This can be a very busy time of year for many of us. Our “busyness” can discourage us and make us yearn for a simpler time.
We tell others how busy we are and lament our “misfortune” at having too much to do.
Yet, when we closely examine most of our “to do” items, we discover that it is we who are causing the traffic jam.
I find the need to constantly remind myself that life is all about choices.
I have chosen to be this busy.
My problem is that I have a lot of trouble saying no.
And it costs me – in added stress, loss of time and derailment of what is truly important in my life.
I propose that we discard the traditional to-do list and adopt a daily “choice” list.
If nothing else, calling it a “choice” list will make us realize that what we do each day is indeed, a choice.
You may say to me – no, there is no choice involved in being busy at work. “If I don’t do certain things, I will be fired.”
But that too is, at its most fundamental level – is a choice. To risk being fired, or not.
And if our job is killing us, perhaps we need to make a choice to end the insanity.
It’s like that with everything in our life.
At the heart of the issue, in my view, is the lack of a value system.
If we have a set of values, then deciding on what to do today becomes easier. When faced with many choices, it will become clear which one to take.
For example – as corny as this may sound, one of my core values is to help others – specifically to gain confidence in themselves.
As a result, I should be doing at least one thing each day that supports this.
Even though my schedule is extremely busy today, filled with administrative tasks, I need to take time out to write an article like this in order to fulfill my principles and beliefs.
Take time to think about what you want to represent – what you’re all about – indeed, your purpose – reason for being.
Then take a look at your to-do list.
Do these things match up? Or is there a huge disconnect?
Because if the disconnect is enormous, you won’t feel good about yourself.
For years, I felt unfulfilled – as though something was missing.
My core values and how I spent my time, simply did not make for a good marriage.
Yes, we are busy.
But busy doing what?
If we’re going to be busy, then it should most certainly be to carry out our core values.
Then, what is important to us, and our behavior, will be in harmony.
And something else will happen – we won’t feel “busy”.
2 thoughts on “Kill Stress by Living Your Values”
Thank you Cory. Once again a timely and insightful reminder to stay sane.
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We are the ones who develop some of our stress by not understanding our control. Stressful situations can keep repeating themselves by our choices. How much power we give to the unknown or the things which can cause us harm is amazing. As I write I just faced a situation which made me feel an overwhelming sense of stress coming on. Thus I had to take control of me and determine no, I can fix this without stressing myself over help not forth coming. It is good to read from you Cory… does make may day brighter 🙂
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