Does your life align with your values?

Yesterday I wrote about the simple life and after clicking publish I realised that I still had more thoughts to share.

After giving it some thought, I started to question why instead of living the life that we want we decide to pursue other paths. In yesterdays post, I wrote of how it is often the expectations of society however I didn’t consider that actually it can often have a lot to do with being out of alignment with your own values.

If asked the question ‘what do you value in life?’ it’s very unlikely that you would say things like stress, not having free time, feeling overwhelmed, working with people or in an environment where you’re not supported or not having the energy to do things that you enjoy. Yet, those are often traits of the kinds of jobs or lives that we settle into.

There is great value in asking yourself what you value in life and then working towards creating a life that aligns with that.

You don’t need to pay attention to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is telling you that you should do. Maybe that’s not the sort of life that you will enjoy.

It’s worth so much more to reflect and ask yourself the big questions and follow where you think you want to go. If that leads you to where everyone else is great and if it leads you to a different path that is also great.

It’s about you and what you want rather than conforming or meeting the expectations of others.

Who are my readers?

I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.

It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.

For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.

My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.

Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.

In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.

These days I just focus on the writing.

Does more choice make us happier?

A lot of people regularly find themselves overwhelmed.

The possibilites in every area of life are growing more and more each day.

There was a point in time where what you ate was limited to what you could kill and what you could grow at that time of year.

On one hand having more choice gives us the possibility of a richer life with more freedom. And let’s not forget, the increase in choice is the result of innovation that has has resulted in more options than humans once thought was possible.

However, having more choice can also make things harder, having 100 options instead of 10 can end up causing unnecessary stress. This in turn can reduce your overall happiness.

I think the important thing to remember is that no matter how much or how little choice you have, there is always room for innovation.

But we can’t ignore the unhelpful side effects of increased choice and so the important thing to remember is that when you know what you want you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.

What can you do right now?

We often put things off, telling ourselves that later will always be an option.

But we ignore the fact that life is finite. That perhaps starting today will be the only chance you get to finish what it is you wanted to do.

Your work is important, it matters.

Don’t focus so much on how much time you could have instead focus on the present moment.

Ask yourself, what can I do right now that supports my end goal?

And it doesn’t have to be about making money or working yourself to the bone. Perhaps what you can do right now to support your end goal is a 20 minutue meditation or write yourself a to do list for the week.

It’s better to start now and start small than not start at all.

How do you feel?

How often do you honestly say how you feel when you don’t feel particularly good?

It’s fairly easy to talk about how happy you are, how much you’re looking forward to something or how great you feel. But when it comes to saying I feel low, I feel sad or I’m not feeling my best, most of us are much less willing to be open.

Instead you’ll find yourself saying things like ‘I’m fine’ even though you don’t mean it at all. Feeling sad or feeling low isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t something that you have to hide.

And sometimes all you need to feel better is to simply talk about why you don’t feel so great.

A useless offering

When faced with the choice between having nothing to offer and offering something that you know is incorrect, which would you choose?

Having nothing to offer never looks good. It may appear that you’re holding back or even just being lazy.

On the other hand offering something that you know is of no use is, useless. However, you might be wrong. Maybe, the things you’re holding back from offering may not be totally incorrect. Perhaps some of it is useful after all.

And so, it might actually be worth having the courage to offer what you can, you might surprise yourself. However, even if you’re wrong at least you still tried.

How certain is probably?

The idea of language, the way we speak and what we choose to say is fascinating.

There are words you may use without really understanding exactly what they mean or how they could be interpreted.

I recently received a message that included the word probably. My first thought was how far from definite it was.

I found myself asking google ‘How certain is probably?’. The answer I got, is that it’s more likely a yes than no. However, that no is not a no without a shadow of a doubt, it’s more like a no with a shadow of doubt.

For example, if you asked someone of they would help you with something later in the day and they responded with ‘probably’, you haven’t really gained any clarity from the answer.

When you’re looking to someone for some form of clarity, you’ll want responses like yes, no or certainly, you want an answer that you can rely on.

You need to do better

Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?

When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.

But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.

Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.

Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.

Yes, it really is that simple.

The best possible next step

Sometimes it’s good to have a statement that serves as guidance for the direction of your life.

When you feel stuck, stagnant and discontent wondering what to do next pick the best possible next step.

Close your eyes and ask yourself ‘What is the best possible next step I can take?’

Whatever answer comes up, do it.

It could be as small as turning off your phone or drinking a glass of water. It could be as big as resigning from your job or ending a relationship.

Once you take the first step if you still feel stuck ask yourself the question again, keep doing that until you no longer feel stuck, stagnant or discontent.

Is it wrong to have billionaires?

Over the past year or so there has been a lot of conversation around wealth, that those with more should have less.

This isn’t applying to the people earning £200k or even a multi-millionaire but instead to those in the top percentile, those that have amassed more wealth than they could ever imagine.

People say it’s wrong to have billionaires because no person can ever spend that amount of money, people are starving or suffering and they’ve had to exploit other people to gain their wealth.

And so if it is wrong to have billionaires how do you police it and what is the limit?

Do you raise taxes for the wealthy to the point where billionaire status would be impossible?

Do you somehow limit a persons earnings to £999,999,999 or would you make it cap it at much less?

More importantly who would be in charge of it?

Whether having billionaires is or isn’t wrong, I don’t have an answer (and maybe there isn’t one). However, I do think it is a topic worth discussing.