onward excerpts personal development Mar 16, 2020
Creative On Purpose

The pursuit of work-life balance was always an exercise in frustration for me.

I engage in multiple roles every day—husband, father, teacher, musician, writer, and coach, to name a few. 

I used to believe each role was a bucket and that all the buckets had to be filled equally. Even if I grouped all those roles into two categories, personal life and professional life, balance was elusive.

Work-life balance is a delusion and an invitation to shame and suffering, at least in my experience.

What about you?

Things turned around when I decided to simply show up living my values and virtues everywhere. 

Values and virtues are terms often confused or conflated. Yet the distinction is worth teasing apart.

Values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They’re aspirational goals that provide you with a moral compass for navigating choices and decisions.

Virtues are your convictions – values as lived and acted upon. Virtues are experienced and observed.

Put another way, values are theory, and virtues are practice.

For example, wisdom is a worthy virtue. However, if we deny our creativity or exercise poor judgment, it is impossible to be seen as or to actually be, truly wise.

Equanimity and a sense of flourishing require harmony between virtues and values. You can’t make exceptions due to expediency or situationally cherry-pick when they apply and when they don’t.

This is why we feel internal dissonance and discomfort when the way we behave is out of alignment with or contrary to who we are.

What you do in many ways is who you really are.

Values and virtues are both critical, of course. Calm and consonance come when they’re integrated.

Are your virtues and values in agreement? Is who you are aligned with who you wish to become?

I no longer try to show up differently as a husband with my wife, or father with my sons, or guitarist on the gig, etc. I simply show up as the Scott Perry I am now, and through the relationship or task at hand, leverage it to become a better version of me.

Why? So I can better serve the soul or situation in front of me and leverage that involvement to become a better version of me. It’s a virtuous cycle that enhances my life while I seek to do the same for others.

Your turn. Are you fractured and moving from role to role in your day-to-day? How could you become a little more integrated?

This is an excerpt from Onward: Where Certainty Ends Possibility Begins.The audio comes from the audiobook edition available on Audible.

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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