Today’s topic is kind of all-important in the topic of creating a really fulfilling life. Not living in congruence to your values can lead you to a dark place, so it is of utmost importance that no-one half-asses this.
You are better than this shit, bro
I know my posts of late haven’t been that good quality. Rushed, maybe a little half-thought, not a very much effort put in. Is this what I want to come up when someone googles my name? Is mediocre content what I want to have with my name written all over it. This is Jarkko Helenius, a mediocrity.
Of course not. I always preach about how I strive to put in the maximum effort. And I’m not saying my content of late has been valueless – There’s some good shit there too. But the way I see it, I pay a limited attention to the actual fruit of the labor, and most of the focus is on the process itself. That matter is worth a post of its own, but for now I can definitely say that the process I’ve been engaged in when it comes to these blogposts has not the been the most solid one.
Obviously if you just slam a half-thought post up in half an hour just before Monday ends it is not going to be as good as a well-thought idea that you then craft into a post in five to ten hours. Man, I’d be fucking king of bloggers if I actually put in that time to my posts. Yet it is a thing I always talk about – putting the effort in, really doing as good a job as you can do in everything. So as you can tell, there’s an incongruence to my values right there.
But I don’t even know what I’m doing
I’m going to move to Malaysia very soon – a bit on that later – and I’m going to leverage the move as much as possible to clear off distractions that keep me from living up to my values. But is it really all there is, distractions? Is that really the thing that makes me not live in congruence to my values?
Frankly, I’m actually well off knowing where I have disparities between my values and what I actually do. For most people, they don’t even really know what they value. They’ve not even defined it. Sure, they have a vague sense of what they hold in high regard and what they don’t, but if they were to answer the question on the spot, the answers would be vague and floundering at best.
So the first step of getting there is to actually define your values. When you know them – when you REALLY know them – that’s when you can take a good hard look at your life and see where you are doing well and where you aren’t. Let’s see for instance my life.
One of my highest values is bravery – I admire courage and doing bold things is really something I aspire to. Yet, when you look at my life, I’ve not really done anything outrageously brave. Sure, bravery isn’t all about doing things just for the sake of being brave, but surely I’m not living up to this value to the fullest. There’s lot of fears that need to be faced head on, and to live up to this value to I need to just dive in.
Another one is the already mentioned industriousness. My work has not gone the best lately, I’m still far off from having the optimal focus and I manage time like shit. Again, while it doesn’t look so good, and it appears that I’m beating myself up for it, I just have a harsh kind of self-talk, and in the end I have that all important AWARENESS of myself not living up the value. I know I will get there. When you really know your true values that go deep within your core, seeing yourself not living up to them is really an auto-correcting process. It just takes some time.
Finally there’s creativity (there’s more, but I’m just raising these three as examples). This blog is one of the outlets for creativity that I have, yet one could easily argue that I’m not using it to the fullest. In fact, in many ways one could say that I’m not doing anything at all creative at the moment. Ever since my writing streak got killed, I’ve been completely halted in my writings. But again, there’s awareness, so the improvement is around the corner. I have so much ideas coursing through my brain, but my energy and time is being constantly misdirected.
Incongruence – Worse than death
Awareness is the crucial first step on the path of repairing this disparity. Improvement is not an afterthought, though. You can’t just wait for the change to manifest in a beautiful, law of attraction-esque fashion. Nope, there needs to be a sense of urgency. If you lack a sense of urgency, you need to get deeper to your core with the values. When they really hit that heart, that’s when the urgency starts to happen. Another thing is never letting the momentum die. You need to keep your brain engaged with your values. That’s when they really get ingrained.
Not living in congruence with your values will lead to an ultimately unhappy life. You will be like one of those zombies, drudging through their days of nine to five in a daze, not really even alive. Numbing down the little emotions they have with alcohol and other depressants. On the other hand, when you start aligning yourself with your values, every single day becomes better than the last – not always, of course, but I can definitely say that the more I close in on that goal, the more fulfilling the days get.
Ultimately, I measure how my life correspond with my values with my Universal Awesomeness Score. While I self-righteously call it universal, it really is based on just my values. Tracking system like that is a good tool to add to that all-important awareness.
That’s what it all comes down to in the end. There’s a lot of things in the play, but the more you cast your eyes on the glaring difference between what you do and what you value, the more likely it becomes that you make the change. That’s how I got started on this journey of Becoming Awesome. Seeing how I was just vegetating in one corner of the world as the time of my life was dwindling down finally made me move. I’m glad it did.
When will you get moving? Hit me up with a comment.
Alright so I promised briefly get back to my move to Malaysia. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here yet, but yes, it is clinched. My girlfriend is coming to Finland on 10th, and nearly a month later I will shake the snows of Finland off my feet, stepping into the plane and into a new adventure on 7th of January.
Sufficed to say, 2014 will be something else. I can’t even predict what’s around the corner for me. Exciting times.
Meanwhile, I’m also hitting up Helsinki, Stockholm & Lapland soon and while I won’t do daily vlogs like in Japan, I’ll definitely use the change of scenery to get some video content up. However as opposed to Japan videos, that again where by their nature kind of rushed and on the spot material, I really want to create something that stands the test of time better. Even if it won’t I want to at least do my best – cause that of course would be living in accordance to my values.
See you next week!