A few weeks ago I wrote about how we allow others to change us over time. We make small changes in our own words and actions in response to their expectations or demands.
We begin to accept as normal certain words or actions from them or ways that they treat us that previously we would have judged unacceptable. Over time, those incremental changes can end up taking us far away from our true selves.
When the life you’re living is not aligned with your values, you’ve moved away from your true self.
Periodically, it’s good to take a step back and examine your life to affirm the parts of your life you’re living according to your values, and to discover the parts where you are not.
The more parts of your life that you’re living according to your values, the more your life is aligned.
Why be Aligned?
There are three significant reasons why it might be important to you to live your life each day according to your values.
One, when you live your life according to your values, you have a clear path for making consistent decisions. You know what your answers should be to life’s persistent problems. Knowing the answers doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to take the right actions, but at least you know where you should be going.
Two, you have finite time here on Earth, so it stands to reason that you want to spend that time in the best ways possible. Keeping your actions and words aligned with your values help you make the most of your time.
Three, quite simply, when you build a life of value, you feel satisfied. You feel fulfilled. You feel happy.
Is your life aligned as well as it could be? Here are seven ways to find out. They’re not offered so that you can beat yourself up over your shortcomings. They’re here so that you can take a few minutes to stop and think about how your life is going and the areas where you might want to focus on making some changes.
- I prioritize how I spend my time and money according to what I value most.
- For each of my values, I can name three times that my words have demonstrated that value in the past month.
- For each of my values, I can name three times that my actions have demonstrated that value in the past month.
- I recognize now those values that I have failed to live through words or actions.
- I recognize now those failures that are only a temporary lapse.
- I recognize now those failures that have become a way of life.
- I am willing to recommit to living all of my values by resolving the issues that stand in my way.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Checking your personal alignment is an opportunity to assess whether your actions and words match each other and whether they also match your values. When you find those areas that are not in alignment, then you can determine whether you want to change your values, or change your actions and words. When your life is aligned, your reward is a better relationship with yourself and with those around you.
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How did you do? Did you discover an area in your life that needs some attention? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!