Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and been surprised at the ever-increasing wrinkles or the swiftness with which the salt in your hair seems to be overtaking the pepper? Have you found yourself feeling tired at the end of a not so busy day? Found yourself hating the thought of Mondays and eagerly waiting for Saturdays every week? If you have, then you are not alone. There’s a huge percentage of population in their late 30s and 40s who feel stuck in their current jobs despite it seeming like they are living a successful life.
So you followed the life script of studying hard to get good scores, scrambling to get placed in the best of companies, chose your life partner carefully (or your family helped you with that), went on to have kids as per every one’s expectation and suddenly you are here with what looks like a happy family, decent lifestyle, a good designation at work, month on month salary, plus that void that you feel in your chest. That void is the only thing no one warned you about. Hence, not only are you at a stage in life where it feels like you are living someone else’s dreams but you experience pangs of guilt for feeling so deflated and dissatisfied.
Recently, while watching an interview of Dr. John Demartini, a world-renowned business consultant and author, the interviewer asked this wise 66 year old speaker for the secret to his youth and without blinking an eyelid he replied “I live in congruence with my highest values and that maintains my vitality at the peak levels”. It was a bulb on moment for me. This highly successful man who could easily pass off as a 40 year old, didn’t talk about his diet, his workout regimen or his skin care routine when asked about his youth. He spoke about his values and priorities instead! He said that he lives his life in congruence with his most important values and spends his time doing the things that he feels passionate about.
And the absence of that is the exact hidden cause of ageing and stress. When we are living life in a way that is in NOT in sync with what we value most, we are easily overcome with distraction, boredom and frustration. When we are doing things that don’t match our values, we are not playing our ‘A’ game and this leads us to second guessing our own motivations and capabilities. While confidence and enthusiasm evades us, we feel like fakes and suffer from the imposter syndrome. And is that surprising? No! If we are not doing the things we value most, we are being fake (though not deliberately) and trying to do things that doesn’t fit with who we truly are!
So, are you living a life of congruence? The gauge for whether you are or not is your level of satisfaction and enthusiasm in your day to day life. But, in case you are not living such a life of authenticity, don’t despair! Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself which will help you to get some clarity about what are those things that you value most and what your true priorities are.
Make sure that you give yourself an undistracted 30 minutes to read through and reflect on these questions because this could change the way you see yourself and your life ahead. Adapted from Dr. Demartini’s methodology, following are the five questions:
- Look at your physical surroundings at home and observe the three things that you tend to surround yourself with. You have to choose three. Are they your work material? Or books on poetry? Or paintings that depict nature? Or is it clothes and accessories? Or maybe somethings to do with a particular sport? Or photographs of your loved ones?
- What 3 things do you spend most of your time and energy on? Is it your workout regimen? Or music? Or reading about astrology? Or watching programs/videos on a certain topic? Or maybe it is socializing with friends? Or may be checking out recipes or cooking something new? Or is it solving people’s problems? Or on having the right look? Or it is financial planning?
- What are the 3 things that you spend most amount of money on? Leaving aside the basic necessities of life that are needed for survival, what things do you end up spending your money on and feel excited every time you are about to buy it? There may be things that you may be spending money on reluctantly, those don’t count.
- What are the top three things that you think most about? Whenever you are not focusing on an assigned task, where does your mind drift to? What does it spend a lot of time automatically focusing on and feeling energized about?
- What are the areas in your life where you are most disciplined and organized? You may think of yourself as a disorganized and undisciplined, but there are areas where you are neither. It could be the way you organize your work files or the way you maintain your shoes and clothes or the way you plan your holidays or the way you organize meetings. You will have to think a little to identify these areas because they exist.
When you answer these questions, you will see certain areas/ aspects that show up repeatedly. While it is important that you answer these questions in one sitting, keep reading them and going through the questions and answers over a few days or weeks because the real responses will emerge over a period of time. The list you thus form, are your true priorities and the things that you value most. Consider deliberately thinking more about those areas and how you can live by those values and watch your life change for the better. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
We hope this article helps you. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below! For more articles like this, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to sessions by our Emotional Wellness Expert Divya Thampi on GOQii Play.