I'm going to get a little personal today.
I've been watching a lot of creative live while I edit and I recently stumbled upon a course that caught my attention. It's taught by a portrait photographer named Sue Bryce who shares her success stories and the path that got her there. The class is called "Empower Yourself."
Now "Empower Yourself" is not something I would normally click on. It sounds cheesy as heck! But it came on after another class I had been watching and I was hooked pretty quickly.
She talked about a lot of different ways to achieve a fulfilling life, but one thing that was memorable to me was this question- What are your top five values? She wanted us all to consider what 5 things mean the most to us; what we spend our days doing and talking about? Her idea is that once we have a good handle on those things we can work through them to achieve our goals instead of working against them. For instance, since family is a top priority for me, I can achieve my goal of getting in shape by working out with my son rather than trying to leave him to do so. That way he helps motivate me instead of being a reason not to work out.
It makes sense, so I decided to give it a go and figure out what my top 5 are.
1. Family- My husband and son are my top priority. Regardless of my future goals, that won't change. I'm sure many of you parents can relate to that. Everything I do is for my son's happiness and the betterment of his life. But in order to keep him happy and fulfilled I need to remember to achieve both for myself as well.
2. Creation- Whatever the form, I'm an artist and I have a need to create. Whether it's making a beautiful photograph, writing a poem, or just coming up with a new recipe for dinner, I won't feel fulfilled unless I have some sort of creative outlet.
3. Connecting With People- I consider myself to be an introvert. I'm uncomfortable in large social situations and I genuinely enjoy my alone time. But leave me alone too long and I will go crazy. I am fascinated by people. I love listening to other people's stories and seeing where their passions lie. It's what inspires my art.
4. Relaxation- My ideal house would be full of quiet corners with comfy seating and books to read (don't forget the purring cat!). It is very important to me to have a couple hours of downtime each day to gather my thoughts and reset my mind.
5. Change- This may seem like a strange one for some people. Change can be terrifying. But I am a restless soul and I thrive on it. That's why I make such a good army wife. Every few years I get to do a total reset of my life. But this need for change can make it hard to accomplish long term goals. I get really fired up about something, only to lose interest and get excited about something else 6 months later. I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but It's something I still struggle with. How am I supposed to focus on just one thing for the rest of my life? The answer is I can't. I need to learn how to work with my need for change to constantly create new interesting work. At least I know my creativity will never go stagnant.
Although I've spent lots of time thinking about what's important in my life, it was an eye opener to survey my surroundings and day to day activities and actually write down how things stack up. This is just the first step of figuring out how to achieve what one wants in life, but it's a pretty good place to start. I'd encourage everyone to try it.
So let's hear it, what are your top five values in life?