Start with the Beginning in Mind – remembering our values
When people talk about you, what do they say? “Remember Tina? She was the one who was _______.” Or “You know Tina. She always was ________.” The point here is NOT to get caught up in what people say about us, but to consider how people perceive us as a way to reflect on our life. What words would we want them to use to remember and describe us? What values are important to us? Maybe it’s being honest, fair, generous, or hard-working.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Start with the end in mind?” We can apply the same thing here. One approach is to consider what our ideal life would look like, including our finances, health, family, work, community, spirituality, etc. Take some time and dig deep. It can be helpful to do this with another person and discuss your thoughts out loud. Write it down. Now think about how a family member or colleague would describe this ideal you to a stranger regarding each area. What words would they use? How close does it compare to your current life?
I have found that taking time to do this simple exercise can help uncover mismatched priorities and values in my life. Then I can intentionally pay attention and take action to re-adjust my focus. One option is to pick an area I want to work on for one month. It’s an ongoing process but worth the effort since most of us tend to get so caught up in the business of life, we don’t pause to check if we are are busy in the right areas.
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is a professional speaker and consultant for The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations fulfill their true potential using strategies from the science of Positive Psychology.