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The SeamLess Life

Issue #5 July 6, 1998

Live Your Values - Part 2: Redesign Your Life

In Part 1, we said that when you are living The SeamLess Life™, you know your Core Values and you've designed your life so that what you do is aligned with your values. That is, you do those things which let you express your values daily. Living your values isn't a thing you save for weekends or vacations. That's because when your life is aligned with your values, you are intensely creative, and you experience immense satisfaction and well-being.

Interested in getting that for yourself?
Here's how.

  1. First, get clear about your top 3-5 values. (See Part One: Issue #4 - June 22 for help.)

    Write them down and hang them on your bathroom mirror. Your values are the "habits of your heart." You can't live through them if you're not clear about what they are and conscious of them every day. Your heart needs to be in this. So get yourself clear. When you are, you'll feel an immense sense of relief at articulating what's most important to you.

  2. Pick one goal that lets you demonstrate one of your values.

    Create a goal that will allow you to measure and observe how well you demonstrate this value through acting on it. Identify what you'll need to eliminate or get rid of so that the blocks to fulfilling the goal and living out of your values are eliminated. So that you can release yourself to live the value.

    A client of ours, for example, has core values of (a) living with passion and (b) creativity. When she looked at her life, she saw that her needs for structure and detail were getting in the way of her living out these two values. She set a goal for herself of turning to her intuition first when she was making decisions. So, before she did any analysis and put a structure in place for solving a problem, she asked herself, "What do I intuitively believe is the right answer or approach here?" She held herself accountable for doing this every time she had a business or personal problem to solve during a 30 day period. She wrote down her intuitive insights to make them concrete. Then she let herself use her other analytical skills.

    What she found was that her decision making was easier - more efficient. Her answers were more creative because she was living her values out as she worked. She let herself thrive.

  3. Create new opportunities for living out your values. Look to yourself, not to the outside world, for satisfaction.

    Not all opportunities are created equal! Sometimes current projects or clients aren't the ones who will let you fully live out of your Core Values. You will thrive when you're living out your values, but don't do it because you expect to be rewarded by others. The reward is your thriving.

    An advertising client who had a Core Value of Creativity was frustrated because he would create and present 8 terrific ad options to his clients. Yet the clients consistently chose the least creative options. What he learned was that the real joy for him was in the creation itself. So, he quit "over-delivering" to clients who couldn't appreciate this aspect of his creativity AND eliminated his own disappointment in their lack of discrimination. Then he created a portfolio of all these extra jewels they didn't select to market conceptually outside of his current client base to new and more creative companies.

  4. Align your life and work goals with your Core Values.

    Make a list of your short-term goals - for the next 60 to 90 days. Now, make a list of your long term goals - 2 to 5 years out. Examine these lists closely. For each of the goals listed, assess if you can really live out your Core Values as you meet these goals. You may need to change the goal itself. Or, you may need to change your plan for getting there.

    Say you're building a business which requires lots of "solo" work. Yet you have a Core Value of being a close friend. You may need to change the time frame by which your business plan works, to allow you to stay connected with your close friends. Or, you could get your friends involved with you in creating the business by creating a Master Mind Group for yourself.

  5. For each of your 3-5 Core Values, create a list of ways you can live them out regularly.

    We suggest you brainstorm 8-10 ways, both small and large, that you can get each of your values met daily, weekly, and monthly. It's not enough to have only a few opportunities to live out your values each month. A life that lets your thrive is one where you live out your Core Values daily.

    When this happens, you'll see the result: your energy is higher. Your creativity flows. Your work and life feels almost effortless.

  6. Examine your current week. Where are each of your values being expressed?

    Go back and look at your last several weekly calendars. Circle the places where you found you were living out a value. Find ways to do more of those activities during your week.

    For the value of creativity, for example, you could do the following:
      a) Get outside every day. Connect with nature. Notice what's around you.
      b) Keep a daily journal. Write 20 minutes every morning.
      c) Keep flowers and greenery, and other living things, around you.
      d) Change the things around your desk so that you are stimulated by what you look
           at as you work. Get a fountain in the proximity of your desk.

  7. Eliminate what blocks you from living out of a Core Value.

    Go back to your weekly planner again. Draw a square around the activities that are "blockers" for you. You may need to learn to delegate these. Or let them go.

  8. Keep your values list in front of you at all times.

    Put it on a "post it" and post it on each day of your planner. Look for opportunities for fulfilling your values as you get calls, consider projects, and do your work.



Remember, a life where you thrive is one where you live out of your values. Redesigning your life to make that possible is well worth it!




Join us next week for another installment of Tips in Leading the Seamless Life™

Come back July 20 for Issue # 6 in this bi-weekly series!

Do you have any questions about this article? Need advice on your life? E-mail us! Diane can be reached at diane@heartdance.com, and Sherry can be reached at sherry@sherrylowry.com.

Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at http://www.sherrylowry.com/book.htm.


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Text © Diane Menendez & Sherry Lowry, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
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