Recently, someone said to me, “You serve what you love.”
I was pretty quick to say, “Yes, of course. I know that’s true.” They responded, “Well, are you pleased with the things that you’re serving?”
That conversation gave me pause and made me think of my own values…the brief list of what I say is most important to me. I stopped to consider those things I want to serve as filters for my choices, as well as how I spend the resources available to me. If you ask me what my values are — the things I want to serve — I’ll give you a list in rank order with definitions and supporting behaviors. However, this brief exchange made me stop and think: Am I actually serving my values or something else altogether?
Values cost us something.
Values require sacrifice and intentionality in the way that we live.
I found when I took time to pause and evaluate, I was actually serving the things that screamed at me the loudest. I responded to what demanded something from me. Probably even more concerning, I was serving the things that brought the most ease and comfort to my life.
The things I said I valued were getting lost in a scattered life. I was spending so much of my time responding to demands and trying to make those demands feel easy. But, I wasn’t necessarily structuring my days with intentionality, focused on the things I value.
I realized I rarely take time to pause and consider my seemingly small, day-to-day behaviors. I needed to evaluate things that seem unimportant, but actually point our lives in one direction or another. What I found was that I was serving productivity over connection, and that focus on getting things done was stealing joy from my days. If connection and joy are two things I proclaim as values, then I need to make some choices.
Values cost us something.
To say yes to connection and joy, I have to recognize when I’ve gone astray.
At times, I must say “no” to getting one more thing done. I can’t just take the seemingly easier path.
What about you?
We all fall victim to this tendency. With so many unexpected demands and challenges over the last year or so, how are your values holding up to those pressures? What are you serving? I encourage you to block 15 minutes on your calendar during the next week to reflect on what your time, money, and attention are serving. Are you pleased with that? What changes do you need to make to right the ship?
Participants in our limited-space flagship program, Milestone Leadership Intensive, have the opportunity to define their own personal values.
We offer guidance and reflective space to determine what values an individual wants to guide them on the road to becoming a leader worth following. If you or someone you work with could benefit from unique insight designed to unleash leadership capabilities, we are reserving seats for our immersive September 14-17, 2021 Intensive.
Written by: Stephanie Brown, Operations Manager – Milestone Leadership