Walking your Why

One of my teachers, Tara Brach, often tells about this article written by a hospice caregiver who had accompanied thousands of people during their final weeks.

After countless hours of listening to the thoughts of the dying, the caregiver summed up their greatest regret with these words:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself. 

But what does it actually mean?

Why is it so difficult?

What I found is that this regret is also true for many of the rest of us, not approaching the end of our lives.

As Susan David puts it, ‘Walking your why’ or living a life true to yourself is the Art of living by your own personal set of values.

But what are our personal set of values?

When I facilitate my workshops and I ask if people or teams know which values they live for, consistently, for most attendees, the answer is that they don’t know. They had never thought of it before.

So, how can we walk our why if we never knew the values driving us?

Our values are our compass. 🧭

We calibrate our compass by developing our self-awareness.

The good news is: neuroscience says that self-awareness is a muscle and can be trained.

Calibrating our compass

What is that you value? Career success? Creativity? Close relationships? Freedom? Honesty? Altruism? Adventure? Stability? Family?

Which activities or tasks recharge your batteries?

Which ones do you struggle to get through?

When you tune in with what you care about the most, you can better shape your life toward those values.

Maybe you discovered you love to stay in nature and coaching even if you have a master’s in computer science (getting autobiographical here 👀)

Who said you can make a career pivot and look for new opportunities you will enjoy?

Or perhaps you are very good at teaching and love being around kids. You’d be a great candidate for helping kids with homework in your town’s local community.

Do you value financial security for you and your family above everything else? You might want to look into that corporate job that initially didn’t look very attractive.

We have so much more freedom than we think when it comes to start walking in the direction of our best life.

We need to start working on our self-awareness and be willing to see ourselves as we really are.

It can be scary. It can be against what we have been conditioned to think. But it can be done.

Once you’ve identified your values, you can start to look for choice points, those forks on the way that give you the opportunity to put them into practice asking yourself

Which decision would make someone who values stability/freedom/health above everything else?

Start walking

Whatever it is that you value, the key takeaway is that values are not just philosophical and theoretical commitments separate from our day-to-day lives.

They are meant to be understood, determined, remembered, and brought to life with our actions and habits.

Again, self-awareness is a muscle, and developing it is a process.

If you’d like to start working on that and building the toolbox to walk your why, feel free to book a free complimentary call. Just a relaxed chat. No strings attached.

Thank you for reading until here.

Much love,