Have you ever felt like you're stuck living a mediocre life? One that doesn't align with your core values and aspirations? If so, you're not alone. Many people feel trapped in a life that feels frustrating and misaligned. They feel like they are on a hamster wheel and wonder if they will ever get off, but the good news is that it's never too late to change. In fact, that hamster wheel may be just the exercise you are needing to finally break through. It may be providing the feedback you need to start to understand what kind of life you want to be living.
One of the most critical aspects of transforming a life of mediocrity into one that aligns with your core values is to take time to actually identify what those values are. Ask yourself, "What is truly important to me?" Make a list of your most important values.
Your list might look something like this:
- Being active
When we start to lay these values out in front of us, we can begin to assess which areas feel strongest for us and which areas feel neglected. It’s not enough though, for us to simply declare our values. We need to ask ourselves why these values? Why is it that honesty made the list? What is it about family that tugs at my core? I challenge you to approach this exercise with zero self judgement. Your true values might surprise you. Indeed, many people are living by the values they feel they should be living by, and not the ones that truly resonate with them- creating misalignment. If you were raised to place a strong value on family, for example, but you feel driven in your core to build a successful career, you may find a misalignment even though you know that you should value your family. By truly exploring and even challenging the values we come up with, we are giving ourself a chance to understand.
By gaining an understanding on what we value most, we gain clues about where we actually want to be in our life. Using the example above, a parent who stays home with their children all day, may discover they are more aligned going back to work, building a business, or creating something that fulfills their value of career. It does not mean they do not value family, but rather they may find strength in making space for their career as well. Many people will find they are living aligned in some areas and not in others and when this happens, the neglected areas can begin to take away from (or build resentment towards) the areas we are prioritizing. Regardless of what you discover through your clarity of personal values, when you begin to align your actions to your true desires in life, you begin to feel more sense of purpose in your days.
While we will all have unique and personalized discoveries about our aspirations in life, there are some key foundations that can be used to help build that life away from the feeling of mediocracy and into the realm of success. There are crucial steps you need to consider in order to provide yourself a framework to get to where you want to go. You must put yourself in a position to succeed.
To start your transformation, set achievable goals and make a plan to reach them. Using your core values, begin to frame a vision of where you want to be in your life. Whether it's a fitness goal, a career goal, or a personal goal, creating a plan and starting to take consistent action is essential for your future success. In the book Atomic Habit, James Clear talks about the importance of showing up. He describes the two minute rule which is used to start building habits that align to your goals. The concept is that you commit to two minutes of something with no expectation of doing any more. It could be that you do two minutes of stretching, or simply change into your workout clothes – no promise of working out or spending an hour on mobility – just two minutes of an action that is in alignment. The studies have shown that those two minutes easily turn into more, it’s the often overwhelming action of starting that often defeats us.
I purposely used exercise as an example here based on the science of exercise and the powerful effects it has on our mental and emotional state. Creating a life that feels good, requires us to feel good physically – when we feel stronger, more vibrant and energized, we feel more capable and inspired to go after our true purpose in life!
It's also important to surround yourself with people who support and uplift you. As the saying goes, "You become the people you spend the most time with." Choose friends, communities and acquaintances who align with your values and inspire you to be your best self. Listen to podcasts, watch videos and read blogs that promote the things you want from your life, that align with the values you have outlined for your life of purpose!
Another book that can inspire and guide you on your journey is "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. In it, Covey emphasizes the importance of prioritizing your values and living a life that aligns with them. One quote from the book that stands out is, "Begin with the end in mind." This means to start with a clear understanding of your desired outcome and work backward to create a plan to reach it.
Transforming a life of mediocrity to one that aligns with your core values takes time, effort, and dedication. By prioritizing your physical health, setting powerful yet achievable goals, surrounding yourself with positive influences, and living according to your values, you can create a life that brings you joy and fulfillment. You do not have to accept the medium. You can strive for greatness in your life, but it’s up to you to create it.
Remember, it's never too late to start living the life you want.
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