Knowing Myself: Part 2 – Values

What are your values? Has anyone ever asked you this, or have you ever asked this question of yourself? I certainly haven’t until recently and if someone had of asked me, I wouldn’t have been able to answer them. But it seems like such an important thing to know of yourself. What do you value in life? A lot of the books and articles I have been reading over the last 6 months mention that you should align your life with your values, as this will lead to a much more fulfilling life. So I set about finding out exactly what my values are.

Finding out my values was a much more difficult task, as it takes a lot more introspection, self-reflection and being totally honest with yourself. The process I followed was to think about and write down times in my work, my hobbies or just general day to day life when I was truly enjoying what I was doing and proud of what I achieved. I also thought about what I prioritized most in my life, and not what I say I was prioritizing, but what I was prioritizing with my actions. It’s also important to realise that your values can and probably will change over time. What I valued 10 years ago, would be slightly different to what I value now.

So here’s what I’ve come up with so far, in no particular order.

  1. Adventure – I love adventure and it’s what brings me a lot of enjoyment. The majority of my hobbies revolve around getting out into the outdoors, exploring and seeing new places. I recently went to Fiji to relax with the family and get a bit of scuba diving in. In a couple of weeks I’ll be rafting down the Snowy River. I just love doing stuff like that. I’m not a very experienced diver and I haven’t rafted or kayaked in years, but I don’t care, I just like getting out there and doing cool stuff.
  2. Family – With a wife and an 11 month old daughter my priorities have definitely shifted more towards spending time with family. I’m lucky that my job enables me to work part-time so I can spend that time looking after my daughter one day per week. Working part-time has been a great decision as I’ve been able to be bigger part of my daughters life as she grows and develops. In 5 years time I won’t look back and regret not working more.
  3. Health – I spend a fair amount of time reading and thinking about my health, (and the health of others). Whilst I’m certainly not the healthiest person, it doesn’t mean I don’t value my health. I’m actually thinking about re-visiting a plant based diet / lifestyle, (more on this in another blog), primarily for health reasons.
  4. Fitness – Much like health, I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about fitness aspects of my life. For me, fitness goes hand in hand with the adventure value. I enjoy mountain biking, cycling and trail running because of the adventure it gives me, but to enjoy those activities and the adventure they bring, I need to be fit. I also enjoy being physically pushed and challenged.
  5. Personal Growth – The last 12 months I’ve really been spending time investing in myself. This blog is a big part of that. I think personal growth is probably a value that a lot of people have, as I don’t think you ever stop learning.
  6. Openness – I’ve always been very open to trying new things and seeing new places, but I didn’t think of this as a value until very recently. Being open is a big part of who I am. Along with adventure, it has driven me to want to travel to new places, try new foods and be open to new experiences. Without openness, I don’t think I’d be the person I am today.

In part 3 I’ll look at figuring out my passions, where to next and what is it all for.