Autonomy, knowledge, mastery, helpfulness, and adventure.
These are the values I decided mean the most to me right now.
Values are a direction. Much like heading west. You are never going to be west. West is not the destination.
Until this, as Oprah would call it, ‘ah ha’ moment, I used goals to direct my career and much of my life.
I wanted a vocation that would conform to my ‘perfect job’ checklist.
A job must:
- make a positive difference in the world
- align with my strengths
- maintain constant learning
- be financially rewarding
In life, I have the ever-growing bucket-list.
I want to:
- run a marathon
- go heli-skiing
- build a successful business
- make a beer worth showing off
- speak fluent Spanish
But living for goals or specific criteria can lead to feeling unfulfilled.
Goals produce anxiety because it is not always possible to keep the promises you made with yourself.
It will often feel like a lack of ability or determination is the reason why a goal is not met.
Or, a more self-forgiving personality, will blame outside forces.
These forces* cannot be controlled. Blaming people or situations for not being able to meet your goals leads to a feeling of helplessness.
And if goals are met, now what? New goals!
Living for goals is a constant pursuit of what you do not have.
Since there is always more to be had, there will always be a feeling of lack.
Living for goals does not allow you to in life and enjoy the present moment.
Unlike goals, values can never be achieved. Values are constantly pursued.
You live values. Every moment is an opportunity to act in accordance with your values. The values direct your behavior.
The process becomes the outcome by which the outcome becomes the process.
As I write these words, I am pursuing self-knowledge and working on mastering my ability to communicate my thoughts.
Living with values is living with intention. Your intention leads to consequences. Determine your values and I believe positive consequences will come.
“The why beneath the why is the intention behind the consequence.” ~Garry Zukav
*the economy, parents, boss, etc.