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How to Experience the Vitality of Being True to Yourself

The #1 regret of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

The only way to be true to yourself is to clearly know and actively live your values.

The trajectory of effective decision-making is more about values than lists of pros and cons.

True to yourself:

Meaningful leadership is contributing in ways that align with your values.

Vitality is the result of being true to yourself. Persistent monotony means you’re habitually doing stuff that doesn’t matter to you.

7 questions to experience vitality through values:

#1. Notice strong negative reactions. What drives you crazy? Why?

#2. Think of something you’re putting off. What do you fear losing?

#3. Think of work that doesn’t feel like work. What are you really accomplishing?

#4. What makes you proud of yourself? What are you doing when you let yourself down?

#5. Reflect on work that jazzes you up. What do you gain by doing that type of work?

#6. What makes hard work meaningful?

Development and growth are deeply held values for me. Hard work has meaning when viewed through the lens of development and growth. I let myself down when I neglect my daily practice of writing, for example.

Speaking and coaching are opportunities to develop myself and others. I only work with leaders who are growing. If you work with me, and you don’t make progress, you won’t have to fire me. I’ll fire myself.

#7. What outcomes do you really want in life? Take the long-term view. Next year, what will you be sad you didn’t try?

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney

Tip: Try stuff. Deeply held values give meaning to results, even if you don’t enjoy the process.

What’s important about clarifying and defining values?

How might leaders clarify and define their values? Team values?

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