In the last few weeks I’ve discussed how to start off on a new path in 2021. I’ve discussed burning your bridges, taking a stand for yourself and learning to say no to what no longer serves you. The next step to creating your future, the way you want, is for you to define your core values. This is more important than goal setting. Why do I say that?
It is this time of year that people often set new year’s resolutions and get all excited about achieving them. However, what inevitably happens is that most people have given up on them by late February? Why is this? I could site many reasons including lack of a plan to achieve your goal, not creating space in your life for the goal to take root and a lack of focus. However, the most important reason people do not achieve their goals is because they have not defined their core values.
What are core values? These form the basis for whether you will be happy and fulfilled with anything that you pursue in your life. You see, one of the reasons that so many people are unhappy and unfulfilled is because they have not taken the time to discover what is most important to then and this can only be found through knowing your core values.
I was also a victim of not knowing my core values, as my life was, at one time, about fulfilling external agendas instead of following my own heart. I came to learn my core values the hard way through pain and suffering caused by focusing on the wrong things in my life. My core values are freedom, connection and impact. I want to do things that embody my true nature as a free and sovereign being, an example of this is spending time exploring nature in a weekend backpacking trip. I also seek financial freedom to be able to do the things I want to do. I want to feel to feel connected to others through nurturing my close, personal relationships to my wife, children and close friends and expanding my social network. I also want to make an impact in the world through spreading my knowledge by writing books, public speaking, this blog and other means.
Before I was living my life in alignment with my core values, I was miserable. Now, I’m not saying that my life is now perfect but I now know that I am on the right path, as I am living in harmony with my core values. The question then becomes, how does one discover their core values? This is done through journaling. Take an hour or two, when you will not be disturbed and make a list of everything that is important to you in your life. This could include your family, your career, or some of your possessions, which hold a deep personal meaning for you. Next, make a list of everything that you enjoy doing. This could be spending quality time with friends, travelling, a creative pursuit such as art or music, playing sports or any number of things.
The next thing you do is to write down what your ideal day would look like. It does not matter whether you have experienced it but give this some thought and outline it in as much detail as possible. Once you have done these exercises, you then look for themes in the notes you have taken. These themes will help you define what your core values are.
Once you know what your core values are, you can then scrutinize every goal that you have set or plan on setting for yourself and anything that are currently doing in your life and see if they are in harmony with your core values. Anything that is not in harmony must eventually be either released or delegated to someone else. By doing this, you will be on the path to happiness, fulfillment and your highest destiny. I did not say that this was going to be easy and there won’t be challenges, but is what is required if you want to live your life to your fullest.
I encourage you to start now by journalling like I have outlined above. You may surprise yourself as to how out of alignment you truly are and this may be the turning point in your life that you have been seeking.
Dr. Nauman Naeem