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Become a person of value- Live A Great Life Podcast by Dr Prem – Chapter. 13

Become a person of value- Live A Great Life Podcast by Dr Prem – Chapter. 13

Here is a quote –  One of the great arts in living is to learn the art of accurately appraising values. Everything that we think, that we earn, that we have given to us, that in any way touches our consciousness, has its own value. These values are apt to change with the mood, with time, or because of circumstances. We cannot safely tie to any material value. The values of all material possessions change continually, sometimes overnight. Nothing of this nature has any permanent set value. The real values are those that stay with you, give you happiness and enrich you. They are the human values.

—George Matthew Adams

What are your values? What do you value the most in your life right now? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? If yes, did you get the right answers? If your values correspond completely with the ones prevalent in society currently, or if what you believe as your core values keeps changing with time, then it might be possible that you never actually discovered what you value the most. You might have known your true values during your early childhood, but you let yourself forget them.

Why we forget our values

No two human beings are the same. It is an undisputed biological and psychological fact. All of us are different from each other. Yet, in some respects, we are very similar to those around us. Had it not been so, it would have been impossible for us to communicate.

Communication involves telling someone what we think or how we feel, which the other person can comprehend only when that person is able to compare his or her thoughts or experiences with ours. That is why it is so easy for us to convey our thoughts to those who have spent plenty of time with us since there are many common experiences that we share with them and that we can allude to. For the same reason, it is difficult for us to communicate with someone who is from an altogether different region or background and whose thoughts and feelings are completely different from ours.

This very fact causes a schism within us. Human beings need each other and keeping this necessity in mind, we often undermine our own opinion in order to conform to the opinion of others, so as not to seem different. This process begins in childhood, and more often than not, we tend to forget or we completely alter our true values to better align them with those of society.

Discovering your values

However, your values are embedded within you irrespective of whether you discover them or not. Even if you never find them, they still govern your life subconsciously, becoming the reasons for your distress and unhappiness, for which you probably keep blaming something else. Therefore, before taking any important decision in life, it is necessary that you discover your true values first.

Recall the moments when you felt complete

It is natural to feel happy when you achieve something, or when somebody appreciates your efforts. But try to recall something out of the ordinary that made you feel complete. Don’t search for something grand, as your values might be hidden behind something that you discard as ordinary. It could be that you felt happy when you cleaned your room, or maybe you felt complete when you helped someone, or when you spent time with nature.

No matter how trivial the recollections seem, note them down, and try searching for a pattern in them. Give special preference to the recollections of your childhood as that was when your intentions were pure. If you find something common among your recollections, make a note of it. Later, when you are in a good mood, just relax and go through those notes again. Try to derive something substantial out of them. See if it corresponds to some values. After that, ponder over those values and ask yourself this question – could those be your true values?

Read philosophy

In his last and most famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, British writer George Orwell described many important concepts. One of them was Newspeak5. It was the concept of a language that has so little vocabulary that it automatically diminishes the freedom of thought. In the novel, it was clear that the intention behind developing such a language was to stop people from rebelling by making them unable to convey even the thought of something that might lead to a rebellion.

In one way or the other, the same happens with most of us. Deep inside, all of us have philosophical and poetic notions, which we keep trying to express, but are unable to do so. After some time, we completely give up on them, thinking that such notions must be silly.

Reading philosophy might end up giving us the assurance that such thoughts are important and we are not the only ones who have them. Moreover, it might also give us words to express what we truly feel. If your values are hidden just because they are inexpressible, this might help you considerably.

Travel abroad

Every place has some values associated with it. If your values don’t match those of the people living in your city or town, you might  eventually feel helpless and inadequate. However, once you begin traveling, it might so happen that you discover a place where people are just like you. At such a place, all of a sudden, you might start feeling very confident and comfortable. When this happens, it is important that you carefully observe the values that the natives of that place have. Those might be your own inner values. To make this happen, it is important that you travel extensively. You never know what you might find.

Maintain the right balance

Remember, just because you have discovered your true values, you don’t get the right to offend the values of others around you, no matter how superficial they might seem. Having a better knowledge of yourself should make you more tolerant and understanding. You should learn to communicate in such a way that your values never come into conflict with those of the people around you. In fact, through better communication, you can easily bring others into accord with your own values.

The most common regret that people have on their deathbed is that they lived their life according to the desires of others, not how they wanted to. On the other hand, during psychoanalysis, one of the common reasons people give for their unhappiness is that the world isn’t the way they want it to be.

So, to be truly happy in this world, you should know how to create a balance between the two. You should know how to get what you want, and at the same time, to do what others expect you to do. It is an art – if you focus too much on one, you might lose the other. However, mastering this art is not as difficult as it might seem, especially not when you know exactly what your true values are.

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