In the first week of the courses I teach we always start by clarifying our values. Although we all have a sense of what's most important in our lives, we're often not aligning our decisions and behaviors with those values. Simply by making our values explicit (as opposed to implicit), we bring ourselves into deeper alignment with them. Our values become a filter that we run all of our decisions through that allow us to set better boundaries and make choices that we're proud of.
For example, intimate relationships are important to me. Knowing that, when I have an invitation to connect with someone I love, I say yes. So is adventure. If someone offers me an opportunity for an exciting experience, I'll take it! On the other hand - my health is a priority so I might say no to a late night out. And so on...
I'm clear on my personal values, and I've also taken time to codify my guiding principles.
- Health is the foundation upon which everything else is built. It should be top priority. Like Jim Rohn says: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
- Self care isn't selfish. By taking care of ourselves first, we are better citizens, parents, friends and partners
- Your health is in your hands. Nothing is random - you are where you are because of every choice you’ve made up until this point. There is a cause for every effect. You’re in the driver’s seat of your life. Take ownership and grab a hold of the steering wheel. Engage fully in your life. You are free to choose the life of your dreams. Stop playing the victim to external circumstances and take responsibility.
- Mind over matter and matter over mind. You create your mental state with what you do with your body AND your thoughts and beliefs have a huge impact on your physical state. Thus self-care grows your self-worth.
- You are here to move towards your potential. It is your great responsibility to make an effort to reach it. Although we never "arrive" there - live every day like you might.
- Life is a gift. Receive it, cherish it, appreciate it and offer your gifts back. You have unique talents. It is your duty to cultivate and refine them and make them an offering into the world. Do your dharma.
- Embrace challenges and receive them as opportunities for growth and learning. We need resistance to push up against in order to get stronger. Like they say: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” and “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
- A fulfilled life is based on having integrity. Cultivate the inner strength and courage to align your daily actions with your values. Walk your talk.
- Be open. Experiment and stay curious. Try new things and observe with a beginners mind to discover what works for you. "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
- There is strength in vulnerability and power in authenticity. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” - Oscar Wilde
Which one of these resonates the most with you? Hit “reply” and let me know. What about you? Are you clear about what principles guide your actions and decisions? When we live according to our own person code, we live a meaningful and satisfying life.