I am going to use this post to introduce myself and my current conflict.
Hey, I'm James, I am 20 years old and I recently began building myself into the man I wish to be. AoM has been a big part of this. I did not begin this journey for myself, which was my first and most glaring mistake so far. I began this journey for a girl. I thought that if she had accepted me at my worst, then she deserved me at my best. At first, it was all for her. As I began, however, I began liking myself and my life more for just going out and doing the things that would make me a better man. I wrote down my core values (which will be discussed shortly) and I began writing about them. Most of my writings are terrible and philosophical B.S. but I found a new hobby that I enjoy.
So, with that beginning it could not be all great. We hadn't been dating long when I started, just long enough for me to consider her a girlfriend. Shortly thereafter (last Tuesday, actually) she dumped me. Through text. I spiraled for only a couple of days but have been a bit apathetic since then. It made me question myself. Why did I start this journey? What did I do wrong? I wrote more; writing helps me process the information. I know now that while the start was rough, I should continue improving myself and I should only improve myself for myself. I did two things wrong where this girl was concerned: 1) I did not see her for who she was and 2) I put too much stock into her. Courage is a key value to me and by dumping me through text, she showed a distinct lack of courage (along with several other things that should have sent up warning flags for me). I cannot be with someone who lacks courage.
I questioned my values and priorities. The original list I came up with is this (ordered by importance):
As you can see, I was unable to limit this down to five values. I chalked this up originally as me just being a complicated guy. The truth is that I was/am wishy-washy. I do not wish to be wishy-washy any longer.
I have to figure this out, and I could use some help. I want to be happy, but I hold those values above that. What should my priorities be? Should I put my happiness ahead of some of my values? This feels wrong to me, but I don't think I can improve unless I am happy. I find it hard to convey my thoughts right now, but I hope that someone gets what I am trying to do and is willing to try to help.
Thank you all for any help you can give.
Your values all kind of tie in together.
I mean if what you are doing (following your list of attempting to 'become a better man' using the values/priorities you've listed) is making you happy. Then great. If something is making you miserable then maybe you need to reconsider it.
Also. You're 20. I'm only a bit older than you (27) but 20 is still pretty young. I mean you (by which i mean you, me, everyone) think you know the kind of guy you are person you are etc. and in 5 years you'll look back and think 'man i was an idiot who knew nothing back then.'
I say that in reference to you being "wishy washy" You're 20 with hopefully no massive responsibilities weighing you down (house payment, kids etc.). BE wishy washy. Now's the time to kind of drift around, figure stuff out, see what works for you and what doesn't. You don't want to be "wishy washy" at 30 or something when you have a career/family etc. to worry about and focus on.
as it's 3am here i'm hoping any of this is making some kind of sense. In any case welcome to AoM man.
If you think you can't do priority X unless you're happy, then either
* you're right, and you needn't list happiness up with priority X; it's a means to that end. Just as I might list "providing for my family" but wouldn't need to list "having a job," because it implied
* you aren't right, and happiness still need not be there, but can be at whatever level it should be
Assuming it matters!
I'm a little confused, what is it about your values that is conflicting with your happiness? Just because happiness isn't your highest priority doesnt seem like a big deal. If those 6 things about it are more important than I would assume that improving them should lead you to being a happier person. I don't know of many people who improve something in their life that they consider to be extremely important and then not be happy about it.
There's a difference between happiness and pleasure and I think you need to make that distinction. For example you may want to call in sick when you're not to go to the beach with your friends for a day. That may bring you pleasure that day but would you be truly happy, knowing you lacked integrity by lying to your boss?
Here's a good piece of scripture that illustrates this. Even if you're not religious the point is valid. Hebrews 12:11 says "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Look at a bigger picture for your happines. You may not like your job but you enjoy providing for a family (your first priority). You may not like waking up early to go for a run but you like being healthy and in shape. You may want to read a simple fiction book but instead you decide to read a non fiction book to help you grow.
Um.. Self happiness is not a value it is a result of consistent application of the core valuses. The idea of stating your core values is to state in writing what you believe in. Courage, Integrity, Loyalty, Self-Sacrifice, Perseverence, and Self Sufficiency would be core values.
As for the priority of the values no one can help you with that all they can do is tell you what their priorities would be.
Thank you all for your replies. The responses have been very helpful. I have been going about it the wrong way. Happiness should be a result, not a value. I 'shoulded' all over myself, in short.
For me I have a few core values that are the foundations for the others.
For myself, Financial Stability is a foundation to Family and Being Content. I can’t see how you can have a strong family life and be content if I am worried about income and necessary payments.
I can easily see that your first 5 provide you the foundation to being Kind and Happy.
I would also caution about the value of “Happy”. While I do want everyone to have happy times I think it is better to seek contentment. Hunting happy does not seem like stable place to be. You will find something that stimulates happiness but as that fades it is off to the next thing. It is just something to think about.