To thine own self be true.” – Clearly Shakespeare had a Life Coach. This poignant bit of wisdom has been with us for hundreds of years yet we still need reminding as this well-worn adage holds the secret to personal fulfillment.
True fulfillment is found when we are living
our deepest personal truths. It is about feeling alive. These personal truths are also what we hold as valuable, therefore I will refer to them here as our “values.” I will give you a personal example. By racing on a sailboat once a week I am honoring (or giving
some form of reverence to) my values of learning, physical challenge, being on the edge, being in nature and working with a team. By putting myself in an environment that has me fully experience these values, this part of me feels fulfilled.
Even more ancient wisdom comes from Patanjali
in the yoga sutras when he says that Sayta (or truth) “is the highest rule of conduct.” He says “the man firmly established in truth gets the fruits of his actions without apparently doing anything”. Indeed when we are in alignment with our values life feels effortless, productive, satisfying, even the challenges can be fun! When we are out of alignment with our deepest values, life is out of sync and often hard work. In this state we end up spending most of our time trying to unravel the chaos, which does not leave much time for joy!
We can use the metaphor of an orchestra. When all our instruments (or values) are played in tune and harmony the most exquisite symphony emerges from our being. If just one instrument is not played or is out of tune we do not feel content with the performance of the orchestra. The more we practice each individual instrument (or live each value) the more harmonious the playing and more vitality in the expression of who we are.
There are hundreds of words we could use to describe our values. Each person will have a different set of words to describe what elements are intrinsically important to them as individuals. Use the words or phrases, that mean the most to you. I have a value called, “being on the edge” that sums up a whole experience of pushing the limits, entering the grey, challenging my fear. Remember these are your own personal, most authentic, foundation-building values. Not things you aspire to, or believe other people or you think you should have. Just be true to yourself.
*Remember an experience from your past that was rewarding, rich or fulfilling. Ask yourself what was happening, who was present and what was going on? Write down what values were present for you in that moment.
*Behind every moment of anger or frustration is a personal value that is being suppressed. Take a look at your life and ask yourself where you get upset, angry or frustrated? Or what is it that you cannot tolerate in others? For example I get frustrated when someone creates disorder or I create chaos, you could say that I value order. Write down the values you find.
*Write down your 10 most personal values. As you write down these values, create the intention to deepen and solidify your understanding and connection to them. Write down how you feel and what comes up as you name each value. Now ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 the extent you are living each value in your life at this moment. Looking at your results, what can you do to bring each value and how you honor it in your daily life up to a 10 on that scale?
Beneath what we believe we should be doing, or are doing in order to survive, lies dormant most of our values or deepest truths and therefore our potential to live our most fulfilling lives. To uncover and bring them into the conscious part of ourselves by first seeing them and then by honoring (or living them) in our everyday lives, we bring to light a deeper experience of satisfaction and unblock the pathway toward ultimate fulfillment.
Hermas Lassalle is a Life Coach. To contact him: [email protected]