If somebody a few years ago would have said to me… “Luke, what are your life values?” my reply would have been “huh?”
I had no idea what “life values” were let alone what my life values were. But, then in 2017 when I picked up the book ‘Awaken The Giant Within’ by Tony Robbins, all of that changed and everything started to make sense.
This book, by Tony, isn’t just about life values, it’s about taking control of your emotional, mental, physical and financial destiny and your life values along with beliefs, rules, references and identify go an awful long way to making that happen.
I don’t expect you to know what any of those mean – probably aside from beliefs. But, then again you may think I mean religious beliefs or something like that and I don’t. I do, however, encourage you to explore all of them.
This article though is dedicated to life values – what they are, and why I believe people don’t live by theirs. They often fall into the same (or similar) trap.
As stated, in Tony’s book life values are your personal compass throughout life. They help you to make decisions, choices and navigate you through the difficulties of life.
Life values are simply the things you value in life. They are what you believe to be important to how you live your life. And, they can change. They probably will change as you grow older because different things will mean something different as you grow older. But, also as you grow as a person.
The challenge for most people is that they don’t really know what they value in life. From a young age, we don’t get taught “life values” or much to do with personal growth, to be honest. I can’t ever remember a teacher saying to me “Luke, what do you value in life?”.
Now, my thoughts and opinion on the education system is a completely different story for another day. Yet, just imagine if we started to see this being taught in our schools – it would be lifechanging and I truly believe the mental health crises that we seem to be facing would go down. However, as I said, another story for another day.
Because from a young age we don’t get taught “life values” or much to do with personal growth we grow up not really knowing what we value in life. Or, we may have an idea but is that what we truly value or is that what our parent’s value and it gets pushed down onto us?
One of the first steps to explore your life values to is sit down in a quiet space, maybe put your headphones on and listen to some calming music (works for me) and really start to think about the things that you value in life. Not what your parents value or what your best friend values but what you value.
And, then when we identify our life values, we have to be courageous enough to make the necessary changes in our lives to see the rewards and start living in alignment with our life values.
I don’t know about you but throughout my teens, and into adulthood no one advise me to do this.
So all of that is where part of the problem lies. Most people don’t know their life values because they haven’t spent the time to think about what they might be, identify them and get into the habit of checking in every so often to see if they’ve changed.
Now, why might this be…?
I have an idea of why… and that idea is because people – yeah you and me get caught up in life so much. We live in an ever-busy world where people are just “busy” for the sake of being “busy” and don’t spend the time to just be and connect with there inner selves. They don’t connect with who they are as a human being, they don’t reflect (or if they do it’s rushed) and just jump from one thing to another.
This is also why people are unhappy, miserable and frustrated. Think about it… let’s just say one of my life values is “purpose” and all the time I’m “busy” doing things that don’t serve that purpose. When this happens, we have a problem here…
I’m not living in alignment with my life values. And, as I mentioned before when that happens, day in day out, people become unhappy, miserable and frustrated – they feel like their life is sh*t (for one of a better word). When in reality, they just aren’t living in alignment with their life values and with just a little bit more awareness they can change their situation.
In these situations, people can also feel some kind of disconnect – I know I did. Like, something isn’t right but they can’t quite put their figure on it. So, this with the frustration they are feeling, can often be taken out on the people they love or can resort them to using short-term pleasures like alcohol, smoking or even drugs as a way to feel better.
Even their actions, in general, could be a little off and it’s understandable – they aren’t living in alignment with their life values. It’s not very nice for people on the receiving end of it, especially as loved ones.
As loved ones, I believe we have to help that person see for themselves there is a disconnect and support them through the process of finding the solution.
And, the solution I love to suggest is thought-provoking questions. God, I love these…
Through thought-provoking questions, you’re helping others to realise solutions for themselves and not just giving them the solution. What’s the point in that?
For long-term growth and for people to be self-sustainable they have to be the ones to come up with the solutions to their challenges. Not, have everything handed to them on a silver-plater. This doesn’t mean you can’t support people through the process, it just means not always giving them the answers – and when it comes to life values you don’t have the solution anyway. It’s up to them to work out for themselves what they value. We can’t do that for them.
As it was once said to me in one of my podcast episodes, if we try and help and save someone from their experience, we might take away the experience that they need to learn the lesson.
And, if there lies the #1 challenge with the personal growth, personal development and self-improvement industry – we try and save people from their experiences too much (again maybe another story for another day).
So, based on the fact of understanding this, we can use all of this to support people through the process of realising that there is a disconnect and start to identify what their life values are.
With thought-provoking questions, there isn’t a secret formula or magic question. Well, if there is I haven’t come across it yet… No, all a thought-provoking question is, is a question that challenges others to think about things that they haven’t thought about before.
I like to think of them of questions that raise people’s awareness of what’s going on around them, their own actions and if I am honest life in general. I have found that questions starting with “why” are pretty effective or “how” questions that focus on people’s emotions and feelings like… “how did that make you feel?” are also pretty good.
The great thing about thought-provoking questions is that we can also use them for ourselves. And, this is where the magic happens. It can take time and is part of our personal growth journey but the ability to notice that there is a disconnect within ourselves and to question ourselves to a different way of thinking is, in my opinion, the sweet spot.
It’s the sweet spot not just in terms of life values but in terms of everything we face in life, from all the ups and downs to all the challenges and obstacles – everything.
Bringing it back around to life values, and as you can imagine most people don’t do this. And, they don’t do it because of the point I stressed earlier… they are so “busy” getting caught up in day-to-day life.
They also don’t know what they don’t know – right? If people don’t even know that life values are even a ‘thing’ then why would they take the time to identify what theirs are – they just let life happen to them.
So, it comes back to education and awareness. And, that is what I intended to provide in this article. The education and awareness of what life values are and why people, on the whole, don’t live by theirs. Sure, it goes deeper, when I first picked up ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ I had to read each page more than once to fully grasp it.
That’s why as before, I encourage you to explore this further. It’s lifechanging.
The key here is to understand that your life values are your personal compass through life. And, if you don’t want to get swept up in the daily hustle and bustle of life or in somebody else’s life plan then you better identify what’s important to you in life and pursue it with all your mite.