My sister just endured a time share presentation in Hawaii, where she said the fellow was selling “value,” not a particular commodity. Since my sister prefers backpacking over resorts (in fact, she never flopped on the beach for one day during a two week vacation in Hawaii- can you believe it? Hiked the whole time) she didn’t quite see the value in owning a week of hotel time on Waikiki Beach.
We all value different things. And underneath those visible choices are personal preferences, priorities, and beliefs. And as I’ve aged what I value has changed. I’ve changed after years of reflective practice, once in a time of crisis, and sometimes in a spontaneous and unexplainable way.
Can you relate to that? The familiar is now seen in a completely new way. Your values are shuffled like a deck of cards and a value that has been on the bottom of the deck for many years may now turn out to be the top card and become the guiding principle of your life from that moment forward. It might feel like a buried or forgotten element of yourself is retrieved and needs to be integrated into your current life. And now, instead of living life in reaction to what shows up in your day, you are intentional in your actions based on what you know you value. That’s called integrity.
Here is a simple way to think about what you value and how to integrate values and actions. The attachment below is a list of value “cards.” Print the page and cut out the 20 cards. Then spread them out on a table and put them in some kind of order. Follow your gut- don’t spend too much time debating. They are all good, but what you want to know is which ones resonate with you at this point in your life. Now take the top three cards and pick the one that feels the most inviting. On a piece of paper write that value, and then your definition. Now describe what that value looks like in the world. How does it show up? What impact does it have? Where are you likely to see it? Next, think about that value in terms of your real life (that is, not your intentions, but your daily walk). Where do you see this value displayed (per your earlier definition) in your life? Where would you like to see it? What people/environment/things will help that integration? What people/environments/things will hinder? What is the next step toward meaningful integration of your value and your actions?
If you want to share your process, we’d love to hear about it.