Few questions or clarifications, prompts maybe, are still bouncing in my head. They want to continue from previous post about values. Questions that are guiding the thought. I do not believe for a second I would have answers for those, and I guess that the real magic would be to just ask better questions (“questions are the answers”, “ask and the answers will come“), but in any case I want to see where I am today with my thinking and beliefs with those. No guarantees, tomorrow I might be elsewhere.
Can you pick your values? Can you just go and select them?
I think this was my problem in trying to define the values. How can I simply write them down and if I do, how do I really know that they are my values? What if I ‘just’ say they are my values, and then I won’t live by them?
I guess we have to pick them ourselves. If we do not live by them and there is a gap between, Grand Canyon even, then it comes back to two other questions:
- Did you really define values, that YOU want to live by?
- What are YOU gonna do about that gap?
Again, maybe leisure doesn’t sound like a very ‘acceptable’ value, but if at the end of day you are able to be brutally honest with yourself and you have to admit that simply being, doing nothing and admiring nature is what you want to do – what gives you energy, what makes you happy and gives you the feeling of the fulfillment and some inner peace, it just might be that your value “unlimited quality value add through heroic productivity” might require some reflection still.
And if you spend your days looking at cat videos and feeling bad about yourself, avoiding difficult feelings, and setting up blogs in order to find yourself, maybe you really need to aim a bit higher, set values against the person who you want to be, roll-up your sleeves and start changing the direction just a bit. Claim the drivers seat of your life.
Won’t we rather just slowly drift to the values instead of picking them?
I already touched this a bit, but still some more to come. Yes, I think we drift to values. I believe that if we do not set our foot on stone and declare own our values, they are given to us. They are given by our parents even when they have good intentions, they are given by our teachers and friends at school. We suck in the expectations of the society, people we have around us and those crafted by entertainment industry. Armies of extremely skilled people are thinking best marketing strategies to define what you should want and mobile game design innovates all the hooks that define what you want to do.
If you do not pick your values, someone else will pick them for you,
If you pick values that you are not quite able to live by, maybe it means that you are in the middle of a change? Maybe you are working to be where you want to be? At least you are taking a stand and thinking for yourself.
And maybe setting the values is not so easy as my homework suggested and you pick wrong values, have wrong beacon that you are following. And just maybe you are moving towards wrong direction? However, if you chose a value yesterday that doesn’t feel quite fitting today, you are allowed to grow more, pick a new value, and be closer to the new ideal tomorrow. Maybe it is not so often that we take 180 degree turns so that growing and progress that you made with yesterdays values would be completely negative. And even if you did, the actual process of making progress, as a human being, towards the values, maybe even virtues, you pursue is something you can utilize in any case. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
Doesn’t that sound selfish? Just picking values that make you happy and fulfilled? What about being of service and thinking of others?
Yes and no. Thinking of yourself is not selfish. Taking care of yourself is closer to responsibility than selfishness. You can only give what you have.
Somewhere I heard quote for which I cannot find the exact source now: “Every good human being has the moral responsibility to become rich.” That was something that I still need to think when it comes to my beliefs of money and wealth, but the idea is really interesting. There are enough bad persons able to make a lot of money and maybe then use it for not so good causes. If you are good person, you should make a lot as well so that you can use it for good causes. It is always very good to donate to good cause every month, but there is no way around it that with a million dollars one can do more good than with a fifty bucks.
Same goes to everything else. What goes around, comes around. The more you have love, the more you are able to give it. The more peaceful you are, the more peace you can emit. The better your energy is, the better is the energy that you give. Saving the world starts by saving yourself.
The magic, as I believe, is not in working and working to do good with best of intentions and worst of feelings. Forcing yourself to work for the good of others and losing yourself in the action is not worth it, not for you and not for the world. There are limits how much you can do lovingly without receiving the love you need yourself. You are just as responsible for having your needs met as everyone else is on having theirs.
I think one paradox that might be worth my while to think about is the following: “It is never about you and it is never about the others.” What I (think I) mean by that is that, really the life is not about you. Everyone else is their own person, living their own lives, and you need to live yours. What people think of you, say to you, or maybe even do to you, doesn’t have all that much to do with you and everything to do with them. What you feel and think, say and do often has so much more to say about yourself than about anyone else. “What you’re seeing in others is really what you are seeing in yourself. So look in the mirror.”
Live and let live.
That came out exactly as bluntly as I thought it might. Please go back to the disclaimer at the beginning. The writing likely reflects my current beliefs and tells about me.
Take the ideas, look at them and consider if one possibly could maybe think like that. What it might mean and feel like. Take a soft consideration. There was a sentence from one philosopher: “May be maybe. But not necessarily maybe even.”