I am making my way through the wonderful book “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty. It’s hard going, because there is so much to think about I have to stop and digest much of what is being introduced. One of the largest ideas I have found beneficial is the idea of a ‘Values Audit’. A dedicated time where you asses where your perceived values fit into your life, and make some conclusions towards your actual values.
For example someone may claim their values are spending time with their family, but can’t put their phone down to interact with their children. Or you claim there is no time to exercise, but spend hours a day watching TV. This can lead you to be self critical, but there is no need, really what comes from this is more shaping of your actions to display what you value the most.
As my granddad would always say to me “talk is cheap, actions pay the bills”. It’s free and easy to outline the inner working of yourself in words, but your actions quite often display other things. A recent book I read on called Ruined by Design by Mike Monterio discussed a similar thing when designers do things they don’t want to do, but fail to stand up for their values. Leading to a large portion of companies implementing manipulative practices, but this doesn’t just apply to designers.
How many of us would take a position or a job that doesn’t fit in to our values. To use myself as an example, would I design for a company that portrayed dark patterns? Would I write for a company that tracked its users and showed loads of adds? Would you?
Of course many of us would. Taking a job simply because it is with a company we want to work for, but doesn’t display any of our values. There is a certain amount of fighting from the inside you can always do working for a company that doesn’t stand for you, and there is no shame or accusation in that. However it’s important to be aware of whats happening and do these value audits regularly.
Being mindful about the practices you have, your outlook on the world around you and most of all, your output into the world. If at all times we can ensure our true inner values are being portrayed and supported, the world would be a much happier place and you will be a much happier person in it.