This last week I went through a values clarification exercise talked about in this video by Elizabeth Fillips.. The exercise involves going through a list of more than 80 different values and ranking them on a scale of importance: not important, important, very important, surprisingly important, and surprisingly unimportant.
I have done lifestyle design exercises similar to this one in the past but this exercise still pulled me for a curve particularly with the surprisingly unimportant category.
What I Found Surprising
The most interesting category for me in this exercise was the surprisingly unimportant. Let's go through the three values inside of it.
First off is acceptance, being accepted by other people as I am.
I don't really care how people I don't know accept me. I'm not going around murdering people with axes. I'm not spreading negativity to everyone I interact with in my day. There are too many people in the world to be accepted by everyone.
Second was stability, having a life that is fairly consistent.
Before the summer, I believed I was a very routine person. Most of my day was filled with habits I did at the same time with little variation.
It wasn't until my epic travelling adventure in London, Sweden and The Netherlands over the summer that I realized how much I enjoyed novelty and spontaneity. During this series of trips, I stayed with a whole bunch of family that had completely different routines from each other; I had to adapt to every one of them.
After the trip, I realized how much I value relationships. If fostering better relationships means sacrificing the ability to stick to a rigid routine every single day, that's something I'm willing to deal with.
Third was achievement, to have important accomplishments.
During high school, I was a grade prioritizing machine. Most of the reason I tried in school came from the vague extrinsic motivation of getting into a good college and getting that highest GPA reward at the end of the year. That and I was too addicted to video games to spend the time creating a better reason to pursue learning.
Now that I'm in college I have come to an astounding realization: nobody cares. That perfect score you got on your Geometry test in 10th grade, never mentioned again. That highest GPA award you got in 11th grade, all in your head.
I now see pursuing accomplishments for the sake of getting the award as mostly an ego building exercise that sacrifices from the true quality of doing something out of intrinsic motivation. After all life is an infinite game and if you are pursuing something just for the reward, what are you doing?
What False Values Do You Still Hold From Childhood?
Looking at these three values, I had a fascinating realization.
Your false childhood values could be leaning over you like a shadow.
People change lots in their late teens and early twenties. College is a profoundly novel time. I changed more in my first year of college than in the last four years of high school combined.
But in the process, I held onto a lot of old childhood values without even realizing. False values like pursuing awards, liking routine, and being accepted by those I interacted with.
It was only after going through this exercise that I truly realized which false values I still was holding on to. I think I'm going to make doing this values exercise a routine as another part of my system of Lifestyle Design. Maybe I'll fill it out every 6 months or so. We'll see.
I believe doing this exercise could help you readers find what false values you are still holding yourself. Check out the original video here to see the values template for yourself.
Here's what I would like to share this week.
📸News From The Channel!
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Astrid Helfant: Using Google Keep for Teaching and Science: In this podcast episode with my mom, we discuss what notetaking and research were like before the internet, how she uses BASB methodologies in her teaching and life, and how we can take insight from the past to take better notes today.
💡My Best Insights:
📖Book - Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks: easily the best book I have ever read on storytelling. It gives actionable advice that will help you tell better stories today. I believe storytelling is one of the most important skills in building relationships.
🎙️Podcast - Controlling Your Dopamine for Motivation, Focus & Satisfaction | Episode 39: Dopamine is commonly known as the pleasure hormone, but in reality it has more to do with your motivation and drive to do things than just your sense of reward. Because of this, it's essential you keep your dopamine levels balanced to avoid experiencing a dopamine crash. In this podcast, Andrew Huberman gives a bunch of actionable techniques you can use to control your dopamine.