If I were to ask you what it is you want most likely you’d have a list at the ready. Everything from the new iPhone to world peace. And that’s fine. Goodness knows that I have a list of my own and, like most, mine seems to get longer with time, not shorter. However, a slight but profound shift happens when I ask you,”what are you for in life?” Suddenly it stops being about material goods or pie-in-the-sky wishing. The question digs a little deeper into who you are and what you stand for.
It is easy to get caught up in the everyday busy-ness of life and with our brains pre-wired for problem finding (the Negativity Bias) it isn’t long before all we feel is lack and fatigue. We tire easily feeling like we have to play catch up all the time. It begins to feel like a game we cannot win.
But in those moments of quiet…those rare moments when that craziness seems to shed and all you can think about is the smell of your tea, the little text you recently got from a loved one that said “I’m thinking about you” even though it read “Goodnight.” In those moments you are touched by the gifts of the world and of the people around you. Now when I ask “what are you for” you’re likely to answer value-based ideas like:
The beauty of recognizing these inner-most values is that we realize all of them take two things
1) practice within ourselves and
2) observation outside of ourselves.
Our personal values, the elements of our character, quickly get lost in the workaday world. Not that we immediately turn into a rotten person just because we get busy but our Negativity Bias makes us feel stripped of power over time and we forget that every trial is an opportunity to practice our values. Patience isn’t imbued it’s developed. It is developed by being tested. The same is true of every value on your “for” list. There’s a gift that happens when you begin to turn your attention to life’s struggles as opportunities to practice your values. Feeling lonely? That’s an opportunity to practice your “friendship” value – reach out to someone!
Feeling misled by someone’s presentation of themselves? That’s an opportunity to practice authenticity – tell them! (Nicely of course)
Feeling left out of the loop? That’s an opportunity to practice communication – ask questions!
Now, instead of viewing the absent friends, the seemingly disingenuous person, or the quiet team as people who pull at your energy and wear you out because they’re not giving you what you want you see them as an opportunity to practice your own values and develop yourself the way you genuinely want to. AND every time you do that you begin to feel yourself making progress…on the things that matter most to you. It shifts the whole experience from draining to empowering.
What is possible for you to create when you feel conditioned and empowered by your perceived battles?
This change from a negative viewpoint to a positive one means that you begin to see your values expressed in others. This seems counter-intuitive at first because most people are experience such frustration in lives because they perceive a lack of their values in others. Over time, however, you begin to see what has always been there but you were blinded to because you were quagmired in your own negative story. It doesn’t take long – however you and you see a different side to the story. Remember feeling lonely? Tthose people who weren’t reaching out to you, were giving you space or were, themselves practicing a level of authenticity in respecting their own values for that snapshot in time.
Those people who seemed to be misleading you, were new at the job and trying to figure out how to marry their values with their training to be a good _____(fill in profession) OR they’d been doing it one way for so long they’ve forgotten their own values and really believe the spiel they deliver. Those people who left you hanging thought that everyone was on the same page or didn’t know how to deliver the message in a way you could understand it so they trusted you to clarify and ask.
This second level shift in perspective allows you to gain confidence in your own efforts to grow and heal and advocate for yourself. Are there going to be people who push back against this new-found strength and resolve? Sure. But then those people don’t reflect your values anyway so you can let them go and find a situation that does support them. Especially now that you’re confident and secure in who you are.
You can do this on your own and discover these elements over time. You could also give yourself a boost in the right direction with the exercises and tools in the F.A.I.L. to Win (For All Is Love) book. You can pre-purchase it through here through the crowd funding campaign I’ve set up. In addition to the book you get perks that are only available through the campaign like seeing your name in print, free membership for 60 days even workshops! Reserve your copy now to get yourself into the practice of living your most inherent values and shifting your daily perspective toward growth and empowerment. It’s time to feel like you’re swimming with the current and not against. (http://igg.me/at/failtowin/x/6071030)
What are you for? How do you practice that value?