I think most of us would like to live our lives according to what we value most, but it’s not always easy. And it’s especially challenging when ADD is in the picture. Who has time to choose how we would like to live when we are in a constant race to catch up, stuck in a vortex of overwhelm, or buried under the weight of a thousand things to do. But life marches on, days turn into weeks, into months, into years, and then …. I don’t think any of us wants to look back on our lives and think it was all about a to-do list!
The first step to living your values is to figure out what they are. What is most important to you? What brings you the most joy? What are you doing when you feel a sense of purpose or meaning? No matter how busy we are or what challenges we face, it is up to us to take advantage of opportunities that allow us joy and meaning – at least every once in a while!
After you identify a few, see how you can live them out in between and around all of your responsibilities. If one of your values is creativity, I hope you can find some time to write, paint, or do whatever expresses that for you. Make a date with yourself in your appointment book. If another is generosity, maybe you can take a minute to write that check to your favorite charity. Write a brightly colored reminder note and place it where you pay your bills. If you value being a good listener, try to be conscious of really listening. If you get distracted, bring yourself back again and again to the conversation. And ask for clarification for something you might have missed. These kinds of efforts will all improve the quality of your life and your relationships and will bring you more in tune with living the life you choose.
Here are five life values to get you started. If you don’t identify with them, maybe they can inspire you to think of your own. If you do identify with them, use them as a springboard to think of even more.
- Love of nature
- Volunteering to help others
- Exercise/Care of the body
- Hard work
Life passes by quickly and we all deserve to recognize how we want to live and how we want to be remembered. I challenge you to do one extra thing next week that expresses a value that has been buried or forgotten.