Be An Activist for Your Life

Rewarding lives and careers require that we make decisions consistent with our deepest values. To do this you need to be an “activist” for your own life.

Usually, when we think of the word activist, we think of social or political activists who advocate for important causes like ending world hunger or ending military conflicts.

I have another definition. People who are activists for their own lives take action to live life in sync with their most cherished values. Only when we act on our own beliefs and are true to ourselves can we lead lives that are authentic and truly satisfying.

Some will say “Easier said than done!” And I agree. Yet only when we identify our most fundamental values and find practical ways to live by these values will we enjoy that deep “This just feels right” feeling.

Here are examples of how to synchronize values and actions. The core value is indicated first in bold type, followed by a practical action you can take to live more consistently by that value:

I Work Satisfaction: Identify your best skill and consciously find ways to use it in your current job two times more each week than you typically do.

I Quality Time with Spouse/Partner: Both of you pick one morning, afternoon or evening time period and schedule a regular “date” one time each week for one month. This helps make your significant other a priority. Plus it’s fun.

I Beautiful Surroundings: Go to a garden shop or nursery and start looking at books and plants, talk to the experts and think about buying a new plant for your home or garden.

I Creative Expression: Look at community center and continuing education listings which offer interesting and fun classes and workshops that correspond with your personal interests. Enroll in one of these. Many of these meet only once, which helps manage the time commitment.

There are countless ways that we can allow our values to more actively determine the direction of our lives. Start with actions that are small and manageable. When do you start? Start now and be an activist for your life!

*Originally published  2/16/06 in The Kansas City Star “FYI Solutions” Section, “An Authentic Life” Column as a series of articles contributed by Kansas City life coach Lorrie Crystal Eigles. Eigles provided monthly insights, tactics, and encouragement to help readers realize their potential and lead more rewarding lives.