Sunday, May 30, 2021

Living life guide by values rather simply by strict or rigid rules

Are you living a life more guided by values, or rigid rules and goals?

And why is that question important?

Let’s use a particular common “value” that folks may have... Security and Stability.

If one has strong “values” around stability and security, one may have developed certain internal rigid rules, goals, and expectations around that “value” e.g. I must make $x every year. I must be my own boss. I must own my own house. I must settle down by the age 30 and have kids.

Rules and goals are much more detailed, “higher resolution”, and more rigid than values. The good thing about rules is that it gives more specificity and clarity. The trouble is, it’s also much easier to “miss the target”, and subsequently brings on much stress and unhappiness when our rules are not achieved. The benefit around “value focused” is that it is “bigger picture”, and that one can fail in a rule AND still be able to fulfill the value from which that rule originates.

If one’s internal framework is based on the set of rigid set of rules and goals, then it’s hard to fulfill those exactly. We may set ourselves up for failures and disappointments when those rules and goals are not achieved.

If one’s internal framework is more based on “values”, then it’s easier to fulfill those values even when the exact rules and goals are not fulfilled. As long as what we do are in line with our values, then we are still in inner harmony, and we are still calm.

The irony is, if we focus on value based actions, in this example around stability and security, we may get to our goals and fulfill our “rules” sooner with more joy, less fear and disappointments.

Of course, there are other values to live by too. Adventure, fun, growth and learning, beauty, honesty, authenticity, integrity, loyalty, duty, excellence, competency, family, connection, compassion to name a few.

In other words, life is value based processes and journey, rather than just simply rules, goals and destination.

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