How do we adjust our values?
In the previous article, we talked about having multiple viewpoints, not just our own subjective ones, in order to become aware of our values and adjust our filters. In this article, we will discuss the specific steps to adjust our filters (our values).
The positioning of this article, continuing from the previous one, is about the second process of improvement and innovation: Use of meta-consciousness and observation of phenomena.
Filter (value) adjustment procedure
This is the procedure for adjusting the filter (one’s sense of value). The word “procedure” has a working nuance, but the image of the process is to proceed with each step carefully, taking your time, and valuing the sense of satisfaction and fit within yourself.
Filter (Values) Adjustment Procedure
Become aware of the values you have.
Think about the process through which these values have been formed, and accept them without denying them.
When going back to your own desires, try to understand what kind of values you would like to have.
If necessary, adjust values and try on new values
Observe what kind of results (events and feelings) are brought about by the new values you have tried on.
I would like to explain each of these steps in detail and use my own examples to illustrate them.
1) Become aware of the values you have
In my previous article, I mentioned that in order to adjust your values, you need to become aware of your values in the first place. We have the sense that we are directly observing events themselves, but in fact we are observing events through our own unique “glasses.”
It is important to ask the question, “Through what kind of values (glasses) am I looking at the events in front of me?”
To give you one example of the transformation of my own values, I have always had a desire to be recognized by those around me, and I have always held the value that it is good to be recognized by those around me.
I became aware of these values when the company entered a period of stable growth from its founding phase and I began to think about what direction we wanted to take as a company. When thinking about the company’s direction, I began to consider what I really wanted to do.
Until then, I had the desire to be recognized as a full-fledged consultant (at my former strategic consulting firm) and as a full-fledged entrepreneur (after starting my own business). However, when thinking about the direction of the company and what I wanted to do, the feeling of “being recognized by someone else” did not feel appropriate.
It was the moment I realized a small sense of discomfort within myself.
2) Think about the process through which these values have been formed, and accept them without denying them
The second step is to think about the process through which the values you are aware of have been formed in you.
The point here is to accept the process without denying it.
Even if these values are no longer fitting for you today, they are still one of the values that have been important to you in the past. The process of forming these values also has its own unique story, which is not to be denied.
I would like you to accept these unique stories as important to you, without denying them.
In my own example earlier, I pondered where the value of “being recognized by someone else” comes from.
I am the second son of two brothers. My older brother is four years older than me, and when we were children, there was a big difference in size and strength, and when it came to fights, I never managed to win.
I was also born in March, and I am on the smaller side in size. The difference in physical and mental growth between me and my friends born in April was so vast that I still remember feeling as if I was surrounded by older brothers and sisters.
In this environment, in order to maintain good relationships with family and friends, it was a natural survival strategy for me to be “recognized by those around me.”
Of course, as children, I did not consciously adopt such a survival strategy. I think I naturally came to hold such values when I unconsciously tried to reduce unpleasant emotions and increase pleasant emotions for myself.
3) When going back to your own desires, try to understand what kind of values you would like to have
The third step is to go back to our own wishes and try to capture what values seem good to have.
Again, it is important to carefully accept the process by which you came to hold those values in the second step before proceeding to the third step. If you try to proceed to this step without accepting the process, you may end up not being able to let go of your previous values and not being able to transform, or you may think you have transformed, but the transformation will only be superficial.
In this procedure, you return to your wish. Questions such as, “If there were no constraints, how would I like to be or what would I like to do?” are useful.
In my own example, it was about “living in my own subjective truth”. This is not a nuance that denies the need to be recognized by those around me. Rather, it was my wish to place the utmost importance on “what I truly want to do and be,” rather than placing “objective recognition from those around me” as the first priority.
4) If necessary, adjust values and try on new values
The fourth step is to consider whether an adjustment in values is necessary to value the wishes perceived in the third step, and if so, to try a new set of values.
A sense of “trying it out” is important in this procedure. Transforming values is not an easy task. This is because the values that we have held up to now have been cultivated over a long period of time, and often do not change overnight.
As a metaphor, I think it is good to feel like you are “trying on” new values, just as you try on clothes when you buy them. You try on clothes because even if you think they look nice at a glance, you don’t know if they really fit you until you try them on. The same is true for values: even if you think something is nice at first glance, you don’t know if it really fits you until you try it on.
In my own example, I have tried to “give priority to approaching my own subjective truth rather than being recognized and valued by those around me.
5) Observe what kind of results (events and feelings) are brought about by the new values you have tried on
The fifth step is to observe what results are obtained by the new values tried on.
Consequences can be your feelings, or they can be events that happen to you and around you. In the metaphor of trying on clothes, when you try on clothes, you look in the mirror yourself or ask a friend to look at you. In exactly the same way, you observe yourself trying on new values.
Then, if the fit of the new values is good, I will try it out by bringing it inside me a little more. I think it is better to try it out little by little, rather than all at once inside yourself.
In my own case, I felt “scared” to let go of “being recognized by the people around me,” which I had always valued. I felt as if I would lose the basis for being myself by having fewer opportunities to be recognized by those around me.
On the other hand, I also have a sense of “freedom” and “lightness of heart”. I realized that I may have worked harder than necessary in the past in order to be “accepted by those around me.” I think I felt a sense of lightness of heart by no longer needing such a feeling of tension in my shoulders.
This lightness of heart felt right to me, and above all, it was a new comfort, so the value of “living in my own subjective truth” naturally took a step inside of me.
In this article, I have discussed the procedure for filter (values) adjustment with my own specific examples. I believe that when you are able to use this filter adjustment procedure on a daily basis, you will be able to live a flexible life, accepting your past while moving closer to where you want to be now and in the future.
Here are the quests of the day. (If you’d like, please share your thoughts in the comments.)
・What sense have you been able to have by practicing valuing the process by which your values have been formed? Or do you think you will be able to do so in the future?
・What good might come from having a sense of “just try it on” for you, rather than trying to suddenly put new values inside of you?