Priorities: Matching Reality to Your Values
integrity value-driven living warrior spirit
Your Heart is Where you Spend Your Time
There is another saying about working smart, not hard, to apply your effort where it matters (see the 80/20 Principle).
Here in Boulder, I've found that it is very easy to get lost in the daily grind, to keep my head down and just try to get by, only to find that I'm not living the life I came here to live in the first place. It's not that I forget my values, but simply that I don't make them a priority.
The things that I value most aren't getting the attention they deserve, based on how much they mean to me. This is a recipe for self-dissatisfaction.
- I want to write, yet I rarely write more than a couple blog posts a week anymore.
- I want to train movement, parkour, and self-defense, yet I'm lucky to get three hours a week.
- Spending time in nature is one reason I moved in Boulder, but I don't make time to go on hikes.
- There is time in the mornings to meditate, but I never actually take advantage of it.
I hold these things close to my heart -- writing, movement training, nature, spirituality -- yet as they say in economics, the true test of what matters to people is where they spend their money and their time. So either I have to admit that these things are not as important to me as handling the day-to-day, or I need to rearrange my days to incorporate more of them.
There are some things that I value which get lots of attention.
- Spending time with A during the day and sharing dinner in the evening.
- Contributing to the coworking space I'm a part of.
- Being a part of the local food scene in Boulder.
These are things I want to be doing, rather than things that need to get done. I get a lot of satisfaction from including them in my life, and based on that, I really do think it is extremely important to try to make our lives align with our values. It may take a lot of work, but it seems the simplest way to be happy.
It All Comes Down to Integrity
How do we do that?
- First, you have to have awareness of what matters to you. This can take a lot of soul-searching, or it can simply be a matter of being attentive to the things that evoke emotions in you.
- Second, you have to practice intentional living. Be the one making the decisions in your life. Put in the work to make sure your life is built the way you want it.
- These two together lead to integrity of being, where your outer life is an expression of your inner values. Maintaining integrity is the great balancing act, though, and it provides constant feedback to adjust your intentions and to check your awareness.
As you can see, I'm developing these concepts into a more cohesive system in preparation for what I hope will be a new book, expanding on all the ideas that have been developed on this blog about living the Warrior Spirit. Stay tuned by following me on Twitter or signing up for e-mail notifications on the blog.
Photo credit: Banalities on Flickr