There are endless frameworks and how-to articles on how to live a better life. I’ve read, studied and practiced many of them.
Above all the guff on the topic there is one framework I can feel most when I drift off it’s course. That being the conscious effort to define my values and choose to live in line with them.
My values are what's most important to me. They are the person I want to be and the way I want to feel.
I find that when I start living outside of my values I’m more anxious, I get depressed, and I feel like I’m running on the rabbit wheel which I found so enlivening to get off of.
This downward spiral can happen out of nowhere, and if I’m not aware of it, it will lead to much suffering.
That’s when I take a look at my values and ask:
“Am I doing things that represent these values and bring them more into my life?”
Often I see the answer is no- I’ve stopped making them a priority and replaced them with values that aren’t giving me the peace and fulfillment that is our birth right.
These 6 values are the pillars that hold up my house of life. If one weakens, I feel my foundation start to shake. I’m sharing these with you in hopes they spark a conversation with yourself about your own.
If I’m not present, I can’t see the magic of life that’s happening around me. My awareness can’t pick up on the subtle energies of my body: the ones that urge you to start that conversation at a coffee shop because he or she looks like an interesting person.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve connected with simply because I took a moment to get out of my head and be present enough to open up to my surroundings.
I believe the people you rendezvous with are put in your life for a reason, but if you’re not present you’ll miss them.
Presence is an important component of a stress-less life. Our minds are running constantly with anxieties and worries about future events, most of which never happen.
Cultivating a mindful state helps us stay in the moment, appreciate the beauty of the now, and fully engage in what we’re doing. We allow ourselves to get in more flow states, which is really what leads to day-by-day happiness.
Neurotic thought brings anxiety about a life that hasn’t happened.
Presence brings enjoyment of the life you are actually experiencing.
I am grateful for…
There is no point in my day that I can’t say those four words and not finish the sentence. There is always something to be grateful for and a positive to focus on rather than its opposite.
When I’m not living in gratitude, I’m falling asleep at the wheel. When I get upset over silly things like someone stepping in front of me in line, I let the darkside win.
Focusing on what I don’t have always leaves me in despair, and I always get more of what I don’t have.
When I shift focus on the good things, and when I can become grateful for the bad because of what I've learned- then I am riding the good wave of life.
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What started me on a path of personal growth was feeding my mind with books that brought new knowledge, ideas and continued inspiration.
There are many great thinkers that have come before me, and there is a finite amount of time left to take in as much wisdom as I can.
Reading books, listening to podcasts, and learning new skills sharpens my psyche. It’s like going to the mind gym.
While bringing wisdom in is important to me, it is more than just an outer game.
I know that wisdom of self will guide me further than any book. I know the answers are inside me as they are you.
Taking time in solitude to sit with myself and see what the guidance is telling me is a morning ritual. I find meditation and contemplation to actually be my favorite practices.
Wisdom of self also includes understanding the types of people you want to be around. Knowing who will bring me down and who will bring me energy is important if I want to live my best life.
While it may be beneficial to stay on my computer working another few hours, it’s not in line with my values.
When I am doing yoga at least 5 times a week and eating whole foods, everything I do feels better.
I have a crazy belief that were actually supposed to feel good all the time. Suffering now to feel good later is backwards thinking.
Health, wealth, and happiness happen by making it important now and taking actions that prove it. It’s a no brainer, a non-negotiable, and something I have so much fun doing.
Love feeds me. Love is me. Love is what I want to express as much as I can with my time here. Love is the miracle, love is the start, love is the finish. If I lose track of my love, I lose track of who I am. If I am living in love, I can feel- with every inch of my soul- the emotional beauty that radiates throughout all.
I’m someone who can cry on a dime and I believe that is because I make it a value to live with love. To show love, to give love to more than just loved ones.
It’s the greatest emotion yet I see so many people shy away from it, not comfortable talking about their feelings.
I’m a better man when I can love more and feel more deeply. I’m a better partner, I’m a better friend, and oh those successes? They come tenfold, and they feel that much better.
When my heart is closed, I don’t want to connect with others. It feels like I’m lonely in social situations and I just want to leave. It’s the farthest thing from the truth I want to live.
When my 5 values are aligned, the natural by-product is more inspiration. Inspiration is the gift of my higher self which gives me the ideas, creativity, and will to act on the insights that excite me most.
This is the true joy of living.
There is no excitement that compares to being tapped into my purpose. I feel like things fall into place and life moves in a seamless dance. The people I need seem to show up in my life, and I lose sight of all those negative people who bring me down.
I literally feel like I’m living in a dream world. This is what I’m passionate about and why I’ve decided to pursue this path.
It is what I want so deeply for you.
So what are your values?
Who is the person you want to show up as?
If you don’t know, I implore you to take 30 minutes of your day to sit and think about them. They don’t have to be concrete and they can evolve and change.
What’s crucial is you understand what’s actually important to you.
When you have that figured out, you will be able to see where the disconnects are in your life.
If you value nature but live a life that cripples your ability to be outside, you will feel that. If you value creativity but work a logically minded job and don’t pursue creative hobbies, you’ll sense something missing.
Learn to live in line with your values and life will start living in line with you.
I’d love to hear what values you live by so feel free to comment or reach out to me to start the conversation.