The best decisions in life are those that are driven by our values. But this is easier said than done.
A friend of mine has a saying; “I vote with my calendar”. In other words, if he cares about a topic – he’ll show up for your meeting. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have that kind of autonomy in your job?) But this mindset can also be applied to our everyday life. If something matters to us- we should make time for it. If a decision is in line with our values- we should do it.
There is a huge assumption in this statement. The assumption is that we know what are values are- and in what order.
So here is my question for you. Do you have a clear understanding of the priority order of your values – and are the decisions that you are making in line with these? If you answered yes to this question, I would love to hear your story. If nothing other than to learn from your story- and admire you for it.
Steve Jobs has a story that I particularly admire. In his 2005 Commencement speak at Stanford he shares three stories that carry a simple, powerful lesson. If you have not had a chance to hear it, it is worth the 14.34 minutes to sit back and listen.
Jobs tells a story about connecting the dots. He describes his decision to drop out of college. For Jobs, becoming a college dropout opened up the opportunity to drop in on classes that actually interested him. He was voting with his calendar. One of these courses was about calligraphy. At the time this decision to take this class seemed pretty random. But ten years later, when developing the first Macintosh computer, he recalled the beautiful Sanskrit writing from that calligraphy course, and the concept of integrating creative font typography on the Apple was born. It could be said that Job’s decision to drop out of college and follow his passion to learn about things that interested him changed the face of personal computing- forever. The dots connected.
The picture of your life will emerge based on the decisions that you make. The decisions that you make in life matter. The best decisions are those made that are in line with your own personal values as the top priority. “Best” does not mean “easiest”, but God forbid we wake up one morning and realize that we are living someone else’s definition of happiness.