Do you live your values? An odd question, I know. What I mean is, do you know what’s important to you and are you actively doing something about it?
This whole living in synch with your values thing is a fairly new concept for me. I discovered it two or three years ago. At the time, I had no clue that it was one of the best, if not the best, ways to become a unique person. A true original. A strong, charismatic man that people remember. Cancel your plans for the day. We have got some work to do.
What are your values?
I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen that doesn’t fail you after a half word. Ready?
Now, write down everything you value.
A few personal examples:
- I value quality. I am willing to pay a premium for beautiful, shiny objects like the Macbook Pro I am writing this post on.
- I value simplicity. For me that means as little drama in my social life as possible. It also means less stuff, less noise, less stress, less everything.
- I am a person who thrives in the company of good friends. Being with the people I love is one of my top priorities in life.
- Being in touch with nature is extremely important for me. I especially love being close to the water. It gives me energy and is a perfect offset for the busy city life I experience day in and day out.
Now it’s your turn. What are your values? There is no right or wrong with this exercise. Just write down what is valuable to you.
If you have a hard time coming up with ideas, just think about what upsets you. The things that drive you crazy are usually the opposite of your values.
The reason we collect and write down these things is because many people don’t even know what is important to them. It’s impossible to act on the things that you aren’t even aware of.
Turning your values into action steps
Now that you have done some soul searching it’s time to formulate action steps based on your values.
A friend of mine did this exact exercise a while ago.
He wrote down that he cares deeply about quality and solid craftsmanship. So over the course of several months he exchanged his cheap H&M and Zara stuff with high-quality clothing that not only looks and feels good, but also has a personal story attached to it. He told me, “In the past I would have just throw on some clothes and not even think about it. But now, every time I put on these special pieces, each with a different story, it makes me feel great. You wouldn’t believe how often people start conversations with me because they are curious about the clothes.”
Perfect example right there.
I’ll give you a few additional examples:
Value: “I am a person who loves being outside.”
Action step: Go hiking, book a fishing trip, invite your friends to go camping,…
Value: “I care about painting, drawing, beauty and art in general.”
Action step: Attend a painting workshop, buy a book that teaches you drawing, get a watercolor set and experiment,…
I realize this exercise requires some creativity, but I have full faith in you. If you really can’t seem to come up with action steps, then just share your values in the comments and I’ll help you out.
The effects of the exercise
As of now, you probably see behind the curtain of this exercise. It makes you get clear about what’s important in your life. This knowledge allows you to have deeper conversations and not run out of words so easily.
The second part of the exercise is the creation of action steps based on these values. If you follow through with the action steps it will automatically lead to a happier, more active, and more interesting life full of purpose. A major source of content!
And the hidden part of the exercise is that once you live a few of your values, it will open up your eyes to all the pointless things we do all day that are not in line with our values. It forces you to become better at saying “no”, which is key to productivity.
Getting clear about your values and expressing them is the secret sauce that will turn you into a true original. Too many men never think about stuff like that and unsurprisingly remain boring guys no one ever remembers. Be different!
Do your friends a favor by sending them this exercise. Everyone can profit from it, not just guys.