I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Understanding, Urges, and Utilize to be helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “V”.
Values and Visualization
As we take a look into the meaning of values, I want you to consider the following questions:
- What is important to you?
- What do you want your life to be about?
- What sort of person do you want to be?
- What do you want to be doing?
- What is your purpose in life?
- What is the reason you get up in the morning?
- What makes your life worth living?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines value as “something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable.” Simply put, values are your heart’s deepest desires: how you want to be, what you want to stand for, how you want to relate to the world around you, the leading principles that guide you and motivate you as you move through life.
Your values are different from your goals. Values are not something you achieve. They are an ongoing pattern of action of which you live your life by. Goals, on the other hand, are achievable steps in living your values. For example, earning your college degree is a goal in your lifelong pursuit of education/personal growth.
Values and Your Happiness
Your deepest values can provide you a sense of meaning, of purpose. Values provide a powerful antidote, a way to give your life purpose, meaning, and passion. Therefore, when you are living your life in alignment to your personal values, you are walking along the path of happiness and achieving a sense of fulfillment.
How do you define your values?
Psychologist, researcher, and author, Kelly G. Wilson, developed a simple instrument to help define and recognize your values called The Valued-Living Questionnaire (VLQ). She lists the top ten areas to consider.
- Family (to exclude parenting)
- Intimate relationships (marriage, partners)
- Social relationships/friendships
- Work (paid or unpaid)
- Education/Personal Growth
- Physical self-care/health
Now consider each of these values in your own life. Your values are unique. What you value is likely to be different than someone else. Your values are your choices. There are no right or wrong answers. And you may find that over time your values change a bit. That is completely normal.
Next, look at each of these values and determine which are most important to you. Take a look at what that value means to you. Then, determine the steps necessary (the goals) to help you live your life in accordance with your values.
Identifying your values and acting on them gives you a sense of contentment, fulfillment, and happiness because living by your values gives you satisfaction right now – at the moment.
(Sources used: The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris, ACT by Dr. Stephen Hayes, Values-Centered Interventions by Kelly G. Wilson, and Living Beyond Your Pain by Lianne Dyche, LCSW)
One of the most effective tools to use while you imagine your more value-driven life is the concept of visualization. Immediately, I think of how this has been used in the sports psychology field. This is a way to help top athletes reach higher levels of achievement in their respective sports. Athletes vividly imagine themselves performing at a higher level.
John Kehoe, author of Mind Power into the 21st Century, describes visualization as a mental rehearsal. You create images in your mind of you acting on your identified steps in living your life by your values. You repeat these images over and over again. The key to remember when visualizing is to always visualize that you already have the thing you want.
Bonnidette Lantz, on her website, Positive Tools for Positive Results, lists ten benefits of visualization:
- Stress release
- No limitations
- Improved focus
- Self-confidence booster
- Goal achievement
- Mood booster
- Rehearsing is doing
- Health benefits
You have read about values and their inherent benefits of creating happiness and contentment in your life. Next, you learned about using visualization as a tool to achieve the goals you have set in maintaining each of your values. I encourage you to put them together and utilize them. You will be pleasantly surprised by the level of happiness you will achieve in your life.
As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “W”.
Copyright © Julie Corbett 2017