, so if this resonates more with you that’s great.
To go even deeper on the analogy above, the result of both your Values ‘the How’ and your Why is ‘the What’: The actions you take in your life and the legacy you leave.
Your Why can be long, short, multidimensional, or simple. Here are a few examples below.
Examples of ‘Why’s’
- To dedicate my life to public service and leaving the world a better place
- To raise my kids as world citizens
- To be a life long learner and never stop asking questions
- To find happiness in simplicity
- To be the positive change that I want to see in the world
- To visit every country on Earth before I die and be an agent for tolerance and peace
These concepts can seem a bit intangible at first, but the key is to sit with them and over time take notice of what comes to the surface.
I continue to refine and articulate mine, and expect to dip in and out of this process throughout my life.
After all – life changes, we change, and no doubt our priorities will too over time.
In the meantime, I hope these examples have been useful. I’ll be digging in far deeper in the next few posts. If it’s currently unclear or confusing never fear – we have lots more work to do to get to the bottom of your values and Why.