Value Your Values, And Don’t Leave Home Without Them!
Your personal integrity is dependent on you living according to your values. If you commit yourself to a values-driven life, you’ll attract people of similar values and people who’ll support and encourage you to continue to live accordingly, which will only increase the standards to which you’ve been living. Ignore your values and you’ll attract other people who ignore their values, which usually results in a swirling cesspool of complaints, excuses and endless victimhood (not a good neighborhood to live in!!).
With a well understood values base you’ll more clearly discern your day-to-day priorities. First, it’s important to distinguish what’s urgent from what is vital.
Let’s pause and examine those words, what they really mean, and what buttons they push.
Urgent comes from the same root as the word urge—it’s a pushy, sometimes panicky, word. It implies something which propels us automatically onward into action and has time pressure, has to get done fast, or you at least feel like it does.
What’s urgent probably is important for the moment, but it also changes from moment to moment and day to day. In this way, it’s similar to the barometric reading we talked about in an earlier article.
So just because something is Urgent doesn't necessarily mean it's important.
Conversely, what’s vital refers to something central and internally crucial; something you literally can’t live without, not just for the moment but over time. In fact, vital comes from the word for life itself, like vital organs—heart, brain, blood. What’s vital may have less pressure and feel calmer than what’s urgent, but it’s much more crucial for your long-term survival and well-being.
What’s vital to you feeds your life force. In this way, it may remind you of your True North—a fixed and eternal need. The urgent and the vital both need to be balanced on a daily basis.
You need to be careful not to let yourself submerge what is consistently vital in what is momentarily urgent.
If you’re like most people you’re probably bombarded, and confused, throughout the day with what are, or what seem to be, urgent matters. Obviously, however, it’s what’s vital to you and to your true self which really matters most and must take top priority.
You can see how standing by your values plays a huge role in deciding this. This can be challenging, so having a very simple A-B-C-D priority system can be extremely helpful. Make a list of what you know you want to accomplish today, and then rate them as follows:
A - Those absolute vital items you have-to complete.
B - Those urgent items which could wait until tomorrow.
C – The “want to” impulse items which are even less urgent and important.
D – Those items which you are unsure of or are possibly not necessary at all.
The follow-through is simple: Always do the A items first, followed by the B items and so forth. Transfer today’s incomplete list onto tomorrow’s plan. Reprioritize the list daily since new items will undoubtedly arise.
Setting boundaries with yourself and with others so you can stay focused on your vital A tasks.
Make a values-driven priority plan for yourself, and you’ll find you’re more productive while also being truer to yourself. Live your life this way and you’ll find yourself on the path of your True North.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Donaldson has been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. His programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. Claim your FREE Relationship Success Special Report at http://www.marryufirst.com. Ken is the author of Marry YourSelf First! Saying "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose.