The other day, I was listening to an audiobook that presented its audience with a challenge:
Stop for a second and really take a look at what your core values are as an individual.
The intent would then be to use that experience to see how 'in alignment' the way you are actually living your life is with how you think your life should be lived.
Depending on your mood, you will more than likely either think "that sounds like a good idea, I'll make sure to do that sometime," or, if you accept the challenge, you'll think for about 10 seconds and come to the conclusion that "hey, I value all kinds of things! this question is a little too vague." I did the latter. Just before I moved on to some other thought, the audiobook's voice came back in and I realized that the author was on to me, because she was acknowledging the difficulty in this request. She then presented a fun little exercise that got things moving.
Instead of trying to pin down a "value," work backwards.
Think about your biggest pet peeve - (see how much easier that task was?) Our pet peeves are examples of times in which other people are basically stepping on our values. Now, it is a whole different blog post (maybe book) to discuss the sad fact that we are pressed to define our values, but can come up with a list of things when I say "fill in the blank: I hate when other people _______," so let's not go down that rabbit hole. Let's focus on the value that is getting stepped on. For example, if you hate when people can't remember your name, then you probably value recognition, or memorability, or being considerate, etc. So, merely looking at the opposite of your pet peeve may not be a quick and obvious answer, but it is one of those exercises that creates a workaround for what could initially be a question induces a blank stare.
Hey! this toddler is heavy, but no, no, please sit comfortably
in that seat and stare off like I am not RIGHT HERE!
For me, the pet peeve that immediately popped into my head was any situation in which I am either in a crowd or walking on a sidewalk/hallway, and have to move in order to not get run over by someone else who is completely oblivious the world around him/her. (Just writing that last sentence raised my blood pressure, btw!) From this, I have worked backwards to find that I highly value things like empathy, thoughtfulness, and awareness. And from this, I have been more honest about calling myself out when I do things that contradict these values. That may be the most important part of this introspection. It is a fun assignment because you can get to some thoughtful stuff pretty quickly; even make a game out of it.
Give it a shot and post in the comments if you found anything interesting!
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