Even amid a pandemic, we can continue to have powerful and purposeful lives.
I would describe “living powerfully” as taking charge of what we can control in the midst of what we cannot, and “living purposefully” as arranging our schedules to prioritise the things we deem as important.
I run three times a week for 45 minutes (although for the same amount of time, I could have watched 3 episodes of The Mandalorian on Disney). No matter the obstacles, I will find a way to run. Even during a vacation, I look for opportunities to run. When COVID-19 hit our shores and the running track near my home closed, I ran at the park connector.
To ensure that I have sufficient time, I wake up at 5.45am on days that I run. Usually by 7.30am, I would have reached home in time to settle down and prepare for work.
Why do I do this? Because I value being fit and healthy. I believe that it helps me to work better as I have more energy and can give of myself more to serve wherever I am.
Our values determine how we live. Formed by our beliefs, values not only empower and strengthen us, they drive our behaviour.
The word value is derived from the Latin verb valere meaning “to be strong”. If your name is Valerie or Valeria, your name means “strength”, “valiant”, “brave”. Values empower you. They impact your life significantly whether you are aware or unaware of them. Values direct your behaviour, influence your decisions and impact your relationships.
I did not always have such commitment to my values. Like many, I struggled with achieving the resolutions or goals I made each year. I know the pain of not being able to cut down on your LiHo Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Coffee from 4 to 2 times a week. Or make the same resolution three years in a row not to start binging on an upcoming Netflix series.
However, as I decided to be guided by my beliefs, I am more motivated to do what was in line with my values. These will then be reflected in my goals, resolutions, and subsequently my actions. For instance, it is very unlikely that someone who values being healthy will eat an entire tub of ice cream all at once.
Once you understand your beliefs and values, your actions and behaviour will naturally come into alignment with them. This is what it means to live powerfully and purposefully.
Ready for some powerful and purposeful living?
Here are some steps you can take:
A. Discover Your Values
You may ask “How do I know what my values are?”
Since values drive your behaviour, take a look at:
Have you noticed that the list above consists of areas that are visible to you and people around you? Your values are seen in how you behave and what you say and do daily.
1. Take some time out for yourself to look at the above areas and reflect “What is the value that is driving this area of my life?”. Or you can ask " Why do I do what I do?"
2. Ask a close friend or a family member who knows you really well “What are the top 5 values you notice in my life?"
3. Take a Values Inventory here. Choose the top 10 values that resonate with you, and out of which, identify 5 values that you will not compromise with. These are your core values.
B. Evaluate Your Core Values
From the 5 core values you identified, use this Life-Coaching Tool: Core Values from The Significant Project to evaluate them. The objective of this tool is to help you ascertain how your core values are reflected in your behavior and how strong they are in your life.
C. Clarify or Set Your Objectives
Now, based on your evaluation, if you find that a particular behavior does not reflect strongly a corresponding core value, clarify the objective you desire to achieve in that behaviour.
If you have a core value but with no specific behaviors associated with it, begin with brainstorming ideas how to live out that core value. Then set the objectives for that specific behaviour.
D. Schedule Your Objectives
With the above clarified or newly set objectives for the behaviors, lock them down in your schedule. Do not leave it to chance.
That's it! Here's your plan to live powerfully and purposefully.
As with any plans, there are bound to be obstacles and hiccups along the way, and some adjustments would be needed.
Fine-tune them till you get in the flow of living powerfully and purposefully according to your values. If you encounter difficulties, check your values again. Often challenges arise because of a dissonance of your values with what you are doing.
Ching Yet has been on staff with Cru for 23 years. He has worked with university students, working professionals and couples in achieving seismic shifts in their lives through making incremental shifts in their mindsets. He is currently the Team Lead of Healthcare Ministry in Cru, empowering healthcare students and professionals in living out their calling and potential. Always an avid learner, you can always find him learning something new at any moment and looking for opportunities to create value for others with what he has integrated.
How many times have we heard, and quoted, "be strong and courageous"? Do we really know what this means for us?
Thoughts from a young adult on how we can respond to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
How we choose to respond in this time will leave people with the answer to this question. What will your choice be today?
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