Re-Arranging Our Value Hierarchy In Life - StrongLife

Re-Arranging Our Value Hierarchy In Life


At the weekend, I was tagged in a post from 2014 where I wrote about why I became a Personal Trainer and opened a gym which highlighted a change of value in life.

And over the following days, I thought about the journey along the way.

One of the key things was how your value hierarchies change in life through experiences, age and emotions.

For me, as I went through secondary school, I spent less time being arsed with studying and more time looking at cars and wondering what was up a girl’s skirt.

From being someone who had modest levels of intelligence, my values shifted, and I almost dumbed myself down.

That trend followed through into college too. Repeat exams in August.

A sheer lack of discipline, motivation and drive.

And that included neglect of myself.

Changes of Value

Up until I was 21/22, I valued finishing work on a Friday so I could drink 47 cans of cider all weekend, party it up and make an absolute tit of myself.

But as the years went by, my values began to change.

The partying was still mad craic, but it began to be overtaken by the impulse to change my lifestyle.

Because I was beyond fed up being overweight.

And slowly, as the months ticked by, the value of losing weight and feeling good about myself eroded the value of partying.

And that kicked off the lifestyle change, because now my physical appearance and how I felt about myself took priority over pints.

As you grow older, your value hierarchy changes.

At 21, mine could have looked like:

  1. Cans of cider
  2. Parties
  3. Sleep
  4. Work/study

But as the evolution of Colm gathered pace, these values shifted.

Fitness and health became more important.

Spending time outdoors suddenly became my weekend go-to.

And travelling opened my eyes to the realities of the world.

Oh yeah, running a business kicked me back into Intelligent Mode where it re-engaged with studying, learning and making mistakes along the way.

Using experiences in life can alter your values.

Travelling to poorer countries or visiting areas of turmoil will rapidly alter your perspective of what’s important.

Material goods are nice but not essential.

Instead, you value the little things in life and discover gratitude.

Every morning you wake up in a warm house, food in the fridge, clean running water and electricity, then you’re not doing bad at all.

Yet we somehow feel the need to whinge about slow internet, not having the latest iPhone or the person at Starbucks spelling your name wrong.

Whether it’s a level of Stoicism that evolves within you, or just that you remove yourself from the rat-race of superficial lifestyle.

Volunteering is another experience that can dramatically change how you value human life, interaction and emotion.

It grounds you very quickly as it strips back all the social status, the designer goods and Instagram photos and instead opens your eyes to the struggles so many suffer throughout the world.

And again, it changes your perspective of what’s important in life.

Fuck the flash cars, jewellery, clothes and unrealistic levels of self-importance.

We’re all human, superficial items shouldn’t remove us from the fact that we’re all just human looking to live a happy life.

As you evolve, your value hierarchy might start to look like:

  1. Being a good person
  2. Work, self-development, creativity
  3. Spending time outdoors and having fun
  4. Social life

Joining The No-Craic Brigade

One of the things I’ve noticed as the years roll by, is that you can be judged by people based on their values, not yours.

As I shifted away from partying to opening my own business and working my arse off to create a better lifestyle, I suddenly got tagged as “no craic anymore”.

It’s something that can piss you off.

You’re happy that you’re now working on creating something good for yourself, but you don’t feel supported or celebrated.

Instead, you grow to realise people judge you based on their values and their expectations.

Not based on how you want to proceed in life.

And it can be a tough mental battle to persevere in your new endeavours in the adventure that is life.

Because you could just switch back to keep everyone happy.

But deep down, that isn’t what drives you anymore.

So you need to buckle up and keep putting in the work.

It can be a lonely road, but along the way, you’ll meet plenty of crazy, weird people who are on the same track as you.

And suddenly you realise you’re not crazy anymore.

This is a normal part of life.

We live, we grow, we evolve.

And as we do, our values change along the way.

In a few years time, mine will have changed again.

Maybe ‘family’ will sit on top of the pile.

Who knows?

All I know is, we should focus on opening ourselves up to as many experiences, adventures and challenges as we can.

Because that’s what will elicit personal growth and development.

And don’t we all want to live a better, more fulfilling life?

Maybe take some time to assess your own values and see if you’re focusing on them or if you need to alter your actions.


Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

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