Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Rethinking what I live from

As I rethink my use of time in this transition from work-focus to the next stage, I'm beginning to rethink what I live from. In 7 Habits, Covey talks about the dependency pitfalls of various centers of life.What he says makes sense to me. If we live "from" our family, our marriage, our work, then when something happens to those things (someone dies, kids grow up and leave, we get laid off), our center crumbles and we are lost. But if we center our life on the principles that most resonate with us, they never leave us.

So one of life's important tasks is to consider the principles or values that most resonate with each of us. Maybe it's kindness or generosity, maybe it's faith or compassion, maybe it's truthfulness or integrity. A quick web search will show you a list a mile long. But most of us know deep down what our values are. They resonate with us when we act from them and our conscience pings us when we don't. So the shift is not so much in identifying them but in putting them at the center of our decision-making, what I call the filter.

Part of retirement from me is moving away from a work-centered life. In our culture, it's so easy to create that. It gives us identity, it gives us structure, and for many years, both as a professor and as an editor, it gave me meaning. But that's not so true any more, so I'm feeling called to reorient to values: generosity, kindness, peace of mind for myself and others.

What values are at the center of your life?

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