My always-evolving set of values
Having completed the Core Value Exercise, I realised how much my values have changed over the past year. From family, friends and work they evolved to happiness, gratitude and harmony. Those concepts are embedded in my previous set of values but they also go much deeper into every element of my life. Here is how I define my values and a few tips on how you can achieve them too.
My top value (also used as the tag line for my blog) is happiness. To be happy for me means not (only) to have a smile on your face but also to smile from the inside out. Happiness is a state of mind when everything feels amazingly right. I often experience this feeling when I’m with Marc. But it is accompanied by periods of downs - the counterparts of the high.
HOW TO BE HAPPY? You can learn to be happy if you start listening to your gut. You feel happiness in your bones, running through your entire body, but unless you pay attention to the signals of your body, you will have a hard time finding true happiness. I am not an expert but this is what works for me.
A value I am slowly acquiring, mostly thanks to yoga, is gratitude. I am learning to be grateful for everything I have and lived through in my life. It is a long and demanding journey, but it is absolutely necessary for me at the moment. I am trying to appreciate everything that has happened to me, from living with an alcoholic to painful arguments with my beloved ones. All of those experiences have shaped who I am today, and that is something to be grateful for.
HOW TO BE GRATEFUL? Practicing gratitude is a lengthy process. You can start with writing 1-3 things daily which you are thankful for. It can be anything from a delicious breakfast to a nice chat with your friend. It can also be work-related successes, but I prefer personal achievements.
Another way to practice gratitude is by saying thanks. Look people in the eyes and say thank you. It can do more than a thousand words. And also, stop comparing yourself to others. Your life is in a way it is for a reason, and so is theirs. We all walk our unique path which we should be proud of.
My core values are embedded in everything I do. And that shows who I really am. Grateful, happy and living in harmony.
I was long deciding whether to put balance or harmony as my third top value. I have had many talks on the subject of work-life balance as well as what it means the word harmony. I got an explanation that it is the connection to nature, similar to grounding. But for me, it is the feeling of ease I experience when things are just right. When I am not feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed or tired, that is when I experience harmony. And that is the state I am thriving towards.
I see balance as a scale, but that means both elements are equal. For me, life is about more elements than two and those can never be equal. Sometimes I need more work, other times I need to rest. Then friends, family, personal projects, it varies and the mix that works for me is constantly changing. Therefore, there is never an equal amount of only two components.
HOW TO LIVE IN HARMONY? Listen to your body and start recognising when it tells you it has enough. And change something. If you need to rest, take a holiday if you need to see results, set a deadline. You don’t have to do this alone, there are coaches, mentors and friends to help you, but the initial realisation starts with you.
Completing my core values was an easy and straight-froward exercise, which helped me realise that I haven’t thought about my merits since I moved back home (which has been a year now). At the beginning, I wanted to focus on family, friends and work. But now? I found out that my direct family does not have a complete understanding of who I am. My friends think differently to me. And my work means much more to me - a life mission, a passion which shapes who I am.
My three core values are reflected in all elements of my life, and they go very deep. It is not just in my relationships, my values are embedded in everything I do. And that shows who I really am. Grateful, happy and living in harmony.