May 23, 2022

What do you value?

 A few months back, I came across a post from Dr. Nicole LePera (the holistic psychologist). She stated that our triggers are our best teachers. It was an amazing insight that left such a deep impact on me.

Triggers help us to identify what we value the most. For eg, I get triggered quite a bit when someone schedules a meeting at a particular time but delays without informing me in advance. What do I value in this scenario? Time and Respect.

I also get triggered when someone in my family wastes a resource (food, water, money, reusable stuff). What do I value in this scenario? Effective use of resources and opportunity cost incurred in procuring the same.

Once this awareness came in, I started noting down the triggers and my associated values. This exercise helped me understand myself a little deeper.

The trade-offs we make in every decision also help to determine our values and the order in which we rank them. For eg, if I get triggered by a family member for wasting food, I'm making a trade-off in my reaction to them - relationship vs effective use of the resource. 

Also, some of our daily lifestyle choices could mean valuing instant gratification over long-term health (or vice-versa).

Another realization hit me harder when I observed how elderly members get triggered or affected by situations more strongly.

Values are like seeds in our 20s and 30s. The more we value something, the more it takes deep roots and determines our quality of life in our 60s and 70s. For eg, if a person values himself as superior to other family members/relatives, he continues to act that way in his adulthood. The value gets deep-rooted and when he hits his 60s/70s, he wants to assert the same superiority over others.

This makes it all the more important to identify our values in our 20s and 30s and analyze whether they are life-serving or life-crippling. If we find that certain values aren't going to help us in the long run OR they contradict one another, then we can gently wean ourselves off by reasoning.

We don't need to invest a lot of time and effort into this exercise. Gaining an awareness of our values is a good start.

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