The resulting emotional roller coaster might seem exciting for a while — but ultimately it drains us and it doesn’t move us forward to where we want to go. If we’re not careful, our life can become a game of snakes and ladders: pushing us up a ‘ladder’ one minute and down a ‘snake’ the next.
The solution is to get clear on knowing our own priorities. And in a changing world this doesn’t mean our short term priorities: it means knowing our long term priorities.
These are our values.
When you’ve uncovered your values, in the way we do in Inner Leadership, then the answers can be useful in three ways:
- First, when an issue arises, you can ask yourself, “Is this relevant to my values?”
If it isn’t relevant you can ignore it.
This jumps you over the snakes.
- Then, when an issue arises that you do care about, knowing your values will help you quickly define the outcomes that will address the situation.
This gets you up the ladders faster.
- And the better you know your values and the more you live in line with them, in the way Inner Leadership defines them, the more alive you will feel and the more energy and inspiration you will have to create the results you want to create.
We are living through a time of change. The distractions aren’t going to reduce any time soon. But what you can do is change the way you respond to them.
The better you know your values: the better you will avoid the snakes; the faster you will climb the ladders; and the more antifragile you will become.
Do you find yourself getting distracted by things that don’t really matter? Would you like to spend more time feeling fully alive and inspired? 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.)