When I was 21, just graduating college, I wanted nothing more than to be the age I am today, in the position I am today, living the life I am today.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m incredibly lucky. I’m fortunate to have a stable income that allows me to spend time with people I love, to travel, to save money for the my future home and family.
The thing is, I have everything I need but only about six months ago I felt more lost than ever. The quarter life crisis is REAL, and I really had to take a step back and start evaluating what’s important to me and how I want to spend my time.
Introducing: discovering your Values.
The Minimalism movement and lifestyle have introduced me to the concept of Values and has helped me define what my Values are. My Values should be the basis of how I spend my time and how I progress in life. Common values are the foundation of great friendships and relationships. They are guiding of all of my decisions I make on a daily basis.
*To learn more about values in the context of the Minimalism movement, take a look at Minimal Wellness: Values post and The Minimalists: Values podcast. I challenge you to dig deep and start constructing a list of your own values.
In The Minimalists’ podcast, Values (link above), Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus break down Values into the following hierarchy (the descriptions are my interpretation of the meaning of these different values):
Foundational Values: Highest order, overarching across many facets of life
Core Values: Principles that guide your decisions and behaviors
Minor Values: Things or experiences that make you happy on daily or weekly basis
Imaginary Values: Concepts or things that we perceive to have value but are actually obstacles that prevent us from aligning with our other values
Now, I could list out all of my Values, but I’m not here to necessarily talk about me. I want you to take some time and become self-aware of what drives you to spend your time and money in specific ways.
I will tell you, I truly thought some of my Imaginary Values were my real Values. It wasn’t until I felt the internal imbalance that led me to discover the reality about myself: I am very much introverted. I value my alone time. I become exhausted and irritable when I am out forced to be around strangers and large groups for long periods of time (like holiday parties or packed night clubs). My whole adult life, I defined myself as a true extrovert, until I started realizing how happy I was to embrace my introvert personality. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I spend the majority of my time in more relaxing, intimate settings that allow me to easily reflect and escape from the chaos that is life.
Self-awareness is a beautiful thing. Understanding your Values is absolutely essential to living your best life.
Happy soul searching!