Great recent chat on identifying our values, and then using a microscope to measure what we think matters, against our moment to moment, day to day, lifetime of choices to see if they are in alignment.

Next Step: Once a core value is identified write it down. Just one word: “Family, Health, Generosity, Gratitude, Peace, Joy, Contribution” etc. Send a text to yourself, write it on a post it or in your journal. Just one word. Then run your experiment in the days that follow.

In the beginning, just notice how often, and how much of yourself (time, attention, resources, investment) you are actually behaving in a manner consistent with the one core value. For example, if “Family” is the word/value, you would anticipate the amount of time spent on family, directly, to be commensurate with the level of the value now identified by you.

If, when with your partner/kids/parents, you are present, engaged and conscious, those behaviors would seem consistent with the value. Going to work every day to provide a home and financial stability, also seems consistent with that value.

By contrast, if when with family members you are distracted and deeply involved with technology (IE smart phone, TV, etc) you may get the sense that there is inconsistency. Another example might be that yes, you work every day to support your family but are resentful, angry and unhappy doing so, you notice another inconsistency. Try applying a non-judgmental researcher’s approach and make a discovery: A-HA! “My family is my core value, but I see that I am not really present to them, so that could use some work.” Or “Why am I resentful of my job when it allows me to support my family, when I have identified that as a core value?”

Two tips here: First, start small. Choose the one core value that most speaks to you. Keep it simple. In your daily activities observe your choices relative to this one value. Second: No judgment allowed. This is not a game of “I got cha!” We are simply collecting and analyzing data: What I believe matters to me VERSUS How I spend the currency of my time. A “needs work” approach over self-shaming is scientifically proven to be more effective at changing behavior.

As a reminder, our original goal was to find out who “we” are so we can make choices consistent with our core values. Why is this a good idea? Because the more consistent our choices are, with what matters to us most, the more peace and joy we will experience.

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