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Don’t wait any longer, don’t let life pass you by.
“Happiness here is not just a series of pleasant sensations. It is the plenitude that arises from giving life meaning and being coherent and in harmony with the deepest part of ourselves.” - Mathieu Ricard
Haven’t we all had moments of fulfillment when we feel we’re in the right place at the right time, without effort, actualizing our potential surrounded by kindred souls?
Is this a feeling we share daily in all the various aspects of our lives: work, finances, family, health, leisure, and spirituality? If so, we have the joy of expressing our essence and intrinsic values. We are using our unique talents in accordance with who we really are.
If not, we may look forward to retirement, moaning “only 4, 5, 6 years to go!” Having to wait for retirement to do what we want, when we want is a powerful myth for many people!
By reviewing our values today, we help ourselves find equilibrium in all areas of our lives. In this way we live more in harmony with ourselves. Take a moment. Note down five or six values. Observe how these values can influence your decisions, your behavior, your beliefs, and even your own identity.
Our values determine the bases on which we define ourselves as individuals. When they are clearly identified, they reflect the criteria by which we live. The result is expressed in the joy of daily fulfillment, often by the fluidity of our movements and expression—a feeling of being in a state of grace.
It is useful to understand the impact of each value we identify, as they can affect each other.
There is an important distinction to be drawn between qualities and values. We express our various talents on different occasions, while our values are the structure that defines what we are and how we act in our lives.
We can enhance our feeling of self-worth by reviewing our qualities. Our values, on the other hand, represent our way of operating on a daily basis: sharing, feeling useful, putting family first, creating, and being independent.
We generally reorder our values at various stages in our lives. They remain essentially the same, but the priority we put on each changes over the years. Isabelle Nazare-Aga
observed that our values fluctuate every six to ten years, depending on how fast we evolve.
According to British businessman Peter Koenig, the baby boomer generation is a product of the postindustrial movement. In other words, baby boomers learned to work hard in order to one day get and do want they want. But when that day comes, do they really do what they have wanted to do all their lives?
This statement has helped me put many beliefs and behaviors into perspective. I realize that many people I know remain steeped in this paradigm, whether consciously
or not. We each have a personal responsibility to calibrate or recalibrate the role our values play in realizing our most cherished dreams. In that way, we are no longer at the mercy of our values, but rather in harmony with them.
Some people find it easier to define their values by elimination, in other words by identifying their negative values. Identifying our negative values is as important as the previous exercise, because they help us understand why we are uncomfortable in a number of aspects of our lives.
I have noticed that when I am disturbed, it is because I am violating one or more of my basic values through my own acts, thoughts, or behaviors.
If one of the situations described below reminds us of ourselves, we should ask ourselves which of our values is involved. Once we have identified this value, what can we do to reestablish harmony? We can talk to the person concerned, correct our perceptions, let go, take back our personal power, and so forth.
• Chronic frustration
• Chronic fatigue
• Lack of interest in things we used to love
• Increasing malaise
• Feeling of suffocation in a love relationship, at work, with our family
Antoine has occupied a mana-gement position in a company for a number of years. He wonders how he can create new organizational structures and strategies that suit him while taking on increasingly heavy responsibilities in his division. Antoine values freedom as well as creativity. He is someone who loves adventure and the unexpected! Yet his schedule no longer leaves him any freedom to act and create. He has become a list of tasks to accomplish. He is subject to a rigid routine that goes against his nature. He has lost his motivation. He no longer has the passion that motivated him in the first years on the job. His mood suffers and his relationships with his family and colleagues as well. And what about expressing his essence? Antoine chooses to use nature to recharge his batteries. He feels an urgent need to take a step back in order to decide on what actions he should take to regain his balance.
This is an approach to unifying one’s being. Recognizing, identifying, and acting according to our values allows us to regain the intrinsic cohesion that restores harmony to all aspects of our lives. Our existence thus feels much fuller. Our progress along our daily path is characterized by the ease with which we grow with every new experience.
Enjoy your discoveries!