Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom helps people realize their unique importance. Using my knowledge of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, my experience with therapy, coaching, somatic healing, and personal growth I create products to help you discover, develop, and express the elements of your identity critical to your health and your contribution to our world. My goal is to research, develop, and disseminate these materials so that every individual can reconnect with their uniqueness, realize their passion and purpose, and live the life they were born to live.
It literally took me ten years to figure this one out. After nearly a decade of Cognitive Behavioral and psychological therapies, I had figured out my brain, my issues, and what I needed with respect to personal growth and mastering my limiting beliefs. The problem was, I wasn’t seeing the changes I wanted.
Sure, learning about and understanding myself and other people had it’s benefits and made me feel better. But nothing about ME was really changing except for my knowledge. My equation was unbalanced. All K, no E.
So the Experience has to come in somewhere.
And what I’ve learned – over the past ten years but mores recently – is that our minds don’t really change as a result of thinking.
In just about any kind of self help endeavor you will be asked to identify your values. While this sounds pretty easy, the process is far from simple. Turns out we like a lot of stuff. We ‘value’ many things. The trick is determining your top 3-5 values that truly drive you to live your life.
Over the course of ten years of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, I read and heard a lot about values, but it wasn’t until I put some real effort in that I discovered the, well, VALUE, of my values.
Values are things you believe are important in the way you live your life. Values determine your priorities and are a source of motivation.
That’s pretty good, but there are some easy-to-miss key points.
You BELIEVE values are important. Values are subjective and unique to you. YOU decide what they are. Values can be revealed by thinking about what you LIKE, or don’t like.
Values are things you prioritize; either consciously or subconsciously. Values can be identified by thinking about things you DO, or don’t do.
Values motivate you. Values are things that make you feel excited to get out of bed in the morning. Or, things you don’t value or want to do can make you wanna pull the covers up and go back to sleep.
There are TONS of resources on the inter webs that can help you identify your values, but all of these methods are deceptively simple. The KEY is to go through multiple iterations, take breaks, and to do some sort of ranking. I estimate I put in nearly ten hours of writing, thinking, journalling, rearranging, ranking, and repeating to get down to my set of 4 values.
There’s also a tricky side to values. Being humans, we tend to focus on things we consider to be ‘good’ and ‘healthy’ when considering our values. There are also values, many call ‘SHADOW values’ that also motivate you, help you prioritize, and reflect the things you do.
However, shadow values, at least on the surface, might not be something you’d be comfortable sharing with others.
Shadow values can be things like having a lot of money, being powerful, having people obey your word, being the center of attention, or wanting people to behave in ways that make you happy.
But the reason shadow values are beneficial are twofold: 1) They help you understand the darker side of your motivations and can help you achieve your goals and be your best self by embracing ALL of your characteristics, and 2) can almost always be softened to see the non-selfish attributes of seemingly nefarious concepts or intangible ideas.
For example. Being motivated by money doesn’t necessarily mean you are evil or Scrooge-like. Knowing you want to be wealthy can reflect a need for safety or a desire to protect your family. See how we can flip something that seems narcissistic to something that comes from a better part of your self?
The purpose of values and shadow values is to create a list of motivating factors critical to your life. I wrote mine down and keep them in several places to remind myself of why I do what I do. My values have become a tool I use to direct all of my personal growth and spiritual work. Knowing, and truly understanding my values, has enabled me to focus and to think less about things that don’t show up on that list. In short, this has made my life easier.
Much more in this episode, I hope you find this useful.
This week I share my story about identifying my values. Identifying values is one of those things that sounds easy, but is not simple. Sure, anyone can sit down with some online tools (like James Clear’s Life Lessons values journal), but it’s deceptively difficult to REALLY drill down to your personal values.
On the surface values are things like love, joy, safety, and other intangibles that motivate you to live your life. Values are things we strive for or consider important in our lives.
I spent nearly ten years on the surface of my values. While I had a vague idea what the things I valued were, I didn’t really understand the importance of knowing my values, and how to use that knowledge.
I’ll share how I ACTUALLY learned to identify my values, a bit about our ‘secret’ values, and why you will benefit from knowing about yours.
I’ve been addicted to nicotine since I was around 15 years old. Ten years of cigarettes, traded those for dip tobacco for another decade, and have chewed nicotine gum on and off since it has been available without prescription. I say I have a nicotine addiction, but it’s really about the habit more than anything. I’m addicted to the part of my identity that says I’m addicted to nicotine.
In this episode I bring in many other examples. Some familiar like tobacco or alcohol, and others you might not think of as addictions. More than anything, I think we’re addicted to our beliefs and habits. But we can break those things! We can rebuild, and recast ourselves in new identities. Which is a big part of what KEW is about.
If you’re addicted to something, or if you think you aren’t, I hope you gain some insight from a listen or a view. Thanks for sharing!
Seriously. WTF? Habits are really hard to change. Trying to exercise? Eat better? Cleaning up your potty mouth? It ain’t easy. And the crazy thing is, as hard as habits are to change it seems like picking up bad habits is easy. Changing habits is hard stuff. And I’m not just talking about physical addictions or bad habits. Besides just habitual behavior we also have emotional and intellectual habits that could use some modification. I overthink to the point of anxiety – I’d like to change that habit! I have an addiction to nicotine – that one needs to go. I habitually prioritize my family’s needs over my own – this one is HUGE, and I STRUGGLE to even modify it a little. In this episode I’ll discuss my own issues and demonstrate how the struggle to change habits is universal. I don’t have much advice to offer, except that changing habits is probably a slow process that will require some effort – there’s no magic bullet.