“How can you be so disciplined? How can you do all this stuff like read, train, meditate and eat healthy every day?” is a question I get asked a lot. The answer is it has nothing to do with discipline because I don’t have to force myself to do any of those things I do on a daily basis. I know what my highest values are and just live according to them. It’s that simple.
Values are our fundamental beliefs that guide our actions. And if we want to see what is truly important to someone we must observe what they do not just listen to what they say. People try to fool themselves all the time. For instance, someone may say that family is very important to him or her but when you see this person invest most of his or her time into everything else it’s clear that family ranks low on his or her true value list.
Many people are living according to other people’s expectations, not their own. And what that does is it divides a person. The authentic part wants to live according to its own values but the fake part is living according to other people’s beliefs. Such a person is feeling guilty almost all the time because he or she is not living like he or she really wants to live. What a waste of life. So the problem lies in the difference between a person’s real values and his or her make-believe values.
Vitality is one of my top five most important values (the other four are: wisdom, joy, family and balance) and you can know this is true because if you look at my life you can see I spent at least three hours per day on my own mind exercises, body training and preparing healthy food. My daily reading and writing matches with my highest values. And I dedicate at least three hours almost every day to help improve other people’s vitality. Basically almost a half of my waking hours revolve around my highest value.
So if we want to live a more meaningful life we have to be consciously aware of our highest values and act upon them all the time. If we want to find out on what values we currently act upon, we have to write down everything we do in a day. Next to it we write how many hours we spend on that particular activity and what value that activity represents. Then we find a list of values, mark five values on it that most correspond with us and describe in one sentence why that is so. At the end, we compare both lists. I guarantee that the bigger the difference in values the more divided, out of balance, disorganized, unproductive and guilty such a person is feeling.
When we start living according to our highest values many things change. We become more centered and balanced because our true values start guiding our life. We become more joyous and fulfilled because we start doing what we love. And we have more energy and vitality because we stop spending it on activities that don’t really mean much to us. Roy Disney said: “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”