What’s Important to You?
How many times have you wanted to make a major change in your life, but were totally confused with where to start?
We’ve lived that more than a couple times in our lives. The challenge becomes how to re-evaluate what’s important to you with all the confusion, so you end up going in the direction you want and not become distracted from all the noise in your head.
I remember a time when I was really unhappy. Even a bowl of ice cream couldn’t raise my spirits. It was then I recognized I had to finally take time to find out what was bothering me and make a course correction. Ugh!!
The difficulty I had was trying to figure out what was most important to me. What made it even more difficult was the fact that I hadn’t spent any time thinking about what I wanted. I simply stuck with the same old stuff I wanted when I graduated from college 20 years earlier!!
In retrospect, it seems pretty silly that I had never spent time with myself thinking about those kinds of things. I had so many tapes in my head that I accepted as truths about success, how to get it, and even the types of people I should be working with. I never thought I needed to reconsider or even ask myself if any of it still made sense for me.
I remember trying lots of different ways to pry open the deeper recesses of my thinking, but it wouldn’t open up as easily as I thought it would. In fact, it took me several years to unwind my uptight thought patterns and learn to be comfortable with a quiet mind. I didn’t have any resources to work with, mostly because I had so many assumptions about how the world worked that I wouldn’t even consider reading books by people who came at life from a different perspective. I essentially had my little box, and if something didn’t fit into it, it wasn’t useful or helpful.
If I could take myself back to that unhappy time, I would have benefited from a tool I use today with others beginning their journey of identifying what’s important to them.
The tool begins by visually laying out a straight line. Then, you imagine all the people, places, and events in your life lined up on that line. Every person, place, or event is sitting right next to the other one. No one better, more valued or more important than the other.
After letting this visual sit for a while and just occupy some of your mind space, you will start to notice a release from all the old tapes and expectations. The need to judge and label things as good or bad will begin to dissipate.
Eventually, some items will start to differentiate themselves from the person, place, or event right next to them on your straight line. This is where you will begin to see what’s important to you.
Today I regularly check in with myself, but this exercise is really helpful if you’re not sure where to start. Separating the judgments or value statements from the actual people, places, and events is a crucial first step to learning what YOU really value.
This is a wonderful exercise if you want to take steps to start new, but are totally confused about where to begin.