What really matters to you?
How do you create consistency in your motivation? consistency in your performance? consistency in your relationships? and consistency in your self development?
20 years ago, I decided to become an airline pilot. I found out that I could study a degree in Science and Aviation and be on my way to fly Jumbo Jets around the globe. Brilliant! As you could imagine, for a 23 year old that was pretty exciting stuff!
I had a problem though: I never completed year 12 (and that's another story, watch this space...).
But I found a way around that. I managed to get into Uni through an adult entry stream. I learnt all about balancing the aircraft, understanding weather patterns, and aircraft engines, and I started flying single engine Pipers out of Parafield Airport in Adelaide. I remember the thrill and freedom of being up in the air... It was exciting!
But then the novelty wore off, and my motivation dipped. I remember hating the drive to the airport, as if I was being made to do it - the motivation was no longer intrinsic, it was extrinsic. Who was I doing this for? I needed to look inwards and find purpose, to find meaning. But I came out empty handed. NB: having an engine failure on my first solo flight didn't help either ... but I didn't die!
So what was I to do? I needed to clarify what's truly important to me, my values. Values are like your inner compass, they guide you during happy times as well as tough times... they're your steering wheel or your handle bars. Values aren't about your goals, the outputs. But they will help you get there. Values give you the clarity of vision, they give your internal engine the fuel to drive you and to follow through, and they provide you the consistency through and through.
What did I value the most? I came to the realisation that what I valued the most was truth, and being connected to others, nature and the Universe. I valued helping others thrive through their adversity to unlock their endless human potential - to find their own way of unleashing this dormant potential. But I had to learn it myself before I could help others. You see I was born in a civil war and left all my friends behind when my family escaped to Australia in the 80s. And so after a lot of soul searching, and making meaning from my own adversities, I learnt how to see adversities as opportunities, seeing the silver lining, the glass half full. I studied the concepts of Post Traumatic Growth and resilience. I toned down my narcissistic egocentricity, and had my spiritual awakening/s.
So what do you value the most? how do you want to act and live? what will you align with in service of humanity, your friends, your loved one?
Take a look at the list of values below and pick your top 7 through the lens of how you want to live, your ideal self.
Once you've done that (you might want to take your time, and you can always revisit your choices, that's the point), write down 3 signature behaviours that you would be proud to see yourself doing. Print these out, and put them somewhere obvious for you to see every day. Now that's powerful....
Please share your insights and learnings for the benefits of others...
List of universal values:
Being ambitious and hard-working
Being at one with God or the Universe
Being competent and effective
Being curious, discovering new things
Being loyal to my friends, family or my group
Being physically fit
Being safe from danger
Being self-disciplined and resisting temptation
Building and repairing things
Connecting with Nature
Creating beauty (e.g. art, dancing, gardening…)
Eating healthy food
Engaging in clearly defined work
Engaging in sporting activities
Enjoying food and drink
Experiencing positive mood states
Feeling good about myself
Figuring things out, solving problems
Gaining wisdom and a mature understanding of life
Having a life filled with adventure
Having a life filled with novelty and change
Having a relationship involving love and affection
Having a sense of accomplishment and making a lasting contribution
Having an enjoyable and leisurely life
Having an exciting life
Having authority / being in charge
Having genuine and close friends
Having influence over people
Leading a stress-free life
Maintaining the safety and security of my loved ones
Making sure to repay favours and not be indebted to people
Meeting my obligations
Promoting justice and caring for the weak
Showing respect for tradition
Showing respect to people in authority
Striving to be a better person