THE CAUSAL CHAIN FOR HAPPINESS
THIS IS THE WAY IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS, NOT THAT "OTHER WAY"
Once you review the simple diagram, then you will find it clarifying and immensely worthwhile to decide what activities and actions will contribute to getting the end product, including those that contribute to causing any part of this sequence. See the exercise discussion below. You must decide what is actually, really, truly something that will contribute to your life value - and what won't, including the erroneous myths of our society. And then go about creating that life of the greatest value to you.
THE SIMPLE POINT UNDERLYING THIS DIAGRAM
In order to get value in life, you must produce it. In order to do it well and to have a great life, you must practice what creates "Life Productivity". But "productivity" refers to producing 'something', which, in terms of life, is what you value in life. And what you value in life is that which produces happiness and life satisfaction.
To produce what you value in life and to produce that which produces what you value in life, you must identify and then implement the activities and actions that have the necessary impact - concentrating mostly on those vital few things that cause most of the impact! This is the way to produce happiness.
If you are willing to pay for and then go to a workshop that will help you better implement your values, try Tony Robbins' Date With Destiny, which I found to be valuable when I took it many years ago (when he was about 30 years old)
There are, forgive the oxymoron, valueless values, which we may say we value but we don't follow through on or which are falsely believed to be of value, when the results consistently show up to the negative!
If we don't follow through on something it is not "sufficiently valuable to us to do what is necessary.
However, the desire may be a strong one even if it isn't accomplished. The price/cost of attaining it may just be too high (either actually or believed). In that case, we need to reduce the "cost" of doing it, by learning how to do it better or how to think more clearly about it. The solution to not being able to do something well is always, duh, learning how to do it better - though we have to decide if it is worth it. However, we misestimate (from lack of good knowledge and good thinking) how difficult it will be, based on past experience and conclusions that may not be accurate or true. Quite a few people seem to believe that such things are "hard", sticking to an old myth that they have probably heard from the culture, or even their parents. Most all of this is not "hard" at all.
We all say and think we want to have all the good traits (trustworthiness, self-discipline, determination, kindness, etc. and etc.) but many of the traits we do not end up doing. Therefore we need to look at how much you truly, truly value it - and if you value it alot, you would look at how you can reduce the cost so that it can actually be implemented into your life. Otherwise, these are just "nice ideas". ["For every thousand people with a good idea, just give me one who can implement it!"] So, we need to prioritize by expected benefit (value delivered to me over a lifetime) of a particular trait and then decide which we will do, reducing the cost where we need to. And then we must decide what we actually have time to do...]
Some people do not value "growth". Others hold it as their life objective. Both are confused or not thinking straight about it. Growth as an end objective is nonsensical. Growth as a "means to" something that will be beneficial is logical. Growth is not valuable in itself but in the value it produces further down the causal chain. And it is the most potent of all values, in that it facilitates doing life better in all important areas. It is, in a sense, the "gift that keeps on giving" - and, as such, is the most valuable gift you can give yourself. Interestingly, somehow, people seem to think that happiness and a good life just happen and they'll get it just by "experience" in life, as a natural byproduct. Read And Then A Miracle Happens...Wanna Bet? . These people blow the majority of the potential of life!!!
Some have conflicting values within a value. "I want to be a good person, but I cannot resist temptation. I value the easy 'hit' right now. To heck with the 'long term'!" "I want to be slim and healthy, but I get bored or I need relief from my anxiety, so I eat sugar stuff and refined carbs. Somethow, my body will handle all that." The problem with most of those is that there are fallacious beliefs and/or poor perspective behind them. It is not hard to be slim and healthy - you just need a defined, well-designed-for-workability path. It is not hard to not eat sugary stuff; the strategies for eating and other forms of relieving anxiety are poor and erroneous. Of course, we humans have a tough time using "time value", as we value right now at a super premium over the future effect of something and/or we misestimate the actual effects - we give up quality years in retirement and we give up 10+ years of life, for an unnecessary sugar hit.
We'll address many of these separately, but for now our job is to determine and decide what is "of value" - of what is the MOST value.
This is the process I suggest to you:
Printout the traditional list of values: "The Complete List Of Values" (enter it in the sitemap's search engine as it connects to the site that contains this word document; put in key words, as you don't need the whole title to find a document). There is also a worksheet to printout for reference, with a shorter list and an "implementation" column that you will use the idea of in a return later to refine this further - right now we do not want to unduly complicate or slow down this process: "My List Of My Values And How I'll Reach Them".
Printout for possible use the word document "Activities - Their Value".
Then do this fast exercise, taking no more than 15 - 20 minutes (returning later to refine it, as this is the core of what your life is about!):