Thursday, June 04, 2009
Today is about values. It's important to identify your values because you can "pull" yourself towards what makes you happy and satisfied instead of "pushed" toward what others think is important. When you recognize and understand your values, you will naturally use your time on what you value most.
Many of the time management books I've been going through have some sort of chapter about values. Steve Pavlina has a great list of values on his site. (I chose Steve's list because he included "craftiness" and "creativity", so he must be on the right track.) I would encourage you to read through his list and write down the values that immediately resonate with you. Then place stars next to the top 5 or 10. Which value seems to connect many of the others?
Freedom is my most important value. It is much harder to follow my other values of happiness and love without it. When I graduated from college, those close to me expected me to do what they did. Get a job they didn't really like, work like a slave for 40 years, save up a whole bunch of money, and hopefully retire one day to a lower middle class lifestyle. I was totally disillusioned and unhappy about this, tried it anyways, and failed miserably. I made it exactly a year before quitting my job, and then started working part time at a coffee shop to pay the bills. I make a quarter of what I did before, but I have the thing I value most: Freedom. I can arrange my schedule however I want, and spend the rest of my time doing what I want, like writing this blog post. It's harder and I've had to give up some things, but I'm also exponentially happier. This is also my stepping stone to gaining more freedom.
I'm not saying everyone reading this post should quit their jobs and work at a coffee shop. I am saying it's important to identify your own values; who you really are. What you value most has a prominent place is your time management system. Please leave a comment if you've found this series helpful, and/or if you've identified your values. I love comments and always respond to them!