When we get in our own way, it’s hard to do a post-mortem on what exactly went wrong, and it’s even tougher to look at what we did or did not do to contribute to it. Whether our relationship failed, whether we are lazy in pursuing our professional passions, or whether we haven’t learned to bring more friendship into our lives, it’s easy to blame the outside world and hard to take responsibility for making those changes that we need to take in pursuit of our own happiness and satisfaction. A lot of times, we just simply don’t know what we want. Or, were too scared to go get what we want. There is distance between us and expressing our values.
Wavering on our values is a big part of where we get in our own way. It’s hard to make the changes that we really want to see for our lives — the way we envision ourselves in the future — when we compromise those things that are at the core of our being — our values.
Getting in touch with what we truly value is really tough for many men. For a lot of guys, life just kind of “takes over”, and we let life live us instead of us living our own lives. We live from the outside, not the inside, and when that happens, we set ourselves up for a whole world of pain and problems. But, when we are living in accordance with those values, life just kind of “lines up”. We live from the inside, not the outside anymore. We create a certain flow to our lives that feels easier and cleaner, just by identifying, activating and lining up with our key values.
Some guys value learning to be a better father. For some, it’s learning to communicate their needs and feelings more clearly, and to not react so defensively or angrily with their partner. For others, living one’s values means developing hobbies and interests outside of our work, or to simply live in a more organized and efficient way. Whenever the value is, the degree to which that created life is lived in a clean, easy and organic way is reflected by the degree to which we are lined up with those values we prize.
Are you living those values that are closest to your heart? If not, the deeper question is, what roadblocks and barriers are challenges to you living those values? Are they external barriers, or internal, or both? Just starting the process of identification of both the values that you hold, and the challenges to lining up with them, is the beginning of living those values. It’s the start of making the changes that will bring you the happiness that you seek for your life.
Comments welcome. I’m interested to know how you live – or don’t – your own personal values.