What you value is where you spend your time and money

Even though time is an arbitrary, man-made construct, its significance in our lives is ever-present. As a child time passed by slowly.  It felt like it almost stood still when I was staring out of the window into the snow-glowing night on Christmas Eve and waiting for Santa to come by with the presents from his workshop in Lapland.  Sometimes I was holding my breath out of excitement so long that I almost fainted when he finally appeared.  As an adult trying to fit all the responsibilities into a day makes time evaporate in front of my eyes (yes, I’m watching the clock on my computer screen).  I still find myself holding my breath – but for a different reason: maybe by doing it, I can slow down time and get more done.tonttu 2014

In my leadership coaching and training of executives and managers we inevitably come to a place where we clarify the values my clients say they hold dear and what they really, truly live as their values. I’ve had the heartening conversation with hundreds of clients over the years about the difference between principles, aspirations and values. We adopt the principles for living a good life from our parents and then modify them in our adulthood according to our belief systems. Aspirations are the qualities of life we desire in our work, relationships or life in general.

An effective way to check our values is to investigate where we spend our diminishing resources.  The most valuable resources for most of the executives I work with are time and money.  I ask them to study their schedule and note where they spend their time and study their credit card statements and checkbooks and note what they spend their hard-earned money, and that’s what tells us what they really value. Not what they say they value.

I’ve seen some of my clients carefully create schedules that reflect their valuing of their friends and family and budgets for their businesses where the development of their staff is prioritized over technology.

A chapter of my life as a mother is ending as my son will be graduating in 2015 and moving into a college dorm.  While time has passed very quickly these 17 years, I know I have chosen to be a mother more times than a business woman. Rather than spending my time cold calling, I’ve chosen to cook the family meals so that my family can sit down for a healthy dinner every day.  My heart swells with gratitude of the thought of the amount of time I’ve just been me with him.

Budgeting has never been my one of my favorite activities. But what if for 2015, I was budgeting my time and money according to my values more consciously? Would it make time slow down and money grow? Maybe then, at least, I would no longer have to hold my breath.  Are you willing to try it out with me?



6 thoughts on “What you value is where you spend your time and money

  1. The tie inbetween time and money makes our life miserable. There shouldn’t be a correlative, rather causal bond. Time was money, then we built T-Fords and dig land. In KIBS, time is knowledge. The more information we are able to turn into knowledge, the wealthier we are in both civil and working lives. If one values money, they usually use their time efficiently but when they value time, they do it less efficiently. This bias might be so strong that life goes by without acknowledging it value. The economics of scale we need for our support need performance, processes and projects, but they should be designed so that the usage of creativity is the biggest driving factor and that takes time, but doesn’t equal money. I try to live my life accordingly, but haven’t succeeded so far.

    1. An interesting point, Mika. I agree that if you don’t become aware of the values you live, your life will go by without “touch points” to being truly alive and you might feel as if you are wasting life. This is exactly why the primary purpose in life for all of us is to answer to the ancient call to “Know Thyself”. Unless each of us does the personal work to dig a bit deeper and acknowledge the values we actually live by, we’ve lost the opportunity to grow and live happily. Sometimes it’s important to recognize that the values are not the ones socially appreciated. Values are the true priorities you live by and make your choices by. I wish you the best of success in your pursuit of balancing your values and priorities.

  2. Kristiina,
    YES! I am happy and excited to do just that with you. Happily, I just finished an excellent book – and all the exercises therein – which helps you discover and distill your real values, while aligning them with your “Ultimate Vision” and “Major Purpose”: The Only Way to Win, by Jim Loehr.
    You are spot on, my friend, Kristiina! Let’s get this party started and have a passionate, purposeful, prosperous 2015!

    1. Yes, Larry, we are aligned on this for sure. Isn’t it interesting how clarity of our values makes us better leaders? Communicating our vision becomes easier. Making values-based choices brings about authentic leadership. This, in turn, lessens the need for politicking and hidden agendas. And that’s a very good thing for every organization! Cheering for all the fascinating experiences in the New Year!

  3. Wonderful clarification. YES, I’m with you! Living our values is the only way to get like-minded people to also be like-hearted and embodying values that matter to all. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Melissa, for your kind comments. You write about this in your wonderful book Collective Manifestation when you expand on the shift from consumer to creator, and what is available to us within the new creator paradigm and intentional communities. I love this quote from your book: “Consciously or unconsciously you are always creating your reality. The question is who are you putting in charge of your manifestation?” May 2015 keep your heart fascinated with life!

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