Every once in awhile I decide to take a look at what I value. My technique, used over the years, is to start with a set of blank 3 x 5 cards and a pen. I like, one per card, people or experiences that are important to me, or values that are important to me. “Creativity”, “Being a good father”, “Being a good husband,” etc. Anything I can think of that I value is on a card. “Travel”, “Financial well-being,”...You get the idea.
After I have filled a lot of cards I come back each day and sort the cards. I force myself to prioritize these based on what’s important to me. To make this valuable to me I have to screen out everyone else’s wishes for me. I have to ignore “You Should love xyz.” “You should care about xyz” etc. This is a private set of cards based on what you, as the beautiful person you are, would like, for yourself. (Since you’re probably not an axe murderer your list is completely valid and appropriate.)
You have to be selfish with this list. You have to be honest. It can be difficult. I often ask myself if this is my wish for myself or someone else's wish for me. It is hard to choose one great value or goal over another. But that’s the assignment. “If I could have this or this which would I choose?”
After you sort the list daily for a week you’ll discover that the same cards keep coming to the top. This is what you value.
If you find that your life is not being lived in a way that you are living these values, it is time to begin making changes.
I find that for me, I am only truly happy, when my life aligns with my list of values. If I find myself depressed or dissatisfied with life and I do the values cards, I can discover what’s out of alignment.
Now, I’d like to jump to a related subject. Our (human) destruction of the natural world
As a parent, and now grandparent. My cards include having a relationship with my children and grandchildren. Also, I want them a planet, as full of possibilities as the one I grew up in. I want them to have wonderful, fulfilling,lives.
I could not want for my loved ones:
I know you’ve heard this so many times that you are numb to it by now. We, humans, must start reducing carbon emissions by 7.6% this and every year for the next decade if we want to avoid catastrophic climate chaos and other layers of environmental degradation that will leave our children, grandchildren and all future generations with a far poorer world to live in.
We each must muster our energy to find ways to influence our governments, around the world, to legislate for a carbon free fuel planet by 2050. This is going to be a heavy lift. And we have to do it for the people we care most about.