To walk purposefully in this world, you must see the value in the walk. That value starts and ends with the person you are walking with… You.
When working with people, I find it amazing how many, in the course of our conversation, will run right past their own brilliant wisdom. The solution, or at least some critical elements, just come rolling off the tongue and they simply can’t hear it. The reason is fairly straight forward, most of us don’t practice seeing it.
I asked a client recently, at the end of a session, to create a list of what she valued for the following weeks meeting. She looked puzzled, “you mean my values?” she asked. “No” I said, “Values are how you try to be” “I mean what do you value, what are the things you really like to do, who are the people you really like to be around, those things that bring your life meaning, the activities that make time stand still.”
At our next meeting, she presented a large list of lots of things she liked, from chocolate to her children. “Fantastic!” I replied, “You have a very rich life! Now lets pair this down to the top five or ten on the list.” She started crossing the “likes” off and really focused on the cherished items that she valued deeply. She spent the next hour telling me stories of each of the remaining listings, how she came to value them, what they meant to her life and journey and what she continuously learns from these people, places, things and ways of being. It was at this point she caught her own wisdom, “I need to live this list more purposefully” she replied, suddenly aware. “What does that look like?” I asked. “I think I need to place a “practice” around what I value… Just be more on purpose with it.”
Wisdom is a serendipitous outcome of a life. We all have it as it’s related to our journey, and we should not discount the personal value it adds. Our journey, the people we have met, and the experiences we have crossed are the only seeds required. Money, education, social status or religious affiliation are not a requirement for wisdom. Simply your journey and the jewels you collect along the way.
Lets face it, we all have worries, obsessions, obligations and just some good old fashioned bad habits that keep our mind reminding us that we could be better. Pile on current media and social overloads that redefine white-noise, and the frontal cortex is soaked with images and ideas of perfection that are more about shortcomings, ours and others, than internal wisdom or value.
Value is a practice, wisdom is a gift. Take some time today, look at the jewels you have collected, ask yourself “what do I truly value?” Make a list of those people, experiences and ways of being that bring value to your walk. Are you walking with them, living them? Have you made this list a practice? It’s a simple practice of gratitude, not just for people, places, things and experiences, but how these elements make up your value and your unique wisdom.
It’s the walk you are taking, that expresses to yourself and the world what you value… Make sure you are being purposeful with that value model.