There is much hype around needing to know what your passion is. In the age of Generation Y the idea of passion is a strongly motivating force. Unfortunately, many people struggle to identify what they are passionate about, often leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. The allure of passion suggests that upon finding this answer our lives will be suddenly improved and have direction and purpose. So what if we don’t find this answer? Are we doomed? Or, is passion a misleading solution to finding meaning in our lives? One of the most overlooked principles in our quest for something greater is value. Values are qualities, attributes or features that hold significance for each of us. Values make our life richer and when we live in accordance to what truly matters life becomes clearer. It is vital to identify what is important to us.
Do you know what truly matters to you? What you really value?
Common values include areas such as: health, love, respect, honesty, kindness, family, trust, and growth.
Once we have identified what we value, the next step is turning this into action. There are two ways of doing this.
1. Define the value and the determine what this would look like in action. For example, ‘kindness’ may be defined as – always helping others when I see them in need. Once we define what a static value looks like at a behavioural level we develop a clear understanding of how to act in accordance with this. If we simply keep our values as static concepts it is very difficult to determine if we are living in alliance with what matters to us.
2. Determine the value then create a list of behaviours that indicate consistency with this value. Take this example for valuing ‘health and wellbeing’. I act in accordance with my value of health and wellbeing when I exercise three times a week, eat nutritious home cooked meals, take rest when needed, sleep a minimum of 7 hours per night, and mediate each day. By taking this approach to determining our values we have a clear set of specifiers and standards to guide us by. It is a simple and easy method to review our week and monitor both our consistency and progress. We could take this a step further and rate our consistency each week, reviewing what we did well on and what we can improve on for the coming week.
If we can connect with what matters to us, then there remains a great likelihood that we will live our life with direction and purpose. We need to start with the building blocks of life, rather than jumping straight to creating a masterpiece. Let’s re-examine our focus on passion and instead ask ourselves what we actually value?!
*Note. If you feel completely lost and are unsure what you value then take a guess and start anyway. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Identify some basic things that may be important, define them and then start exploring. You will quickly work out whether these areas resonate with you or not. If you start the journey then you will you learn along the way. At worst, you’ll determine what you don’t value.