“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”
Have you ever witnessed a dog trying to catch its tail? It runs in circles getting nowhere. In the end, it’s a fruitless effort. As humans, we replicate this behavior when we are out of alignment with our core values. Our core values serve as an internal compass guiding us to live a life filled with purpose and passion. Ultimately, they are the foundation of who we are.
Unfortunately, as we live life we begin to overlay others’ values onto our own. This process takes us further and further away from our authentic self. To reclaim ourselves and live a fulfilling life it is important to reconnect with our core values.
Identifying Core Values
Writing down the times in your life when you have felt in the flow and at your best can connect you to your core values. Ask yourself this question, What value or values created this sense of inner fulfillment? For example, Bill Gates the founder of Micro Soft has reported feeling exhilarated and passionate about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is dedicated to helping all people lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation was founded on Bill Gates core value of philanthropy.
Another way to unearth your core values is to think of circumstances in your life that evokes strong feelings such as; anger, frustration, burn out, or boredom. Begin to explore the opposite feeling and write it down. Let’s say that you have reached a point in your life where your stress level is off the charts. The opposite of feeling stressed is relaxed. A few core values that you could be longing for are: tranquility, inner-peace, relaxation.
After you have identified your core value, begin to examine what action you need to take to live in alignment with it. In this case, in could be as simplistic as making a commitment to a daily yoga practice, meditating or exercising to reduce stress. On the other hand, it could mean making some major changes in your life to obtain a more relaxed state such as; looking for a new job, moving to an area with a slower pace, or ridding yourself of toxic relationships. If these two methods don’t resonate with you, think of the people in your life that you admire. They can be famous, family members or acquaintances. What are some of the values that they have incorporated into their lives? Are these values ones that you can begin to model?
To illustrate this method, think of Mother Teresa and the values she displayed throughout her life. Most likely, you have thought of values such as; kindness, empathy, humility, and unconditional love. Now, how can you integrate these values into your life? Some of the actions steps you could engage in are: volunteering at a food bank, loving family members without strings attached, and listening to others from a place of non- judgment.
By honoring your core values you can reconnect you with your authentic self and live a life filled with purpose and passion. Step onto your path of personal fulfillment by identifying
your core values.