Happiness: We all want it, but don’t always understand the mechanics of it.
Have you ever found yourself discontent with your life and you aren’t sure why? Are you unhappy and don’t have a good explanation?
Asking yourself this one question may help:
Do my behaviors align with my values?
Ideally, how we spend our focus, time, and finances should reflect what we value. We find our lives lacking meaning when what we do everyday isn’t in sync with what is most important to us.
And when we lack meaning, we don’t get happiness.
WHAT ARE MY VALUES?
I’ve spent years refining what I want to embrace in my life.
(And I haven’t done it alone— I have been influenced by the Bible, my therapist, Rob Bell, Fight Club, Straight Edge, Judah Smith, Irving Yalom, Dallas Willard, Minimalism & John Mark Comer, to name a few)
Understanding our core values is crucial because only when we identify our values can we be intentional about how to spend our days to make them meaningful. Daily behaviors should reflect what is most important to you.
I resonate with the five values outlined by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
I value and respect my body and brain. I make decisions that will promote my physical and mental health.
I value people. I want to love people well and build relationships that bring life and meaning.
I value being able to offer something to the world. Whether this is giving my time, money or energy, I place great emphasis on generosity and creating something others can benefit from.
I value being a person who isn’t content on staying the same. I actively place myself in spaces where I can learn, develop, be stretched and uncomfortable.
I value cultivating what inspires me. I participate in what makes me feel alive, even when that comes with sacrifice and difficulty.
WHAT ARE MY BEHAVIORS?
Think about your average day.
What do you do with your time?
Write out a list of your values and a list of what you did today. Can you see how they connect?
Perhaps. Or perhaps not.
The truth is, many of us spend a large portion of our resources (time, energy, attention & money) on things that don’t even support our values.
And in the same vain, many of us are not satisfied with our lives. Translation: we aren’t happy.
I’ve discovered for me to find meaning in my life, I must use my values as a guide for my behavior, so my daily habits have transformed:
I work out every day. I eat well. I attend therapy. I take my medication. I work daily to support my mental health.
I talk to friends & family daily. I minimize distractions when I spend time with people.
I give of my time and knowledge of mental health to my clients. I donate my resources to my church and other non profits.
I read, listen to lectures, and seek wisdom that will help me develop.
I write. I mentor. I cook. I study. Even when it’s hard.
If you aren’t happy, it might be because your every day actions aren’t supporting what you want from life long term.
We are easily distracted people, in this age of constant stimulation and abundance of information. It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters to us.
Take inventory of your life and adjust accordingly- it’s the key to adding happiness to your life.
Join me on the journey of meaningful living. Matching your behaviors to your values is a great start!
For more words on mental health, visit communionmh.com