How to actually live a happier and more fulfilling life:
Sometimes we feel out of sync or out of alignment. And as I coach my clients, I find that when they’re feeling a little bit off feeling – like they’re out of sync a little bit- so often it correlates directly with how they are living in alignment with their own virtues. Last episode, we talked about the eight virtues to, to cultivate that ancient wisdom and modern science have proven to boost your happiness.
Here are the 8 virtues to cultivate: self-mastery, courage, love, hope, gratitude, zest, and curiosity. By cultivating those virtues in your life you will find more happiness and fulfillment!
Identify your Core Virtues
How you can identify your personal virtues, your own personal core strengths to help you live more in alignment with those two to manifest a more happy and fulfilled life.
So all of us have our own personal virtues that we have, or that we want to embody. The eight last week are those to cultivate. If they’re not already coming naturally to you, those are the ones to work on and cultivate today. We’re talking about the virtues that are innate and personal just to you. Now, your virtues are the bedrock of your behavior.
Did you know that. They are, what provides you with direction? And they define what’s most important to you. And they also provide the framework that you use to make decisions, knowing that they are so foundational to all of us and that they have such an impact in our lives is empowering. Because when we know what those virtues are, we can make decisions in alignment with those virtues and values.
They are the driving force behind our passions. And I’m going to give you an example. The driving force behind our passions or her virtues. I have identified that one of my core virtues is contribution, I love to make a difference. I also love to feel like I’m contributing in a meaningful way, in lots of different areas now in different forms of my different areas of my life, that has looked different.
Examples of Living in Core Virtues
Let me give you a couple of examples. So in different stages in my life, this is what contributing in meaningful ways has looked like. For me as a teenager, it meant being a part of a lot of clubs and leadership and feel like I was to, it helped me feel like I was contributing in a meaningful way to not only my high school experience, but those around me.
Even before I graduated from college and opportunity arose for me to purchase a dance studio. I was a dance studio owner for years, and I loved being a dance studio owner. Why? Because I felt like I was contributing in meaningful ways that I was sharing my love of dance. And self-expression with my students.
And I was able to build something that I was really proud of and could contribute in that way in a meaningful way. In another phase of my life, when I was a stay at home mom, that’s how I felt like I was contributing. I was contributing to helping my kids nurture them. Help them to grow and to learn the things that they needed to, to learn.
And now, as a life coach, I help other people live their best lives and feel like that’s a major contribution and such a needed contribution. Now, especially now for people to know what their purpose is and how to live their best lives and not get confused about what really matters. So you can see how this core virtue of mine has been.
The bedrock of my behavior. It has been what has defined, what is most important to me, it has been my framework to make decisions and helped me to choose career paths that are in alignment with my innate virtues. Now I hope that example helps you to see that sometimes our virtues aren’t easily recognizable because they’re so deeply ingrained in us that sometimes we don’t recognize them ourselves.
The Underlying Motivation & Internal Compass
We’re not always consciously aware of what they are and how they shape our actions. But living in alignment to those virtues helps you feel better because it eliminates the friction that’s caused when you aren’t in alignment. With those core virtues, there is a friction, there is a restlessness and, and we know that something is off and it’s usually because you are not living within your own core virtue.
So, if you were saying things like, why am I frustrated all the time? Or why do I never seem to get to the things that matter most, then you are most likely not living in alignment with your core virtues. Now, virtues are more than thoughts. They’re more than behaviors. They are. The inner most truth of what is most important to us.
They’re like our internal compass and they will guide you to being your most authentic self. When you’re trying to be someone that you’re not, you will feel that friction and you will feel that you are not being authentic. So by being authentic, being true to who you really are means living by those internal virtues and using them as your internal compass.
Virtues Help us in Life, Relationships, Careers & Goals
Now, knowing your virtues can help you in lots of different areas of your life. It can help you make decisions about how to spend your time. All of us need that in our lives in relationships. It helps us decide who we’d like to spend time with and how to nurture relationships that bring out the best. In work, it can help us make better career choices.
So often people choose a career that is not in alignment with their core virtues, and they quickly realized that they will be miserable if they stay in that career path for the rest of their lives. And it’s because. They think it will make them a lot of money or because that’s what their parents did, or that seemed they had idolized that career path in some way.
But yet, if it’s not in alignment with your core virtues, it will never lead you to happiness and fulfilling. We’re finding a career path that isn’t alignment with what you actually value and the virtues you possess will help you be more satisfied, fulfilled, happier. You’ll be able to stay in that career for a much longer time and feel like it is fulfilling you as a person.
And isn’t that what we really want. That’s what we want. And it also helps us in our goals to determine what’s most important to us and then create a life centered around those things. You can use it in time management and really saying what is my most important, what are the most important things to me?
My Own Core Virtues
I work on cultivating the top eight and several of the top eight are included in my own personal virtues. One of the virtues that I have is spirituality. So having coherent beliefs about a higher power, a larger scheme, the eternal plan, that’s one of my virtues. When I am cultivating that in my life and living in alignment with that, then I am most happy and fulfilled. One of mine is an offshoot of wisdom.
Love of Learning
It’s called love of learning. It brings me so much joy and fulfillment to be a lifelong learner. I love to read books and I love novels. But I really enjoy books that will help me to grow and develop as a person. I’m like a personal development group guru. I love it so much. In fact, my kids went back to school this week, so, well actually last week, last Wednesday, and I live near the campus of BYU.
And they do their continuing education program does an entire week of adult continuing education called education week. And that is how I reward them. For making it through summer as the mom of five kids. I love it so much. And then I give myself this great big reward that I go to education week to learn.
And I learn for me because I have a love of learning and it makes me so happy. I go to class after class and I take all sorts of notes and I love it. I love to learn from other people and what they have to offer. And when I live in alignment with that virtue, I feel unstoppable. I do, I am so fulfilled and so filled with joy. It really makes me so happy, just like running all over campus. One class to another, because I love to learn.
Another one of my virtues is prudence. And, um, when I, when I first learned this, I mean, I’ve always known that about me, but it’s a great way to say that I do use caution. And discretion in many areas of my life and that has served me well.
So if I am trying to be totally reckless, that is outside of my personal virtue. I like to push that and try to kind of, yeah. Be a little bit more courageous and brave. I like to practice being brave, but overall I do use caution and discretion, which has served us really well as a family. And for me personally, I’m pretty prudent in finances and in making decisions and things like that. That has served me really, really well. And that feels good to me.
Another one is honestly, I so appreciate when people are just honest with me. I don’t like to try to figure out what they really mean or what they are intending by that message. I would rather just them tell me how it is or what they’re thinking, because I value honesty.
That’s one of my virtues. So I want you to be honest with me, and I’ll be honest with you. And when I’m not being honest with myself or the people around me, I feel the friction. And I don’t mean that I’m lying all the time, but if I’m not truly being honest with myself about what’s really going on or why my decisions are making me feel uncomfortable, it’s because I’m not living in alignment.
I’m not being honest with myself. So that’s one of my corporate shoes. Um, another one is gratitude, which is one of the big eight. So wisdom, my love of learning gratitude is one of those as well. Personal development is like self-mastery.
One other that I have discovered is persistence. Some of you may call that stubbornness, but I am a persistent person. I will persevere. And that is good for me to know, because. When I don’t persevere and I don’t persist at something that I feel the friction, I feel it.
Another one is integrity. Living in integrity or authenticity is very, very important to me. Another one is appreciation. I have a great sense of appreciation and wonder at life itself, the miracle of being a mom.
And, especially God’s creations. I find that my virtue of appreciation, I am overwhelmed when I am in nature and, and I’m able to be hold the wonders of what God has created for us. Another one that I mentioned was prudence.
The last one I’ll share today is perspective. Which is also housed under wisdom. Just making sure that my perspective is very, very clear and being able to use that to bless the lives of, um, me, my family and other people.
Find Your Own Personal Core Virtues
And any time that you are feeling friction or feeling a little bit off or unsettled about anything, go back to your corporate shoes and decide what is out of alignment here. How am I not living in alignment with these core virtues? And here’s a little bonus for you. If you are married you should discover your partners, character strengths, or virtues.
It will explain a lot of their behavior. Why? Because it’s the bedrock of their behavior. It’s what defines what’s most important to them. And it’s the framework that they use to make decisions. It’s a driving. Force behind your partners, work and passions. And, and then if you’re a parent, you can start to discover what are the virtues or character strengths of each of my children.
And then you can understand where they’re coming from. It’s so much easier to be compassionate when you realize that’s why my spouse values being on time. That punctuality is really important to them. It’s one of their core virtues and it might not be my, or that’s why frugality in finances is so important to them, or that’s why this behavior or this behavior is so deeply ingrained because of their core virtues.
They’re just living in alignment. So allow them to do that. And it allows us as well. Understand those core virtues even better allows us to welcome in some understanding, some compassion and some acceptance into our relationships and that my friends is a beautiful thing. That’s how you emerge, empowered finding your own virtues and living in alignment with them, and then expanding that into your relationships that matter most to you.
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