We asked big questions at our Reboot Live like what do you value most? This recording is from October 2017 live experiential weekend. We took a look at the values we hold and the the way we live our lives. Resulting in visibility into areas where our values and behaviours are in conflict.
What is Reboot?
Experiential two and a half days with fifty people redesigning your life, getting unstuck, and rediscovering your path to living a meaningful life.
When are you full of energy?
When somebody at work starts showing charts and graphs? When you meet new people at a cocktail party?
When your spouse drags you to a Reboot weekend?
When you have to work on a project alone?
On Friday at 3pm, for an all company meeting?
When you have a blank sheet of paper and a blinking cursor?
When are you happiest & content?
What do you love? vacations, days at the lake, when you are alone?
Do you love mornings? Late nights?
Do you love traveling? Staying home on a rainy day to read a book? Teaching kids to read? Teaching a new training course?
(00:55): Friends welcome to another episode of Work Life Play. On the continuum of all things in our life, of all the good, of all the phenomenal, of all the not yet of all of the wonky. And here we are. In today's episode, I'm gonna share with you another session from our 2017 live weekend workshop called Reboot. This is part two, of a three-part series, and what you're gonna hear is the beginning of the second half of day one, and we get into some topics of talking about what “do we actually value “and beginning to look at our values, things we hold most dear and true to us, and then overlaying our decisions and our actions to actually see how congruent are they. But before we even get to looking at congruency in our behaviors, choices, and our values, we have to actually get to the bottom of “what do we even value?”
(02:12): What matters most to us? I find that a lot of people are really clear on the things that they don't want their life to look like, but oftentimes really kind of fuzzy on what they do want their life to look like. Or sometimes we're really clear on the things we have to do in our life, but aren't actually clear on what would we do. If we found ourselves with choice, how would we invest those decisions, those choices to align what we do every day with the person that we want to be, the life we want to have. And all of it comes down to living on purpose, living intentionally. So what you're gonna hear in this first bit is an interview that I did with Rob Bell back sometime in 2015. And I just pulled a clip from that podcast interview.
(03:14): And we talk about architecting your life and assumptions that have to get challenged. And a lot of that in from this bit you'll hear is the basis for what we created with this reboot. This reboot event is really about challenging assumptions and getting clear on what you value most. And then beginning to evaluate how you can architect your life in such a way subtly, tiny steps, the smallest of things like cleaning out a closet or paying off a bill and just living more freely. And then that begins to build on itself. And then you can get kind of wild and crazy and start thinking about what if we moved to Morocco, which a couple of our reboots did, and what if we went and hiked the Camino de Santiago? Or what if we went and moved to the mountains? Or what if we stayed home on a Saturday and didn't answer the door or the phone and turned our phone off and actually just didn't shower and watch movies all day in ordered pizza. What if we could actually architect our life in a meaningful way that actually makes it feel like tomorrow is not gonna be just a repeat of the humdrum of today? All right, I hope you enjoy,
Aaron (04:38): And how I would say what I hear you talk a lot about is that it starts with a belief narrative. That the narrative is we have something special here, we get one turn and this turn is really cool. And the awe and the wonder and the invitation, with all this latitude for what we're afforded. And that then once we embrace and figure out more of that personal narrative of what we're here to do. It doesn't necessarily mean work. It may mean something like you invite your neighbors to dinner and that's the thing you're here to do, is to love other people. And then out of that narrative then begins an architecture of creating a life that allows then for the narrative to have room and place as the construct of your life versus the world.
(05:44): Defining both the narrative as well as the architecture of your life. And then therefore all these rhythms, which is what I can admittingly say I've had ingredients of those, but most of them were just too infused with stuff that wasn't helpful. And we've been in process, like my wife and I talked to you is just been in process of dismantling all that stuff that was no longer useful. However, it was also helpful to get to the kind of the end of that story of like, “Hey, we've exhausted this trail.” There's nothing else that's on this trail that's a mystery to us. We know where this is headed. And the greater risk is to keep heading down the path we're on than it is to risk everything and go on a path with that we've never charted before, which is what we were telling you about, selling our belongings and our house and quitting jobs and rebooting our life. But most of it was wired up to this narrative and the architecture of our life. So is that a fair way for how you would describe it?
Brian (06:45): Well said. You begin with this process of figuring out what you're doing here. What are you doing here?
Aaron (06:55): Is that the starting question? What are you doing here? That's a great place to start. Do you know what you're doing here?
Brian (07:00): You can read that at a very practical level and at sort of a meta-level, better, physical level even. “What are you doing here?” And in some ways, and even to go a step below that, what do you wanna do? What kind of life do you want? And many people immediately are like, Well that's pretty unrealistic. You know, I got bills to pay.
Aaron (07:22): That’s exactly right. Cause it's like an immediate disqualification, which I've been guilty of. “This is why I can't do what I'm here to do or what I wanna do because of all these reasons of why I can't do what I wanna do.”
Brian (07:31): And so I begin with two things that are always gonna be in play, all great movements forward, all growth, all increasing maturity, all later stages of consciousness begin with an opening to imagination and a challenging of assumptions. And imagination and assumptions are like dance partners. Because the first thing is let's together imagine what a better tomorrow might look like. One that might actually fill you with life and hope and joy and meaning and significance and contribution and all that. What would that kind of life look like? And it will always, on the heels of it mean you're going to need to challenge some assumptions that you've been handed by your past, by your family, tribe, system, etc. You know what I mean? Somewhere you were handed a system that told you this is how it works.
(08:28): And generally, you don't move to greater fulfillment, vitality, and meaning in life without, at some level challenging and confronting what you were told is simply how it is. And oftentimes people are like, “Yeah, but you know, we're gonna need to have a house that's that big.” Really? are you sure? Are you sure that square footage is the most important thing to your children? Are you positive? Or we can never do that because we couldn't have the kids switch schools. Kids switch schools all the time. You know what I mean? I mean you can just go down. Well, there's just no money for that. Or as a friend of mine says, “Any problem that is based on money is not an interesting problem.”
(09:16): And so you begin there and you used the word architect, which is such an excellent word. What is it that you're here to do? What kind of life are you going to create? And then what will that require? Do you need to travel? Okay, well then let's sort out what that looks like. Do you need to move into the city, into the country? Do you need to move? whatever that looks like. Or is it simply stay exactly where you are, but organize things in a different way? That's what everyone, I mean the wealthiest people, the smartest people, the most successful people, all the people that you think must have gotten it figured out. All they have figured out is that we're all in the endless process of figuring it out. Nobody, it's not a plateau, it is just this endless ongoing, how you spend your time, how you spend your resources, how you create boundaries around work and play and family. That's all part of it. And once you relax into that and there's always going to be a tension there. And the goal isn't to get rid of the tension. The tension is a sign that you're alive.
Aaron (10:20): We're gonna do more exercises, but I thought we just go back here. What I just heard is that this is super helpful. Could it lay the lands? Like “where I'm at?” “How's it going?” One of the things I think is really helpful is to begin to appreciate that there's an internal reality in us. And then there's like external reality. So Brian, you just mentioned, I wanna go home and clean the garage. So the garage is this external environmental reality now. I’ve got some space because now I've got this. this feels pretty cluttered. And I know now externally I could go do something about that in my externals. And I would say that just that, call it like yin and yang, that harmony of my interior world and my exterior world, paying attention to when they match and when they don't. Super helpful.
(11:35): When you walk into your house or your office or you go have coffee with a friend and you feel anxious or you feel cluttered or you feel stuck. This is information. This is data. Okay, what's that? So Leith used to pull up to our house, we'd go on vacation, and we'd drive up as soon as we get home anxious immediately. Well, there was anxiety in our house. There were all kinds of anxiety. And so we began to understand that environmentally in our house, we experience a lot of anxiety in our house. We wanna go straight to just fixing it. What do you do? I should clean the garage out cause I pull my car in every day and I realize, I just wanna get outta here. There are some practical things we can do. So we really strongly believe that your environment matters for creating a habitat for the soul to grow well in. And, as Rob Bell said in that audio file, he says, I'm not talking about square footage.
(12:53): That's not what this is about. What we're talking about is in order to have the life we want externally, it often starts with the life we want internally. And so what we're gonna move into here in a minute is about “what do you value most?” “What do you care about most?” We're not gonna go into the exercise of “what do you wish it was?” Cause right now we're just getting to start where you are, A baseline, how these things going, green, yellow, red, that can begin to inform us about what can we do to tend and shape? So one of the folks I was riding in the car with on the way back, was saying that some of the items on his dashboard were read that were circumstantial based, They were just external to him.
(13:43): They just are red. And then some of them that were yellow were more something he could do something about. Super helpful. So what I wanna move into next is talking about what do you value most. And this is less about personal possessions and more about providing another kind of baseline. What do I care about? What matters to you? Not your neighbor, your boss, your husband's spouse, etc. It’s not some obligation thing you signed up for that you're just the white-knuckling. You, what do you care about? So what I wanna show you is this little drawing graph I did, and I'll walk you through it, and then we're gonna do the same thing, I’ll give you guys a chance to do it. So let me just orient you just this idea of a bubble graph. And the idea is, is that
(14:47): This is important to me. This is of low importance to me. That doesn't mean it is of no importance, it just means it's less important to me. And so when I just did it, I just picked a couple, and we're gonna interact here in a minute to come up with a list. But what I started with was, R for relationships, career advancement C, my personal health, certainty in my future, financial security, and time off. So these are just something I just picked. And then what I just did is, when I go and say, relationships are really high value to me, my health is really high value to me. And time off is really high value to me. What is moderate value to me? And this is a season, one of the conversations I had on the way down the mountain was about how some seasons define what's of value to you in that season.
(15:46): So right now, I'm in a season where I am prioritizing relationships. They got bumps down and financial security got bumped up. But right now in the season that I value, what I want my life to be about, then I can say, I'm willing to take a little less career advancement right now in this season I'm in, and a little less financial security in trade for some time off. And right now, I don't want you even use the word “trade”. I don't want you to get to trades yet. I just want you to start with value and what you care about. So right now, for me, certainty, I don't like it, but the truth is, it's lower value to me right now to specifically know what my life's gonna look like a month from now as it comes to my career.
(16:39): I have a big career, chimney sweep, landlocked marine biologist. Thank you very much. So let me just give you some starting ideas about what I want you guys to work on here. So what do I value most? I'm gonna prime you and then ask you to provide some out loud. So relationships, maybe it's freedom of choice. In my case, time off, physical, and emotional health, financial, security, doing meaningful work that I care about, and time with my family. Maybe simplicity is high value, maybe simplicity is low value. Less stuff. We talked about clutter. Where is that? Oh no, I don't want less stuff. I want more stuff. Okay, great. Is that high value? Let's put it on a really nice home, brand new car. Nope, totally fine with used cars. Adventure. Nope, I don't need adventure. I just like going out to dinner on Fridays. So what I'd like for you guys to do is, can you just throw out some things for the group about what is high value to you? And then we'll get into your specific exercise in a minute. Anybody? High value, What do you care about most? Spirituality. Okay, so spiritual life, Okay, family, time off, spiritual life. What else? We got real deep, authentic connections with people, not peripheral. Niceties. creative outlets. Nice, good add. Time alone. What else?
(18:15): Being outside healing. And that's internal heart-level healing. Inside out. All right, what else doesn't have to look like this could just be a list. This is a starter idea to get you to write a few things down. What matters to you, Not what you think should matter. What somebody told you should matter, but just matters to you.
(18:45): New question. What makes you happy? What makes you stoked? And if you want, you can just keep working on your notebook. I'll give you a couple of examples here. Super helpful to know what makes you stoked and what you value and what makes you stoked. May end up being really similar. I like being outside. I value being outside. I'm happy when I'm outside. That's great. They might line up really well. And then sometimes they may be less specific. When I think about what makes me happy, I love learning something new. Makes me super happy. I love when I'm alone, quiet and I'm creating something new, super happy. I love mornings and coffee and I love being with happy people. I love it when I'm outside. I love my family. I love traveling. I love music. I love Avery my daughter and our joy bus. I love going to museums with my son Holden. I love Leith and I grabbing our five o'clock happy hour glass of wine together. I love adventure. I love exploring new places. I love speaking and writing, making a positive difference. I love it when I'm active. We move. like we did earlier, I love connecting with God, dreaming, and being with close friends. And those things make me super stoked. So for you, your turn. When are you happiest? When are you content?
(20:19): What do you love? Is it vacations? Is it days at the lake? Is it when you're alone? when you're with friends? Is it staying home on a rainy day to read some poetry?
(20:39): Is it cooking for friends or new strangers? Is it teaching? Is it a training course? Is it taking your kids to the park? Is it having a very intellectual politics conversation over dinner with some buddies? What is it? What do you love? Is it making sure you can see the picture on the front of your underwear? What makes you happy? Let me give you some insight as to why this matters for us all. This is a really easy thing to lose sight of. When the dashboard of your life is all lit up with reds and oranges and yellows, is it really an easy thing to just say, “You know what? That's not the season I'm in right now.” There's no time for that. That inner critic voice, the voice of disqualification of kind of tough, that's not sustainable.
(21:51): And even in spite of the pain, the heartaches and the challenges, and the red dashboard lights, you're still in the story. So what makes you work? What makes you tick? What makes you stoked? I think this one's a little easier to answer sometimes, I'm not sure I can do this anymore. My energy's really low, My engagement level is really low. And I'll share some of these with you. So for me, stuff I don't enjoy and I get disengaged quickly or I can just feel like my dashboard light moving towards yellow and red is being in super dogmatic environments. I've experienced that a lot in work environments. Really black, white, dogmatic, rule-based. I like guardrails a lot, wide guardrails are what I like. Endless analysis. Just on another chart, another graph, another spreadsheet.
(23:03): I get it. Let's just move on. I mucked this one up. So no action at all, like in action. So no decisions, just gridlock, stalemate, and paralysis. Super impersonal. When I'm in really in personal environments, I could tell you some chimney sweep stories, but you know 'em too cuz you live them. So when things are super predictable, I listened to this guy give this talk, so one of my favorites, I listened to and he told these two parallels of needing to know what you're like. And he told the story about being a pioneer and he showed this picture of a covered wagon with a bunch of arrows. It, these guys out cooking the small fire and he is like, Monday and Tuesday don't equal Wednesday. When you're a pioneer, you're just out there. You don't know where your next meal's gonna come from.
(23:56): it's unknown, but that’s adventure. And then there's this other part that calls it a settler. And he talked about, well, if you're a settler, that means you like to set up the town and you like to work at town hall, Straight lines and a CPA. And I'm just not like that. So it was really helpful for me to know, oh, I like the wild west out on the prairie more than I like in the city. Making sure the city runs well. A ton of repetition, and tons of rules, are not good for me. False sense of urgency given our personal life and the things that have happened. Do you ever get those emails that all have read priority important?
(24:41): Hold on. Do they know this is not really that important? And I realize like, hold on, time out. My metric scale of priority is really abnormal because of what we've personally experienced. So what I think is a priority and what they think, are just totally different. But I realize what environments were just everything is this what I call false urgency. Tons of red tape, rigid, isolated. When is your engagement low, your energy low, which is not good for you? Low engagement? Not good for me. I check out when I'm not sure I can keep going. If so, first-world problems are not your jam. No thank you on the drama. No thanks on first-world problems. What else? Pain
(25:39): Rushed pain, drama, being nagged. Oh yeah, does anybody like that One? Inauthenticity. politics, indecisive people. Here's the lay of the land. What we're trying to get at for you is to give you insight into yourself starting with, “Hi, my name is Zach. I love being in the mountains versus, hi, my name is Zach. I am a chimney sweep at this place.” So that's okay. Hold on. What does Zach love? What does Jim love? What does Nancy Love? What does Barry love? When does Debbie come alive? When is Debbie stoked? When Debbie's cooking, when Sean looks at his dashboard lights on his life, what does he do with a couple of reds and some yellows?
(26:43): We don't know. So all this right now, do you see how we're not, we're not at the big question that you walked in the door with. What do I do about my marriage? What do I do about it, We're starting with you. What about you? Cuz everything else in the story, you're gonna have an opportunity to guide and steer your life and your story and your relationships and your finances and your health and your spiritual life and your money and all these other things. If you are more holy, truly you, right? And so the blinking cursor, the what's this gonna be starts with you. And turns out all roads intersect with us in these stories. The recurring theme is that we're in 'em, And so what we want to help facilitate along is, tomorrow is not here yet. You can do something about it.
(27:43): And that might mean cleaning the garage to get rid of some clutter. It might mean saying no to something. It might mean that the pack that you're carrying, maybe there are some trade-offs in there you could make. Maybe there's another way. Maybe there's a light version that you just haven't found yet in front of you guys that missed our little adventure excursion. Dave will circle back up tonight, show you his two different packs that he carried and how one's his old life and his old way, and it weighed fully loaded 60 pounds in his new life and his new way and how he feels and what he experiences and what he accomplishes. More true to what he desires with 18 pounds on his back.
(28:32): You've been listening to Work Life Play. If you like what you've heard, please do us a favor and rate us on iTunes. It really does help. You can get more information about this in other episodes at aaronmchugh.com. Thanks for listening. Thanks for being part of this adventure, for being part of braving the pioneering work of discovering sustainable work life. Play rhythms, love your work, live your life, and play a whole lot more. I'm Aaron McHugh. Keep going.
*We’ve done our best for this transcription to accurately reflect the conversation. Errors are possible. Thank you for your patience and grace if you find errors that our team missed.
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