Let's talk values. What even are they? Some of mine are fun, freedom and adventure. Now I am living my life according to my values I feel the happiest I've ever felt! That may sound far fetched but it is 100% true!
Anyone who knows me well also knows I am extremely truthful, honest and justice seeking. These are qualities that can be given a bad name i.e. blunt, direct and too honest but you know what? It really does depend on how you choose to think about them.
Being direct means that people know what you mean because you mean what you say. So let's change blunt for direct. Implied meanings are really tricky for me as an autistic ADHDer and can be really tricky for me to pick up on.
If you know an autistic person then it is far better to say ‘please shut the window’ rather than ‘oh, it’s really cold in here' hoping that because they are closest to the window they might pick up on your implied meaning and offer to close the window. The likely response will be ‘yeah, it is’. Oh, and the answer to the first one might be ‘shut the window yourself’ ha ha ha but hopefully you get what I mean lol! Anyway, I started talking about values then went off on a tangent again.
FUN! This is a value that is of high importance. That is why I am on a mission to spread the joy of improv. I run a variety of online and in person workshops for beginners and let me tell you, they are the best thing ever!
Improv is simply creating silly scenes in the moment with no pre-planning based on a suggestion such as relationship or location.
The results are always surprising and hilar
In a recent workshop Michelle said; “I love these sessions, so much fun - a highlight of my week! Playtime for grownups”!!
Other comments from Friday include: “Such a creative boost to keep me going for the rest of the day! Thank you”
“So much fun BUT I'm off fish and chips and that snorkel is looking at me funny”
Fiona was referring to an entertaining chip shop scene and an adventurous scene where a snorkel was mistaken for a snake! I think you had to be there!
Anita said “Welcoming, adrenalin pumping, and always a safe place to play. Another entertaining and affirming session, thanks everybody”!
If you would like to jump aboard the comedy train then do let me know - it is so much FUN!
I am running an online workshop in February for beginners which is going to be full of fun and games - at your own pace of course. See here for details and how to book.
So, values are the things that are important to us and guide many of our decisions. If our values are in alignment with our goals then we are far more likely to achieve them. If you have a goal that you think you ‘should’ do rather than what you ‘want’, again the likelihood of achieving it is reduced.
An interesting example that comes to mind regarding work/career goals and values not being aligned is when I worked as a teacher for 17 or so years. I knew I loved to teach children and to help them. I knew that on a good day when the pressure was on (there was always pressure) I could deliver an ‘outstanding’ lesson (according to OFSTED criteria, yuk!)
For 17 years I believed it was my calling to be a ‘teacher’ and I spent a lot of that time feeling stressed, overwhelmed, incompetent, never able to get on top of the planning, monitoring and assessing. It was never ending. There were plenty of positives of course; helping children learn, contributing to their confidence and self-esteem by teaching them improv, having fun and being silly to name a few.
However, after 2 years at a particularly tough (toxic workplace) school where my confidence was slowly chipped away at, where I was thought to be ‘too honest’ (I called the head teacher out on a blatant lie in front of the whole staff team in a meeting), where I was given duties that were not in my role, where my role changed and where I was not invited to important meetings I realised enough was enough!
I made the decision to leave formal ‘teaching’ and followed a different path. I knew I had to help people in some form or other and I knew that working 1:1 and in small groups was more suited to my sensitive nervous system.
So here I am; teaching comedy skills, helping people learn about themselves in order to move forward in their lives and delivering meaningful autism training where acceptance is key. I am in complete alignment with my values of fun and helping others.
Just because I was a good school teacher does not mean that is what I ‘should’ have been doing.
So, now I am doing what I love and that includes working with lovely people who need support and a helping hand to get unstuck and move forward in their lives.
Is the key to happiness living in alignment with your values? I really believe so. What do you think?
Weather you are neurodivergent like me or are drawn to my values and way of working, I would love to hear from you.