Have you ever talked to someone and halfway through the conversation you thought, “Wow, I didn’t know someone thought about this as I do!”?
Or maybe — more likely — you’ve spoken to someone about an issue, and your instant thought to their response is something along the lines of, “Oh, wow, I didn’t realize what a terrible person they are until now.”
Why do you think you have these mental reactions?
I’ll tell you: It’s because you have values.
Everyone has values. Even a lack of values is a value. But what you value may not be what you think.
What do you spend your time on? What do you research?
Who do you watch on TV, YouTube, or social media? Who do you talk to the most?
How do you spend your time when no one is looking and you’re unaccountable to anyone but yourself? How do you react to others when they say something to you that you agree with or don’t agree with?
All of these things say something about you.
What do you truly value?
Maybe you research various skincare routines and how environments affect it (no, just me? Okay, that’s fine). Maybe you spend time reading a book on self-care.
Maybe you watch comedians. Or maybe entrepreneurs. Perhaps you talk to your peers, family, business coaches or counselors.
Maybe you do all of the above.
But what does it say about you?
What do you truly value?
Do you really want to get better? Then you’ll take the steps necessary. You’ll talk to someone. You’ll stop eating sugar, go for a walk every day, avoid eating out. You’ll reach out to people in your network who are doing what you want to do and ask for their advice.
If you really want to succeed in life — if that’s something that you truly value — then you’ll do it.
I’m not here to give you a lesson on how to do that; there are plenty of books out there that can help you. (I will mention some below though that I’ve read if you’re interested.)
I’m not here to tell you how to fix your life. I’m just as confused about this world and my place in it as you are.
But I promise you: if you want to take the steps necessary to get where you want to go, you’re going to have to work for it. And if you’re unsure of where you want to go, consider this:
What do you value?
Maybe working with people is important to you. Great: go work at a coffee shop for six months. See what you can learn.
Maybe being somewhere with a mission matters to you. Awesome: volunteer at a non-profit or a church twice a week. Let it change the way you think.
There are ways to get where you want to go. But you’re never going to get there if you don’t even know what you want. And finding what you really want is as simple as asking yourself:
What do I truly value?
Here’s what I did:
I value hard work, lots of room to grow and learn, interacting with a community of encouragers and challengers, and meeting lots of different people on a daily basis. So I went to work for a company that hires people who love that, who create that environment and encourage you to do the same. I’m learning to talk to people I don’t know and connect with them as a human being. I’m learning how to multi-task and be focused on a project while still taking the time to develop relationships with my coworkers.
It’s not easy. But it’s what I value. So I love it.
If you have values, it’s not going to be easy. You have to fight for them. You have to fight to keep them true, real and present. But it’s worth it. And a more fulfilling life than one spent doing something you don’t love.
Find what you value.
Then go find a place that has those values.
A few books that have inspired me a lot in this insane journey called life (some of them are religious because that’s something I value):
The Last Safe Investment by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Go-Getter by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Desiring God by John Piper
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
I’d love to hear what you value and how you’re going to let that change how you live your life. Comment your thoughts below or send me an email.