Trying 'Be a better man in 30 day - Day 1: Defining your core values'

I've had a real interest in self help and looking into a variety of advice online recently.
Mental health an wellbeing being my main focus initially, but the more I read and researched, the wider the topics of articles I was reading.
I've gone from simple meditation routines, all the way to '3 ways to magically attract money to yourself'

I've decided to simplify what I look for.

How do I be better man?

There's a boom in the world of 'self help'. Especially as this content is so easily accessible: Books,
ebooks, websites, podcasts, newsletters. It's sometimes a little hard to find out what really works.

What I'm going to do is try a few of these sites/articles/books and see if they really help me be a better man.

I'm starting with 'Be a Better Man in 30 Days' on The Art Of Manliness.
This is the first site that comes up if you search 'how to be a better man' so I thought it would be the best place to start.

Written by Brett and Kate McKay, the idea is to do one simple thing a day across a month, to make you a better man, touching on subjects such as your career, fitness and lifestyle. This could include shining your shoes, creating a budget, all the way to giving yourself a testicular exam.

So here I go with day 1.

Day 1 - Define your core values

The idea of defining you core values is to give you a starting point for day to day life.
Having core values provides 4 main benefits, according to the article.

  1. Values give you a purpose.
  2. Values prevent us from making bad choices.
  3. Values give us confidence.
  4. Values make life simpler.
At first I thought this was all a bit fluffy. As humans we have a very inbuilt moral code, does that not get us by? If you feel you're lacking some values, here's how you can get some.

How to discover your core values.

Get nice and relaxed.

In the post they say go to a nice quiet space. Maybe somewhere that you can easily think.
Maybe it's that big armchair in the corner of the room or simply lying in bed with no easy distractions.
I sat back in the corner my sofa and tried to clear my mind a little. Turned the TV off and put my phone down and enjoyed bit of silence

Have the proper tools.

A good old fashioned pen and paper are all you need. You could use your phone as long as it doesn't distract you too much. Just to write anything down if something pops up in your mind.
They mention to write it on something that will last for years to come, although I'm not too good with a chisel and stone tablet.

Ask yourself the question: "What is truly important to me as a man?"

This is the fluffy bit. In the nature of science, I played a long.
I really had a good think. I thought quite deeply as to when I really felt fulfilled or what I had accomplished and how I achieved it. Was there a certain quality in me that prevailed.
I hold my hands up, I struggled. 
It helped with the exercise when they provided some examples of values further down the article (I've listed just a few).
I read through the list and picked out what really resonated with me. Words that I could practise almost every day.

Adventure
Discipline
Education
Growth
Integrity

Write whatever comes to you.

While you're thinking about what's really important to you, write it down. They could come to you sporadically or all at once.
Try to get a minimum of 5, but don't worry if you end up writing more.
I wrote down about 10 different words.

If you have more than 5, eliminate some.

Have a look at your list of values, put a * against the values you're 100% sure on.
If you aren't too sure on some that you feel should be in your top 5, put them next to each other. Look at them both side by side and really think about which one is more important to you.

I went with;
  • Honesty
  • Confidence
  • Growth
  • Humour
  • Peace of mind
Remember, you don't already have to be living these values. These can be values you want to start living by.

Prioritise.

When you've got your list of 5, list them most important to least important.
In the article they mention that your values may compliment each other, but sometimes they may be a little conflicting.
Again, have a good think of what's really important to you.

My list of values looks likes this
  1. Honesty
  2. Peace of mind
  3. Confidence
  4. Growth
  5. Humour

The verdict

After doing the exercise, I can see how you can attain the benefits mentioned in the beginning of the post.
They used making big decisions as an example for some of the benefits and I can see how the other benefits come as part of the package..

Values make life simpler. If you were to make a big decision and you are considering your options, ask yourself how each option fits with your values.
It could easily rule out a number of your options. Even with the simplest of questions or decisions.
Values give us confidence. If you're decisions are simpler to make, you're making decisions with confidence, or at least a clearer conscious.
Values prevent us from bad decisions. I took this one fairly lightly, but I suppose if you have clear, positive values, you'll be steering yourself in the right direction. Therefore, less likely to make some bad decisions.
Values give us purpose. I think this is where some of the fluffiness comes back in. But I think if you can live with a clear conscious day in and day out, you might just be living with a good purpose.

I must admit, I've had a think about my values when making some simple decisions at work. It does make life a little simpler or it at least forced me to do some reflection and refocussed my mind.

I'd be interested to find out if anyone else has got involved in this exercise on '30 Days to a better man' and what values they came up with.
Leave a comment with your values or even your thoughts on this kind of exercise.

This has been written as part of my own opinion and not as a collaboration with the author of the article or the site.
I've provided links to the original articles below.






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