The theme that I’ve been ruminating on lately and want to devote a series to is Value.
I’ve been thinking about the ways we value our time, our relationships and our money, and I’m seeing our values as a source of discontent that bears examination. Shifting our priorities would lead to happier and more satisfied lives. Thankfully, this series of value checks are easy to implement. Ready for a more purposeful life? Let’s get it.
You can value things, people, concepts, emotions. A lot of times what we actually value doesn’t align with what we purport to value. We make time for what we value, and we demonstrate our values with the amount of time we spend on them.
I’m generalizing, but men value their cars, their timepieces, guy time activities such as watching sports. Women value their shoes, outward accoutrements like hairstyles and makeup and spending girl time chatting and shopping with friends.
The man who values the above things will be found getting his car washed, carefully placing his watch in a special case so it doesn’t get scratched up, and at the sports bar watching the game and at home watching the recaps, highlights and analysis. That woman will spend time shopping for shoes in person and online and buying shoe racks so they don’t get messed up; she spends untold hours at the beauty shop getting her hair done and wrapping it at night; she spends time on the phone and at ladies night with her friends.
The Values Check
This is all well and good, nothing unusual here! The problem enters when how we spend our time conflicts with what we say we value—our priorities. We say we value our health, but we don’t make time to go to the gym, prepare healthy meals, set and keep doctor’s appointments. We say we value our family, but we don’t spend time calling relatives, having the difficult conversations to mend past hurts, attending the events that are special to them.
The best way to check what you TRULY value is to look at how you spend your time. I say I value friendship, family, my health and prosperity. My TIME says I value solitude, overindulging in food and wine, and compulsively absorbing information without acting on it. It also says I value being a listening ear and encouraging others, supporting people in their business endeavors and spending time learning about and worshipping God.
Is the payoff on your priorities worth it? Are you spending too much time on things that you didn’t even KNOW you valued? Until we meet again, I’m going to be examining which things I want to continue to value through the use of my time and which things need to be shifted lower on the totem pole.
In the next post of the series, I’ll discuss valuing people….