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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Value Driven Life

By Dr. Dina Evan


One of the new thought phrases we often hear, is that we should be living a purpose driven life, but what does that mean? 

How does one decide on a purpose, fulfill a purpose and create a purpose driven life? I think it might be simpler than we think. What’s under a purpose driven life? It has to start somewhere. It starts with values...yours. 

A way of living your values is to be sure that both what you say and what you do are fully aligned with what truly believe. Then you are living your values. Think of the last time you did something courageous just because you knew with every part of you it was the right thing to do. Now imagine living your life that way.     

Seeking Fulfillment

Most of us are focused outside of ourselves for finding happiness and fulfillment. A value driven life starts with you being willing to look inward to examine what you believe are your values. Start to explore whether or not they are still viable and working for you in your current life. We grew up being taught that some things and some people are good, and others are bad. What if it’s all good and all there in service — to your life and your growth. How else can we learn if we don’t bring ourselves to our knees occasionally with a bad choice? Maybe bad choices aren’t bad choices, and bad people aren’t really bad people, maybe they are simply lessons we have created so that we can wake up!

On that note what about the other people in a value driven life? What if each of these people, whether stranger or beloved, family or friend is simply a master teacher in our life teaching us something about our self. We might be able to see each person with greater compassion if we knew that on a spiritual level we invited them in so that we could find out who we are as spiritual beings. For instance, when your child is acting out in the restaurant, and you feel horrified watching the reaction of the couple two tables away, are you horrified because of what they might be thinking about you as a parent or are you horrified because your child is acting like a child? In that moment, your child is being your master teacher, as is the couple.     

To fine tune your values, begin to ask the deeper questions... When I hold back my truth, is it because I am afraid I’ll be abandoned or judged if I speak the truth? When I’m afraid to stand up for what I believe, is it because, I am afraid I’ll look foolish if I stand up or — because I haven’t committed to what I believe. When I lack compassion when delivering a criticism, is it because I have the same fault that I have not yet owned, or because the other person’s error reflects poorly on me? Asking these kinds of questions opens the door to deeper soul work and a refining of your values. The more we embrace our values, the more we courageously stand in them.    

In essence that is what mindfulness is; being so present in your own life that you can notice your actions and reactions objectively, without judgment, in order to make new decisions about who you want to be and how you want to respond from your best self. You start to act like you own your life and you came here for a reason. You did and that reason is only to wake up to your potential as a compassionate, conscious human being. This planet is the best school for that and it means you take ownership of everything that you have created in your life! The gift when you do own your life and choices, is that you will also understand you are able to change anything that no longer serves you.   

Living a mindful, values driven life is exciting. It brings clarity, compassion for yourself and others and a commitment to waking up. The greatest thing about that is you know for a certainty that waking up ever ends and nothing else is ever as exciting.