A simple way to boost happiness and productivity
Updated: May 31
Create a value-driven life
Do you have a clear direction in life? Do you have a strong grasp of what is intrinsically important to you and use this as the basis for decision making and relationship building?
If someone asked you to list your personal values, could you? What would you come up with? Would it be a mixture of values you absorbed from school and from various workplaces, with strong influence from your parents or parental figures?
Do your values reflect what is most important to you and what is at your core?
I was floundering in my 20s. Working hard but never feeling satisfied. With gym memberships that were barely used and jumping from one diet to next. After a particularly bad relationship break up, a friend took me along to a meditation class. Connecting inwards for the first time felt strange but peaceful. I kept at it.
I wasn’t always consistent, and I often found meditation frustrating, but I had discovered a way to calm some of the noise in my outer world. As my inner world expanded, so did my self-awareness and I found myself more in tune with what truly mattered to me and what gave my life purpose. I had started living in connection with my core values.
Defining your values
Values form beliefs and beliefs influence behaviour, so having clearly defined values can anchor you, provide direction and allow you to act consistently. They also allow you to turn your focus away from things that do not serve you. When your values are only loosely defined, you can sometimes be more easily swayed or conform to popular opinion.
Spend time considering what is important to you. What gives your life meaning? What lights you up and motivates you? What do you want to achieve?
Review this list of core values and select the 4-5 that you most connect with.
Now reflect on whether your current lifestyle is a match for your core values. A little soul searching may be required if you discover that certain aspects of your life or relationships are not congruent.
So how do you change this?
Work out the direction you want to take your life in, consider ways you can live these values and set the goals that are required to get you there. Value-driven goals can often provide the motivation you have been seeking. As Mark Manson says,
"Sitting around thinking about better values to have is nice, but nothing will solidify until you go out and embody that new value".
Values can evolve over time as we age and gain experience, so it is important to reflect and re-evaluate on a regular basis.
Now you are ready to set heart-centred goals that are driven by your values.