Values are what underpins a lot of our behaviour. Often, this is unconscious, so looking at what we actually do can help us identify what matters to us underneath.
So, let’s play detective. Let’s look at the patterns that drive what we do.
What do you spend your time on?
When you have a choice, that is. Look at holidays, weekends, things you schedule for yourself, things you can’t wait to do more of. What do these have in common? How do you spend your work week? What sort of activities do you love the most? What are you constantly trying to avoid or to get out of?
What do you spend your money on?
I am not talking basics like food, rent, transportation. Again, look for patterns in your decision making and for interesting outliers. Do you emphasize craftsmanship? Novelty or innovation? Comfort? Learning? Stimulation? High-tech? Exclusivity or brand image? Do you support others (people, causes) and what do they mean to you?
All of these are useful indicators what matters, and how you are already integrating this into your daily life. These are also levers you have to live your values out loud more.
It’s the little actions, the day-to-day decisions that often matter a lot more than the big swooping gesture. The little things are what build a life, a legacy over time. They are also immediately available to change. If you find there is a value that is a bit underserved, try finding ways to bake it into your life a bit more.
Let me know how this goes!