VALUES IN VARIOUS AREAS
AND HOW TO TRADE OFF BETWEEN THEM
DECREASING VALUES, ALWAYS
Any one area, just as in pieces of pie, will have decreasing "value" as we do more of it. Of course, that makes sense if we know that we, being rational people, will do the highest value items first, thus leaving only a lower one available next.
Value | x
THE CONCEPT OF FAUX VALUE - AND LOSING IN LIFE
Based on the above graph of "actual value in life" we could add what I call "faux" value (false value). The line would then be raised so it is higher all the way through and looks like it is more rewarding in actual value than it actually is. We are fooled by the extra added false value!!!!
Be careful to not be aware enough to not throw out the false value - as not knowing that there is false value will cause you to make bad decisions!!!!
Faux value begins with the false belief that there is extra "value" in something, but the truth is that it is not real - it won't really improve or add value to life. The problem is that the extra believed value will cause one to choose an item that is far less valuable than another alternative.
For instance, a person may misestimate the value of, say, approval (this is common). This leads to him actually, some of the time, getting the approval, but not deriving as much value from it as he expected. This is what happens to addicts, they get less of a reward that they thought so they must take more of the item in order to try to get enough of a "hit" to feel "satisfied" for the moment. They become "puppets", ruled by a faux value that actually produces a net long term negative value if we include the long term consequences.
A person may feel anxiety because he believes he "needs" approval badly and feels badly when he isn't getting it. He thinks he "needs" to be approved of in order to assuage the constant emotional pain he incurs from his constantly thinking "I am not good enough".
He will, as in any area of stress, then normally seek "relief" from his anxiety - and, of course, hold that "relief" as being of value. That is logical, since he feels less worse as a result of the momentary relief - he experiences a momentary "high".
So, the point here is that we seek relief but we don't realize the costs of our misbeliefs while at the same time misconstruing the value of it, unfortunately we misestimate to the high side.
In this case there is a constant state of worry. The "relief" alleviates the worry for the moment, but there is still a residual left over of net negative value (net pain). In other words, the value received is less than the negative value incurred - if we "net" (subtract one from the other) we may end up with a negative total. Not good!!!
COMPARE THE VALUE TO THE ALTERNATIVE APPROACH
It would have worked, instead of staying in the constant battle above, to develop confidence.
Confidence is not only a state that feels good, but cause of one getting far greater value throughout life. The value is multiplied by having the confidence effect be repeated over and over in one's head. And then it is further multiplied by making one's actions be more effective! Plus, if we have confidence fully installed, we don't have to incur the net negative effect of the worry and stress ongoingly occurring in one's life. A negative multiplied over and over is highly costly!!!!
In value numbers it might look like this (get the idea and don't get lost in the "math"):
Worry about approval, being good enough - 100 negative units of happiness
Relief, replacing some of the worry above 10 negative units saved
Net negative worry units -90 negative units felt
The other side by contrast:
Net positive units from confidence 500
Time cost to learn confidence -100
Net positive units 400
In the first case, we were underwater, in the negative by 90 units. In the second case, we were at +400 units, so that we are 490 units better off!!!!
We can add also the value attained from bettering one's performance (proven in all studies) in terms of better results when not being worried, Also, confidence allowsa person to have greater definiteness (= less doubt also), and greater definiteness in life also increases performance. Let's say the life value of that effect addds 300 more units.
Adding these up: Learning confidence and dumping worry from our lives would have a net of 790 positive units (490 + 300).
The Conclusion: Yes, the believed faux value does cause the brain to be "attracted" and to give a chemical impulse to do what it takes to attain the "value". The relief from getting the believed value from the approval causes us to spend time that could have been spent elsewhere. So we end up being even further behind that is indicated above!!!!
Yet we falsely "see" value in the potential relief, so the primitive brain "drives us" to seek that relief. This is what happens with drug addicts - what appears to be good in the short run, but is actually not needed, governs one's behavior while the consequences over the long term are immensely negative.
A BIGGER PICTURE, CONSIDERING ALL AREAS AND VALUE
Let's forget about the faux value for the minute and drop it off the graph totally. It is of course going to influence our decisions. So, here, we will assume we've learned enough to eliminate them. Now we are left with the problem of how best to choose among actual values.
The problem we have in real life is that we do things of low value that displaces things of low value. Note that we can only do one thing at a time, so choosing one thing causes us not to be able to do an alternative thing. We, stated in another way, choose to forego the other opportunity - we lose getting the value from that opportunity.
Our rule in life has to be that we look at all our available opportunities and pick the opportunity with the highest true life value. However, we will often get stuck in myopic focus in just one area, say in the area of contributing to our community. Yes, we pick what is of the most value in that one, but fail to consider that doing that one item costs us not being able to do a higher, more valuable item in another area, say, in the emotional well-being area. As a result, we are feeling better because of contributing, but losing out because we are losing a much higher value in the emotional well-being area.
But there is a broader dynamic here that we must consider to gain a true perspective that will benefit our lives. Sometimes a higher value area may have used up all of its higher value opportunities in it to the degree that it may pay to switch to another higher value item that is in a lower value area. In fact, which area you will be in can switch back and forth between areas. This means, again, that we must look among all of the areas to find what is of the most value - and not just be prejudiced in favor of one area.
In other words, one area may have the starting value at 100 units while another area may have a starting value of 3 units and thus a lot of low value units below that 1st unit. But once we have grabbed all the higher value units in one area we have "satisfied" what needs to be done in that area, which means we can now, but not before this, move on to another area.
In life, we can, for instance, not move on to the lowest value (to us) of the 6th circle out (community contribution) until we have satisfied all the higher needs/values of the previous 5 circles. However, that doesn't mean we do ALL of the items in those five closer circles, but it means that we do all of the items in those five circles BEFORE we get on to doing the highest value items in the low value area. After we satisfy the higher needs, in a sense, in those areas, then and only then will we rationally move into the lower value area. We will get to the "contribution" area eventually, but only when the highest value item in the contribution area is higher than the highest value items left in the higher value areas. Although mentally we may think we "should" start our contributions right away, we must "hold our horses" and wait until there the highest value alternative lies in that area. (See The Concentric Rings Of Importance - Placing The Stuff Of Life In Its Right Place.)
The one thing that throws all of this out of kilter is that we fail to "weight" the areas by the impact they have on our lives. For instance, emotional wellbeing has twice (at least) the value of our relationship and the well-being of our spouse. Then the next circle out might be family, at, say, one fourth of the value of our emotional wellbeing. Then the next circle out will be one eighth of the value. Notice that the value drops geometrically as we increase the distance from the center, in a sequence with the divisor doing from 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 and finally to the sixth ring out at as being at 1/32.
The actual comparative value is actually much more spread than that, but most people tend to not realize that the relative value is more spread than that. This means that the items in the sixth circle out would very seldom be worth doing at all compared to the other areas. (See Relative Values In And Of My Life - "In My Life", "Out There", Biggest Effectors - and go to the links, to really nail this.)
However, as a person becomes wiser and satisfies all the higher needs first he will (then) find that his contribution work will expand dramatically (as will his ability to produce value for others). The person who has not satisfied all the other areas, however, must first satisfy those and not get "fooled" by thinking he is obligated to do items in the lowest value (optional) area. The person is operating "as if a fool" if he is being so foolish in his choices to select an item of lower value and to displace doing one of higher value!!!!!!!
If a person has not satisfied all the higher value areas, he MUST first do all that is needed to do those, with the most valuable activity per hour of effort being to do "life learning", as its effect is in total is so much greater than anything else. The reason is that the life learning will cause one to improve on the experience of life over and over and over, multiplying the value in a single occurrence by the number of future occurrences of that type of experience.
Also, life learning cuts enormously into the severity and frequency of poor choices!
He also needs desperately to learn how to think, to engage his higher brain more often and how to make good decisions - as he is constantly making poor choices as evidenced by his life!
Life learning is the most valuable yet many people do the fifth and sixth circles out when there is no way that all of the things done combined would add up to the impact of doing just a few of the highest value items in life learning.
In other words, one cannot squeeze an amount out of the contribution area in total in comparison to amount to even a small fraction of what we could get from the high value areas. The contribution area could never ever catch up to the alternative.
In other words, it means the contribution area, in those circumstances where all the higher value items are not yet repaired, should be totally, 100% dropped.
Yet he is doing a "gradualism", small adustments approach, foolishly wasting the great benefits that could be produced from devoting the time to the emergency and heightened importance of the high value learning. He is unclear and "scared", but he must tackle this strongly, or he will die without having done all that he could in life, without having fully lived it.
At the end of this piece, there is an exercise you can go through to really nail down the idea of how we will often shift back and forth on what we will do in each high value area, depending on what is of the next highest value, but also that we will not shift in and out of lower value areas until quite a way down the road. This is a version of the reason why we must be careful to be wise enough to always do first things first, without exception!!!!!
Yet, Daniel still fails to heed this great principle, held back by current beliefs that are not sound.
THE STORY OF THE WRONG CHOICES, CHOOSING LOWER OVER HIGHER VALUES!!!
Notice, if you do the exercise at the end of this piece, that if I went into the lower value area too early, I would be displacing much, much higher value units in the 1st and 2nd areas.
This is what has happened to Daniel.
He has gotten "locked into" (by his "choice") doing the low value contributions work area as a high priority, resulting in his displacing alot of the higher areas - and significantly reducing the life value in his life and even significantly impairing and damaging his life. Significantly! Not just a little! (He is now in the "crazy" area, where no objective observer would say otherwise!)
He doesn't realize that his neglect of higher valued units in the other two areas is at very, very great loss. He has been pretty oblivious to what is going on before this writing, even though his life is "ruined", as he puts it. Not shifting and keeping his life at a damaging level is, of course, "insane", as no one in his right mind would make that choice. He should be able to just observe the results in his overall life as a proof that he must change, drastically, his choices in order to not stay stuck in a fixed mindset and in extremely damaging Busy Mindset Versus The Value Mindset. He is not choosing to do the work to get to the wisdom he needs - he is not in The Life Wisdom Mindset. The net results in his overall life should be enough for him to make the conclusion, but he loses sight of that and continues on the same path.
He has just been through a retreat and is committed to looking and making better choices, such as above, but he can only do that by removing the lower value units from his choices and doing the higher value units in the higher areas until he has met what is needed of higher value in those areas. No amount of willpower (within human limits) or productivity can overcome this lack of time - it is a fool's errand to try to.
That means in normal language that he must "fulfill" (fill up) the higher areas to a certain level of value and then, and only then, he can pick from the lowest area. He must harvest all the higher value items in each of the higher value areas - and there are plenty that need to be harvested, as even the least of the opportunities will have more value than the highest in the low value areas.
His emotional wellbeing (and physical wellbeing) and his relationship and wellbeing effect on his spouse are being severely hurt while he holds on to his "old moldy peanuts" in the lowest area. He is "governed" by obligation and a few other false beliefs that cause him to hold onto the metaphorical moldy peanuts of far less value, giving up what is of the highest value.
What a person needs is to determine what the actual values of items in one's life are - to get a map of reality. False (faux) values need to be blown out of the water to match maps of reality of the real world and new, working, beliefs need to be formed.
But the irony is that if he doesn't let go of the moldy peanuts he won't have the time to learn what is needed. The 1st and 2nd levels include what is called "life learning" time.
OVER TIME OR IN DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES...
What is of value will change in different circumstances and times. If we are "hurting" really badly, then the first priority will be to solve that. The value of the emotional well-being area will shoot upwards as we are trying to eliminate a high negative value item - and of course that is of positive value.
IF YOU REALLY WANT TO NAIL THIS, DO THIS EXERCISE
Obviously, I think, we will have to do alot of hours in the high value area before we have reach a point where the value of the next item in that area has decreased down to 3 units of value from our efforts. When the high area's remaining next item would produce 2.5 units, our choice would then, and only then, be to go to the low value area and pick off and do the 3 unit value.
High area Low area
1st pick 100 3
11th pick 5 3
12th pick 2.5 3
13th pick 2.5 2.7
14th pick 2.5 2.3
If these were the value numbers left for each pick, I would keep picking another item from the high area all the way through to the 11th pick - and then go back to the low value area. Our rule of course is to always pick the item available at the time that has the most value per item. (Duh!)
So, an item in a low area can eventually be picked to add some extra value, but only if it is of the highest value of all the other items remaining (i.e. currently available, since I've already taken-off-the-top all the more valuable items in my life from all areas).
However, a common error is that people will often pick an item in the low area, say of 3 units value and push aside (since we can't do 2 items at the same time) a 5th item in the line of value that is worth, say, 50 units of value. In that case the opportunity cost is to be subtracted from the units we achieved, because our life value created is 47 units less!!!!
A really bad tradeoff!!!!
We got 3 units from what we did, but we could've gotten 50 so we gave away 47 units of life value, forever! If we do that more than very seldom, our life is going to be considerably less - and happiness plummets - and we lose!
What if there is another area of say "pretty high" value, say "relationship"? When would we start picking our items in the low area then? Again the answer is "after we've used up all of the higher value units in the other area AND in the "pretty high" area."
The selection process looks like the following. This time, see if you can pick what would be next. It takes about three to five minutes, but if you want to jump to the answer and follow the logic you can, but it will be less emblazoned on your mind than if you did the exercise. Remember the rule is always to pick the remaining highest value unit after you've picked the higher value units.
This time, we'll show the value units in each area in the order in which you'd pick them if there was no other area in life.
Let's say we simplify this a little:
High area Pretty high Low area
1st unit in the area 100 40 3
2 90 30 2.5
3 80 22 2.1
4 65 11 1.5
5 50 9 1
6 35 7 .9
7 20 5 .7
8 15 2.8 .5
9 10 2 .5
10 7 1 .5
11 .5 .5 .5
12 .5 .3 .3
20th 2 .1 .2
Notice how "pretty high" drops more quickly in proportion than the two other areas. That would mean there were fewer units you would have to do to pretty much satisfy that area. Since not all areas take the same time to be "taken care of", one area of high value may be completed to the right level with much less effort. And that means we can stay in some higher value areas less time than some lower value areas that have less of a steep drop. (Complicated, but think about it and get the general idea.)
In this case go ahead and put in the blank chart value attained from each item picked, not putting anything in the columns for the others. You make the picks, looking, of course, at the declining values above. (To do this, you can either print the section below or have two windows of this screen up at the same time figure it out.
Pick which one you'd choose in terms of areas: I've left some hints by picking out the first few.
High area Pretty high Low area
1st pick 100
6 40 .
This is the answer:
High area Pretty high Low area
1st pick 100
The point here is not whether you were right (as in The Fixed Mindset) but that we don't switch to an area until the value of all the other items in the other areas are lower that the next item in the lower value area. We finally entered the low area and picked its first unit when we hit #16, then we flipped back to the 2nd highest area and then back to the 3rd area. Often times we will switch back and forth between the highest units for quite awhile before we get far, far down in the picked units.
(The method to fill in the above was simply to scan across all the values in the three columns and to simply pick the highest number not already picked.)