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Finding happiness through your top 10 governing values

“Your mind’s job is to keep you alive and help you survive, it’s your job to be happy!” – Paraphrased from Tony Robbins

My parents always tried to tell me that I should ‘follow my heart’ and do something that I wanted to do with my life, but I actually never had the urge to do anything. I don’t come from a society where people are educated as to how to think in life, or what path we should follow based on our core purpose, or even how to find out what our core purpose is.
Instead I grew up being told that I needed to get good marks in school so that I could get entry to a university, so I could get a degree, so I could get a job.
This led me to the belief that happiness ensues after getting a good job, a stable life, a secure income, but it’s certainly not something important or that we need to aspire to. After all, what good is the job, secure income or degree if I’m not happy or unfulfilled? Surely happiness is the end game?

“Instead I grew up being told that I needed to get good marks in school so that I could get entry to a university, so I could get a degree, so I could get a job.”

After turning thirty I’m finally chasing these answers and trying to work out why I’m either not happy or unfulfilled. I have so much opportunity in this life, I have so much to be grateful for, but I feel hollow in certain areas of my life.

I’m starting to change my belief of needing the dream job and instead seeing happiness and fulfilment as the key players here, what ensues from there is further study or a job, or even creation of a job based on my interests.
While I studied hard at school I feel my education was filled with so much wasted time.. Why is it that simple lessons such as goal setting or facing fears aren’t recognised as more useful than learning to play recorder or that science experiment I had to make up that took six months of class time in year 10 and taught me that certain rocks hold more heat than others?

At the end of the day happiness and fulfilment are extremely important emotions to feel in order for a human being to move forward. It opens the doors and drives us to achievement or keeps us motivated on our path. I comes from the right mindset and the feeling that you’re doing something with your time that aligns with your core purpose.
The only problem now is figuring out what your core purpose is. What is is that we want to achieve in life, is it something we want to share with others, is it even something to achieve or simply something to give?

I’m working on a way to get this figured out. Recognising the issue is only the first step, now I have to figure out how to go to the very root of the cause and learn what it is that drives me. That’s where the following list comes in..

My list of governing values (or fulfilment factors)

I’ve begun by ordering from 1 – 10 what I feel are the most important aspects of my life based on a list (taken from a book titled ‘The 10 Natural laws of successful time and life management‘, which I think would be better titled ‘The How-to fulfilment guide’).
Please feel free to take a look at the list and work out which you believe are the most important ‘governing values’ or fulfilment factors in your life (even feel free to add your own values). Only you are going to live your life and create your own happiness and fulfilment, so it’s important that you’re honest with yourself here, the more honesty, the more you go outside your comfort zone, the bigger the results when finding what is actually more important to you in life.

  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Leadership
  • Inner Peace
  • Financial Security
  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Capability
  • Intelligence
  • Quality of Life
  • Friendship
  • Education and Learning
  • Imagination/Creativity
  • Helping Others
  • Being Responsible
  • Self-Control
  • Independence
  • Happiness
  • Self-Respect
  • Beauty
  • Equality
  • Children and Family
  • Ambition
  • Pleasure
  • Understanding
  • Occupational Satisfaction
  • Courage
  • Forgiveness
  • Sense of Accomplishment
  • Generosity
  • Spouse
  • Personal Health & Fitness

Upon completion of this list being as honest as possible to yourself, it’s time to ask yourself how many of these values you put in that exact order in your daily life?
An example of this for me is spouse‘. I thought she would have been my top priority, however my top priority is happiness and she’s my (close) second priority. If she is my number two, then why in some cases (like last weekend) would I say yes to working a 13 hour day doing something I don’t enjoy, instead of helping my girlfriend set up the house for her birthday party, at a stage where she felt she really needed me?
I would much prefer to be with her than at work, but I was satisfying my needs for certainty and safety through financial security.

“Upon completion of this list being as honest as possible to yourself, it’s time to ask yourself how many of these values you put in that exact order in your daily life?”

At the very least it helps me to understand myself and realise why I was feeling so low that night, because I wasn’t making decisions based on my core values.

It becomes apparent that much of the world go through their lives in this way, finally doing something they value highly only in retirement and living the majority of their lives ‘incorrectly’ according to their governing values.
After doing this list I even realise that I put my financial security before my family, who I believe I value much more.

Ordering these values has helped me realise that I am definitely not living a life that is going to make me happy or fulfilled and a mind shift is in order. I don’t have the answers yet, but I thought sharing this list might help others out there who are struggling with happiness just like me.
If this helped you or you know of anything that could improve the list, please add it in the comments 🙂

The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

The 4 Hour Work Week

If you could earn the same amount of money that you earn now, but only work 1/10th of the time – would you?
It’s a difficult question to answer because it’s so difficult to see as realistic.
We’re so conditioned (being obligated) to have a job to pay the bills, mortgage, cars, fund retirement, that we focus on security instead of happiness. But everyone does it, so it’s normal, right?
The four hour work week is a 380 page self-help book which gives principles for living more and working less, while still maintaining the same level of income.
Early on in the book Ferriss hits us with a blunt truth that is constantly staring us in the face, but that we fail to acknowledge or perhaps take action on;
Which is the scariest thought;

  1. ‘quitting your job and doing something that you really want to do with your life at the cost of not having a stable pay check’?
  2. Continuing to work your job out of obligation for 8 – 10 hours per day, 5 – 6 days per week for a total of 45 years in an average life, then retiring after already working through your most physically capable years’.

I’ve always found it daunting to leave my job, but when put like this – continuing to work seems like the scarier option!

TCree the robot!he book is written with 4 main chapters making up the acronym of DEAL, which stands for definition, elimination, automation and liberation – a simplified system for freeing up one’s life.
Tim gets us to do a ‘dreamline‘, like goal-setting but encourages us to go for our dreams, not necessarily what we believe is achievable but our actual dreams and shows how it is actually possible to achieve them and you may be surprised just how affordable it all really is!
For example, to gain my perfect house, motorbike and lifestyle I need around $200AUD a day. Not much to be in a beautiful house by the beach!
Tim talks extensively on eliminating those things in life that we don’t really enjoy doing by looking at what gives us most results in our lives with the smallest effort. This may be eliminating certain customers who have been found to occupy 80% of your time, but who only account for 10% of your profits, hence you politely tell them to go elsewhere, freeing you up for more time, or better support to worthwhile customers.
The section on Automation is about setting up systems so that things happen in your absence. Virtual assistants, auto-responding emails, online advertising and outsourcing tasks. The goal is to become a more efficient delegator than worker.
In the final Chapter Ferriss talks about Liberation, by creating this lifestyle for yourself you open yourself up to see the world. You may be trying to create this life for selfish reasons (to own a Lamborghini, appear rich, meet your ideal partner)  or to eventually help build primary schools in Uganda, however only with your work life semi-automated will you be able to free the time to actually do what you want to do.

Out of many great tips and advice (from using fulfillment/ mailing houses to take care of ordering and shipping of products to getting help from a Virtual Assistant in India), my biggest single take away from the book was just how reachable my desired goals are. Tim isn’t promoting a get-rich-quick idea, nor is he saying you need millions to live your desired lifestyle – he’s getting you to ask yourself honestly ‘What do I want out of life?’ ‘How much does this cost per month?’. I was extremely surprised to find that I’m already earning more than I need to live my desired life from my job alone, but even better is that I’m about a third of the way there with my other website!
It just excites me and makes me want to push on harder, faster and more efficiently.

Applying the 80/20 Rule to Reading.

The Pareto Principle – This is best described by author Tim Ferriss where he says that 80% of output is due to only 20% of input.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

Here are a couple more examples of the Pareto principle to get you familiar with it if you haven’t yet heard of it:

  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.
  • 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
  • 20% of the features cause 80% of the usage

While speed reading about this in Tim Ferriss’ book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ I have come to the realisation that (in the past) I was wasting so much of my time on insignificant text (I Normally read educational books, whether they are self help, motivation or financial, I find a lot of reward from them and their teachings).
I’m learning that speed reading doesn’t mean a monotonous single fast speed, it’s a matter of getting through the text to the 20% that matters and slowing down for improved comprehension. Tim himself says to practise taking only 2 fixations or ‘snapshots’ per line for 5 pages. It’s not against the rules to go back and read those five pages, however when I do my comprehension increases for 2 reasons:

  • 1. I am reading the text slightly slower,
  • 2. I am already slightly familiar with the text.

I need to go back and revisit my initial WPM (words per minute) reading time, however I feel there has been a drastic improvement. I was just able to read through 40 pages of text in 60 minutes while taking notes and visiting 2 of the recommended websites.
I also find that I have strayed much less in my reading, since I have a small purpose I’m able to focus on the text and comprehend it without my mind drifting so much.
Perhaps I’m not giving Tim enough credit and Mr. Ferris has just written some very capturing text!
Either way, I’m growing and learning – so let’s keep moving forward!