One of my favourite coffee table books is ‘Seven: How many days of the week can be extraordinary?’ It’s full of wisdom and short bursts of inspiration, as well as some writing exercises like the one I’m sharing today.
Here it is. An activity based on finding your ‘True North’, which essentially is about checking in with yourself to see if your life at present is allowing you to be true to your values.
Values are so important – they’re the foundations of what we need for a happy life.
And we’re all different. We’re unique. What makes you tick, might make someone else miserable. You have to find your own North.
Happily for me, it was quite a positive check-in for me. Since setting up my own business, my need for uncertainty and adventure, need to challenge myself and need to help others have all been met much more readily than they even were as an employee.
I wrote a while ago about feeling ‘found’ after a lifetime of ‘lost.’ I realise that what I found was a day to day life that allows me to align with my values. I found a direction to walk in which suited my character.
That doesn’t mean that my path is now set though. Life happens and things change continuously. It’s not a one-time deal.
If I’d have done this even a month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tick the healthy/energy box. There were things that I was and wasn’t doing at the time, that weren’t meeting this value, resulting in a bit of a slump both physically and mentally. Seeing this, I thankfully managed to motivate myself into taking action, resulting in me feeling much healthier, happier and energetic.
I think the key here is to really know what your values are.
What are the core aspects of your character that drive you? Do you prioritise a need to make money? Or are you intent on transforming the lives of others? Are you focused on honesty and truth? Or are you fixated on loyalty? Do you have to be in control? Or are you driven by adventure?
When I’m unsure of which values I hold in the highest regard, I think back to Tony Robbin’s 6 life needs: Growth, Love and Connection, Uncertainty (Variety), Certainty, Significance and Contribution. And I run through values that are linked to these needs, honestly deciding what the real me cares about the most. As much as I’d like to think that love and connection were most important in my life, I know that deep down, it’s more important to my ego to feel that I’m significant as I help someone else.
Once you’ve checked your compass, you can begin to consider small or big changes that will take you in the right direction. As I said though, this isn’t a one-time thing. If you were lost in the forest, you wouldn’t just check once and hope for the best. You’d keep looking again and again, making small tweaks along the journey, ensuring that you ended up where you wanted to be.
Have you checked your values compass lately? Are you heading in the right direction? Did you forget the compass?! Comments welcome: