Value Your Values to Find More Time

Message Stones

What are your values?

How well do you know yourself?

Does the way you use your time reflect your values?

Deepak Chopra has written, “Without values, there is confusion and chaos.”

So you are actually adding  significantly to your stress when you lose touch with your values.  But what are they – your values, I mean?

Your personal value system is comprised of both your internal and your external values. These values influence how you see the world and how you use your time and energy.

Your external values involve areas of your life that are of utmost importance to you, such as your work, your family and your health.

Where Do Your Values Come From?

When you were younger, you absorbed the values of your parents. However, as you develop your own
vantage point, you tend to redefine these values and their importance to you. For example, as you age, the significance you place upon your health and spirituality might increase, while the emphasis you place on your work might diminish.

What About Internal Values?

Just as external values provide a frame for what you do, your internal values provide a context for how you do it. These values are process-oriented. They embody a way of being.

You might value, for example, integrity, responsibility and/or authenticity as a context or frame for how you live. The direct and indirect teaching of your parents helps shape your internal values, as well.

Now, let’s focus on your external values for a moment. These consist of a cluster of activities that comprise the whole. The following exercise will help you explore and clarify what these are for you.

Values Exercise:

* First, write down 3-5 of your most important external values.

* Next, prioritize them with “#1” being most important.

* Then, list 5 of the most significant activities for each value.

Now, let’s expand on this a bit more …

Tip:  Your evolving values lead you to your most fulfilling time choices.

Action Step: Tune into your current bliss with a 15-minute “Ideal Day Exercise”:

* Spend five minutes envisioning your perfect day.

* Spend five minutes selecting one element you can successfully add today.

* Spend five minutes enjoying your pleasurable activity. Repeat daily!

Exploration: A wonderful way to relax and decompress is to visualize your perfect day. This will usually speak to an external value and include images of what you find most gratifying about it. Engage all your senses as you step into your Ideal Day!

Building on this exercise daily will enrich your life by revealing options you never considered before. You can even extend your vision from day to day, creating a vivid set of associations to draw upon at any time.

I’d love to hear how this works for you — add a comment and let us all know!

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