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    Where are you headed?

    Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

    Do you ever have those moments where you realize that the universe is conspiring to teach you something?

    Over the weekend I got to spend time with Brandy and Hilary, two of my favorite people. Visiting with them is always so uplifting and insightful. (And the time is always too short!)  One of the things I came away with from our discussion was the idea that if we know where we want to end up then we can weigh our intended actions against whether they will get us closer to that desired result.  In order to do that, we need to be aware of our ultimate goal(s), and  mindful of each action that we’re taking – either toward or away from it.

    Yesterday I was reading in The 25 Best Time Management Tools & Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy by Pamela Dodd and Doug Sundheim and I read this:

    When you’re clear about your values, life flows. You’re pulled toward what makes you happy and productive. You feel satisfied and fulfilled.

    When you’re unclear about your values — or espouse values that other people think are important — life is a struggle. Circumstances push you, often in directions you wouldn’t necessarily choose. You feel frustrated, anxious, and ineffective.

    Life shifts from push to pull when you identify, own, and begin living from your own values.

    They then provided a list of about 100 values from which to choose, with the instruction to mark any that are important to you.  After marking them, the instruction was to narrow the list down to 10, combining any that seemed to you to go together, and then further narrow it to the  six that most encapsulate what it is you value.

    This process was really interesting to me. I found that values like competition, efficiency, and productivity didn’t get checked.  Instead, I found myself with the following six values at the end of the whole process:







    Those are the values that are most important to me, the state of living I want to reach, the person I want to be. Yet, before we started Modern Day Martha, most of my time was focused on values like competition,  efficiency, and productivity. And what a surprise, I wasn’t ending up where I wanted to be. But it’s tricky, isn’t it? Because efficiency and productivity and competition (the positive kind) are such good things.  They’re just not the road to where I want to be.

    Without having put it into words, when I started focusing on the values I actually… value, things started going SO much better; and now that I actually have a list at which I can look repeatedly throughout the day, I have the feeling I will be able to center myself all the more. Now I can solidify the vision of where I want to be, and make goals toward that end. I can push instead of be pulled. And that sounds far more comfortable to me.

    What are your 6 values? (Keep in mind, each of my 6 encapsulates many others in my mind, what’s listed is just the overriding value; for example, to me, wisdom includes knowledge, reflection, inspiration, order, balance, discipline, development and integrity. So if it gets tricky, just squish ideas together.)

    Edited to add the list:

    Acceptance      Accountability     Achievement      Adventure      Affection      Authenticity

    Balance     Beauty     Belonging

    Camaraderie        Care       Challenge    Collaboration    Commitment     Compassion     Competence     Competition   Confidence   Contribution        Cooperation      Courage      Creativity      Curiosity

    Decisiveness     Development     Devotion     Discipline

    Effectiveness      Efficiency      Empathy     Empowerment     Excellence     Enthusiasm     Excitement

    Fairness       Faith     Flexibility      Forgiveness     Freedom     Friendship     Fun

    Generosity   Genuineness   Gratitude   Growth

    Happiness     Harmony     Health     Honesty   Honor   Humility    Humor

    Independence      Influence     Inspiration     Integrity     Intuition   Involvement


    Kindness     Knowledge

    Leadership     Love     Loyalty

    Moderation    Money


    Openess     Order

    Partnership   Passion     Patience     Peace of Mind   Perseverance     Play     Pleasure     Prestige


    Recognition     Reflection     Respect      Responsibility

    Security     Serenity     Service     Sincerity     Spirituality     Stability     Status     Success

    Teamwork     Tolerance     Tradition    Trust


    Wealth     Wisdom