Find your values: they’ll keep you focused and make you feel alive

In a time of change things keep changing. 

The 24 hour news cycle reports them and social media amplifies them, seeking our engagement. 

The resulting roller coaster might seem exciting — but if we’re not careful, our life quickly becomes a game of snakes and ladders, pushing us up a ‘ladder’ one minute and down a ‘snake’ the next.

This drains us and distracts us from what matters. And it doesn’t take us towards where we want to go. Because:

When everything is a priority, nothing is.

The solution is for us to get clear on our priorities. And in a world where everything is changing so fast, this doesn’t mean knowing our short term priorities it means knowing our long term priorities.

These are our values.

Once we know our values we can use them to handle change in three ways:

  1. First, whenever an issue arises we can ask ourselves, “Is this issue relevant to my values?” 
    If it isn’t then we can ignore it. It is someone else’s fight.
    This jumps us over the snakes.
  2. If the issue is relevant to our values then knowing them helps us to define faster the outcome(s) we’d like to see instead.
    This shows us where the top of the ladder is.
  3. And the clearer we are on our values, and the more we live in line with them, the more energy and inspiration we have to get to the top of that ladder faster.

We are living through a time of change. The distractions around us aren’t going to go away any time soon. But we can change how we respond to them.

By knowing our values and living in line with them we can avoid the snakes, climb the ladders, and make ourselves more antifragile.

Do you find yourself getting distracted? Would you like to spend more time feeling fully alive, inspired, and working towards what matters most to you? Have you identified your values?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

Photo By Leonard J Matthews via

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