Why Your VALUES And Your FEELINGS Matter more than MOTIVATION

Hello and welcome back ?

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you read Part One of this post before reading today’s message.

We’re going to continue our exploration of what it takes to walk a true transformation path, and what it takes to achieve deeply important goals. We’ve already talked about why motivation is fleeting and why relying on the initial impulse isn’t something that will sustain us, and we’ve talked about the first step of figuring out what we want to do.

Let’s keep diving deeper on this today.

Values, Values, Values

From here, I feel that it’s important to really consider our VALUES as we are forming our goals. 

This can be another hard thing to wrap our minds around, but when we are attempting to make big changes in our lives, to become something we’ve never been before, to create something we’ve never created before, we want to make sure that our internal compass is pointed in the direction of what we ACTUALLY care about.

There has to be a REASON we are doing what we’re doing that means something to us, because the process of transformation and achieving a goal is going to require that we say NO to many other options. It’s going to require that we set our priorities and this is going to mean missing out on certain experiences, not being able to go along with the crowd a lot of the time, it’s going to mean sacrificing pleasure in the short run for outcomes in the long run. It’s going to mean sticking with a path even when there are a million other things we’d rather be doing at the moment. 

If we don’t have an inner sense that we’re making these sacrifices and choices to delay pleasure right now because it’s WORTH it to us to live in alignment with what we value OVERALL - again, the chances that we’re going to be able to stick with our path are going to be dramatically reduced.

The BEST goals and the BEST transformation journeys are all organized around a core value that we own and hold dear. They are formed around the fact that we KNOW creating anything or becoming anything requires us to make sacrifices and to miss out - and there has to be an inner sense that it’s WORTH it to do this, otherwise when distraction comes calling, we’re always, always going to answer. There has to be pleasure in walking the path, as much as in achieving the goal otherwise we are never going to have enough drive to walk the walk.

Remember, we as humans can’t actually force ourselves to be consistent with anything that doesn’t MEAN something to us, that doesn't align with our values and that doesn’t provide some benefit along the way. It’s not a lack of willpower when most people give up on their goals generally, it was a lack of positive reinforcement that bolsters us through times of challenge.

We have to have a real reason, and there has to be pleasure otherwise no matter how hard we try to be disciplined, we’re going to quit.

So can you ask yourself if you REALLY value what you are looking to achieve/become? 

WHY do you value it? 

What makes it important to you? 

Are you able to own that this is important to you even if others don’t validate that? 

Are you able to own that this matters to you MORE than other things matter, meaning you are going to be willing to prioritize this value OVER immediate pleasure or opportunities? 

If these are challenging questions to answer - that’s ok! That means you’re being given an opportunity to figure out what your values actually ARE. As this is something that a lot of people have never really been given. 

Most of us are living lives based on what we think we should do, what we think we should be, what we think will make others approve of us and so on - and this means we often live lives where we feel generally unsatisfied and unfulfilled because again - how others treat us is always going to be transitory and changing. What others determine to be ‘good’ and ‘bad’ changes from person to person, social group to social group and season to season. Trying to orient our lives around what others think and feel is actually pretty painful - but a lot of us don’t even realize that we’re doing it or that there is another option. It can also be scary to take ownership of what we care about deep down and to orient our lives around that because there is always the possibility (or probability) that others are going to judge us, invalidate what we value, tell us that what we think matters isn’t important and that we will be rejected for what we hold dear. A lot of us never embrace our values so that we can avoid the pain of being rejected for BEING ourselves and living a life that reflects who we really are.

It can be really scary to admit to ourselves what we care about. We are going to fear that what we prioritize is going to be misunderstood, judged and criticized by others. It can feel like it would be easier to keep going along with what others are doing - not putting ourselves out there - but in real reality again, this is going to lead to a feeling that life is shallow, hollow and without real meaning. It’s going to feel easier at first blush to continue orienting our lives around consensus and what others believe - because the alternative is having to really figure these things out for ourselves - and that is HARD WORK! It’s easier to follow a blueprint than it is to come up with your own design. But the reality is that continuing to go along with what we think will get us approval, in the long run, is going to lead to us feeling LESS connected to those around us, because we aren’t able to meet one another from an authentic place, and it’s going to mean superficial connection that never reaches past mundanity. 

Owning your values is going to mean being rejected and misunderstood. But it’s also going to lead to TRUE connections and again, a connection to your own life and experience that can’t be found any other way. It may also lead to finding others who value what you value, and the capacity to have a really deep connection with others - while also leading you to having a deeper connection with YOURSELF and a deeper feeling of purpose in your life. 

We also don’t realize that in NOT choosing our values or admitting to ourselves what we naturally value, we aren’t ‘keeping the door open’ for awesome possibilities we might miss if we commit to our values. There can be a fear that if we really OWN what we care about that this means we are going to miss out on a whole life outside of those values, and the truth is, that’s TRUE. That is exactly what is going to happen.

But the alternative isn’t a fulfilling life where we bounce from thing to thing having a great time.

The alternative is feeling aimless and not being able to fully enjoy our experience, because we are then ALWAYS going to be feeling like we should be somewhere else, doing something else.

When we don’t embrace our values and work our lives around them (to the best of our abilities, because we all have limits and things we have to do/be that are required for survival in our systems that DON’T align with what we REALLY want to be or be doing), THIS is how we end up feeling like we are always failing, always off course and it’s how we end up in a place where we can never figure out what our path is and what steps we should be taking. When we don’t have our core values to help us anchor into a path we are going to constantly feel like we’re being tossed about on the waves of the sea, and when challenges arise we’re not going to know how to navigate because we won’t have a ‘north star’ to help us.

To own what you value is to cut yourself off from options, but it is also giving yourself SO MUCH FREEDOM. It is setting you free from never feeling like you know where you are or where you’re headed. It will set you free from not knowing how to make life choices. It will set you free from worrying that you’re doing life wrong all the time. It will help you figure out what to prioritize and what to say no to, and it will help you feel purpose on the path instead of feeling like you need to ‘arrive’ somewhere before your life is worth it.

Building your goals around your values is the second most important step in finding the strength to be consistent. Because remember, consistency is the key.

The more you actually CARE about what you’re pursuing, the more consistent you’re going to be able to be.

So ask yourself what you value. What you will be happy you prioritized in your life. What you are willing to pursue even as that means not pursuing other things. Ask yourself what YOU care about deep down, and if you can start to find ways of building your life around these things.

What you value matters, and you have to make it matter.

Then again, we must balance this with the understanding that we don’t have total control over our lives, and that again there are going to be things we have to participate in that don’t feel aligned for us, simply due to how our systems are set up.

We don’t want to get caught in any amount of blaming or shaming ourselves when our entire lives don’t match our values. We don’t want to put ourselves in danger of not having our needs met unnecessarily via thinking we have to do everything with the utmost integrity. This isn’t the reality for anyone.

We just do the best we CAN. We align as much as we CAN in any given time, and we make that good enough. We don’t beat ourselves up when we go with the crowd in some areas. We don’t blame ourselves when we go with the crowd even if we could have aligned with our values. Things happen. Life isn’t fully in our control. We must have compassion for ourselves.

We do as MUCH aligning as we can at any given time, increasing that as we go. Having compassion every step of the way, and we accept that there will be things we may never align with our values in our lives because the systems are as they are.

Balanced perspective is key here.

Do what you can, make that enough.

What Feels Good?

Next, we have to realize that if the PATH towards where we want to go is totally miserable, if we HATE everything that’s required to get from where we are to where we want to be - the chances that we are going to be able to stick it out are slim to none.

If there isn’t some enjoyment on the path, if there isn’t a feeling of reward in the STEPS we are taking, if we are waiting for the ultimate outcome to feel like heaven, even though the entire path towards that heaven feels like hell, again, there’s no way we’re going to be able to maintain forward momentum.

Humans simply are not capable of doing something over and over again that doesn't feel good. That doesn’t produce SOME kind of payoff.

Thus to think that we’re going to be able to sustain any kind of forward momentum doing something that isn’t enjoyable is to deny reality.

Also we have to remember that life rarely, if ever, works in a way where the journey towards something is HORRIBLE but the end result is something that feels amazing.

Generally speaking, when we are TRULY on the path towards something that’s going to be life affirming, the JOURNEY is going to be one of progressively feeling good. It’s going to be one where yes there is challenge, there will be setbacks, there will be things we don’t like and that are burdensome - but this shouldn’t be the ENTIRE experience. There should be parts of the path that feel good all.the.way.along.the path.There should be a sense of fulfillment in every step, rather than only once the end destination is reached.

There needs to be SOME enjoyment factor in what you are doing on a day to day basis to work towards your goal, there needs to be a sense of pleasure and fulfillment on the path. There needs to be times where you genuinely enjoy the process and find meaning in it long before you reach the end - otherwise you’re going to lose motivation and you’re likely going to give up.

Again, humans are simply not capable of sustaining any form of effort or action that is ALL pain for very long. Most of us are not going to be able to sustain a life of pain or total discomfort for the length of time we need to in order to get where we’re going - and so we need to again be realistic if the path hurts more than it helps. 

We also have to remember that the habits we have to build and the general experiences we are going to have on the path to where we want to go, are going to be similar to the habits we will need to maintain and the experiences we will continue to have once we reach our destination. 

So if what we have to do to ACHIEVE the goal isn’t something we can see doing long term, isn’t something we can see ourselves ENJOYING long term - we again are going to want to reconsider our path. 

There are rarely any goals that can be sustained without consistent maintenance. There are rarely any states that we can arrive at that don’t ask us to do upkeep and that don’t require that we have habits and routines that sustain them. Which means we have to like the path. We have to like the journey. We have to be realistic about what we can see ourselves making a LIFESTYLE vs. just a thing we are doing to try to get somewhere. 

If the habits we need to build to get to the goal aren’t sustainable, then the goal isn’t going to be sustainable. This is important to recognize and be realistic about.

We also again must get realistic about the fact that if something we are pursuing is all pain, we are likely pursuing something that isn’t genuine to us. If there’s no enjoyment or fulfillment on the path, this is likely a sign that we’re going after what we are for reasons that are outside of us doing what’s right for us on our life path.

This is actually one of the TOOLS we have in our toolbox to help us determine if what we’re doing is REALLY in alignment with who we are/what’s important to us/what will work for us as an individual or if it’s rooted in a desire for approval or living up to expectations of others. This is how we can determine if what we are pursuing is TRUE growth or if it’s what we think we ‘should’ do in order to become worthy of love.

This is how we can start to unpack where we’re living with the hope that if we get to a certain place or achieve a certain thing, that this will mean we FINALLY get the LOVE and VALIDATION we’ve always wanted from the outside - which we subconsciously believe will then lead to us having all our needs met - the childhood perspective that drives most of us for our entire lives - or if we’re truly in our ‘adult’ perspective where we realize that living up to expectation isn’t how we get our needs met - understanding ourselves and our needs and finding ways of meeting them in real reality is.

This is how we can start to separate what we really want from what we think we should want. This is how we start to figure out what really matters to us, and what we are just doing in the hopes that if we get it right, we will be approved of.

Do you actually like the process? 

Do you actually like the journey? 

Do you enjoy the steps?

Again, this doesn’t mean that you have to feel like the WHOLE journey is amazing. There will be struggle and discipline will be a part of the path - but it can be all that.

Do you actually like what you’re doing?




Alright! Let’s take one more break here and come back for the rest of the article!



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