How Values Influence Behaviour
Have you ever thought about what it is that you value in your life…?
When I was about 19, I found myself studying a University course that I knew deep down was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I knew the moment that I went down to the local store to get the newspaper to see what course I had been accepted into, that it wasn’t for me, but I did it anyway because I wasn’t sure what else I should do!
I was also working not just one, but three jobs on the side and at age 19 I got myself pretty run down and started to feel quite depressed because I felt I was forcing myself to do something I really didn’t want to do. I was stuck in a 5 year course I wasn’t really wanting to do, with the idea that at the end of all this study, I was going to be an Engineer hauled up in a little lab designing Electrical circuits (sorry for those that are keen on studying Engineering, we are all different and want different things, but I just knew that I wasn’t passionate about it).
I remember going to the Doctor, explaining how I had suffered from multiple colds and flu recently and just felt bad in general and she asked me why I was working myself into the ground. I remember saying something about wanting the money from the three jobs I was doing on the side, to buy a new car, but as I said it, I knew that wasn’t really the reason, and I realised that I honestly had no clue why I was doing this to myself.
Her advice to me was ‘Read some books and smell some flowers’ which shocked me a little, in a good way! She was basically telling me to slow down and find the basic joys in life again, which I started to do.
After some personal development work with an incredible mentor that I met not long after, I realised that my top values were hard work, perseverance and determination along with money, which had allowed me to get a lot done, but that had led me to feeling exhausted, unfulfilled and unhappy.
With his help, I changed my top 5 values to love, compassion, faith, gratitude and integrity and I honestly felt much happier. Having these values changed my future decisions to better ones for me...I decided to do what I loved to do for starters!
Now I am not saying that perseverance or determination are bad values to have, but if they are your top values and you apply them to things you don't love doing, then what happened to me will probably happen to you also....which is why it is so important to understand what values are and how they can affect your life!
It is a good idea to have a think about what values you currently have and what you may want to change them to. The way you discover what your current values are is by asking yourself, what do I do with most of my time?
Trust yourself and you will figure out which values you want to change or take on.
By the way, just to finish my storey, I ended up combining my Engineering degree with a Business Marketing Degree (which I loved) which yes, added on an extra year of study, so it was 6 years of study all up in the end, but the double degree got me a great graduate job thankfully. Now I never did end up using the Engineering Degree as the role was more business focused, but it was on my resume and I guess it proved I am not dumb!
Still, if I had my life over, I wouldn’t do that degree again, but what I learned from the whole process was, if I can get through such a demanding course that taught me subjects I knew I would never use like Nuclear physics (from a guy that looked very much like Einstein by the way!) and get through it….then what can I do when I am passionate about something I really want to do – like teaching you?!
I learned something the hard way, and I won't make that same mistake again. There is always an upside in every situation.
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