“Back to back meetings from 8-10, deadline for work on Friday, did I sign the field trip permission slip—wait—I think I’m chaperoning that field trip, dinner with the neighbors on Wednesday, hundreds of unanswered emails, pick up kids from soccer at 6, when was the last time I got my oil changed”—do I need to go on?
In Western culture, it is easy for life to move fast and our schedules to be full.
In the midst of all the noise, our values help us to know what is important to us. Our values get to act as a compass, pointing us in the direction we want to be going in.
When we are clear on the direction we want to be headed in, that helps us create and set boundaries.
Boundaries help us to know what is okay or not okay for us. When we know our yeses, we are able to be more generous with them, and we are able to be honoring and respectful in our nos. For example, if we know that we value family and being present, it is easier to say yes to prioritizing being home for dinner, and leaving work on time.
When we don’t have a vision of what is important at the end of the day, there is a far greater chance we will hand out yeses we don’t truly mean, and say no to things that are significant to us in the long run.
If your values are feeling unclear, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I value?
- What are my priorities in this season?
- What will be important over the course of my life?
- Are the choices I’m making, or what my calendar says, reflective of those beliefs?
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day its up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart, and say “No. This is what’s important.”– Iain Thomas