A dispatcher in crisis
During a recent training class, I asked participants to select their top five core values from a list. Then, while looking at the list, they were asked to reflect on how well they’re doing prioritizing their daily lives according to these values. How much of their waking hours do they spend on activities aligned with these values?
One participant began to cry as she realized that she had failed to prioritize her top value of Family. She saw that nearly every day after her work shift, instead of spending time with her children and husband, she kept busy running around helping others. She knew she had a difficult time saying “No” to these people, but didn't realize the true cost of staying so busy.
A road-map for reconnecting.
When we forget to live in accordance to the values we hold most dear, it causes stress. It may not cause an immediate feeling of overwhelm or nervousness. The effects of not honoring our values are usually more subtle. After years of giving away your time, you might begin to feel resentment towards the people who keep asking more of you. You might begin to feel stretched-thin, both on and off the job. Cynicism may become your normal mode of thinking and speaking. It becomes more difficult to empathize.
Understanding your top values can help reawaken your passion for the work you do and the difference you’re making in the world. If one of your values is making a difference by helping others, reminding yourself you are doing exactly that can make the days brighter. Living in accordance with your values, daily, fuels each day with purpose and meaning. Knowing your values is akin to knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing.