One of the questions coaches ask when working with clients is, “What do you value?” If I asked you that, could you list your top ten values? Often I find that when people list things out, they’ll say, “This is what I value—this is it!” and it makes complete sense at the time.
But it’s only a piece of paper. Oftentimes they’re not living in direct correlation to that.
“Well, why is that?” you might ask.
Wyatt Woodsmall says that if you ask someone specifically what they value, they’re going to tell you what they think their heart should feel. So values really come from the heart. But when I ask a question, it intellectually comes from the mind.
So how do you calibrate your heart with your mind and align your values?
Here is an exercise you can do and I often do with my clients: First, I ask them to list out all the places in the last thirty days they’ve spent their time. Then, I ask them to list all the places in the last thirty days they’ve invested and spent money. And lastly, I ask them to list all the places in the last thirty days that they’ve invested their energy.
So, time, money, and energy. These are the three resources that we have available at any given time within specific limitation.
Money can be remade, but time and energy cannot. So that leaves time and energy. Specifically, once you’ve spent them, they’re gone. They are limited resources.
After you complete this exercise, take another look at your lists and ask yourself, “Are my top ten values aligned with all the places where I’ve invested my time, energy and money?”
What I often find is that, for most people, these two lists don’t correlate at all. There might be a few that are the same, but usually three or four items are way off. And quite frankly it’s in these areas where stress exists. When we live a life where we’re investing our time, money, and energy in places that aren’t specially aligned with our values, it creates an internal struggle.
So I encourage you to use this exercise today and become more conscious of what really is important to you. You’ll be glad you did and feel less stress when you are living a life more aligned with your values.