ZEN Shredding ~ Insight #25


Do more of what you value. 


Life does not have to be a complicated affair.  While there are so many different trails you could take sometimes spending more time on the ones you already enjoy is the best route.




Extended commentary:


There are many, many strategies for living a more meaningful and successful life.  Getting in touch with your value system has to be one of the most efficient and powerful ways of developing an effective approach to navigating life’s challenges, while also finding ways to elevate and increase the level of inspiration you experience in life. 


Values have a subtle, but powerful influence on your motivation and decision making process.  When you have opposing sets of values they often create confusion and frustration in life; if you ever wonder where “self sabotage” comes from take a look at your values [expressed or denied] and you will likely discover some sort of misalignment or unconscious allegiance to an opposing value.  With understanding and awareness, values provide a framework to guide you into making choices that are in alignment with Who You Are, they are the essence to the “you” that you want to become. 


When your attention is placed on values that are an inherent expression of your inner being, you will experience life in an informed, meaningful and inspiring way.  Values are important as they inherently guide and motivate you to do what you do; they are the reasons why you do, what you do.  What you most value in life, you will have a desire to increase your experience of, and what you value least in life, you have a desire to diminish or eliminate from your life.


When you have a value system that supports your well being, you’ll never have to worry about finding the motivation to do something.  When you cultivate an awareness of your personal value system, it will serve to elevate the experience of happiness on all levels of life. 


Values are the keys to unlocking the transformational process, the building blocks for creating meaningful change and enhanced levels of joy.  As you progress through your life phases, your existing value system will often be refined, clarified and developed as a result of your exposure to new or different experiences that take the form of those people, situations and circumstances. 


One of the most important aspects in understanding your value system is how they reflect directly your inner and outer worlds; they determine greatly the choices you make or do not make in life; they are an expression of what you do or do not do, in life…


Here are a few other important points to remember about values:


Take the time to create clarity around your most important values.


Identify the relative priority you give them in your life.  There will always be two lists; one will reflect what you “imagine” or would “like” the priority to be”; the second list will reflect the priority as indicated by your “actual behavior in life”.  You will experience more happiness and fewer struggles when both these lists mirror each other, i.e. there will be no contradiction between what you “think” and what you “do”.


As you become more familiar with your values, use them to support you in making important decisions relative to the short and long term goals you have in life, and the “purposefulness” with which you may live your life.


Look for conflicting values when you face struggle or confusion.


Identify your strongest values and understand their ability to elevate the level of successes you experience in life.


Identify and elevate the values which motivate and inspire you the most, look for the values that cause you to thrive in your most successful relationships [love, friendship, partnership].


Look for ways to enhance the expression of values that can contribute to your inspiration and success.  Cultivating or nurturing specific values you might have overlooked or dismiss, often serve to facilitate the greatest amount of transformation.


We can classify values into four categories:


Personal, Cultural, Social and Work related areas. 


Personal Values:

Personal values are principles that define you as an individual. Personal values, such as honesty, reliability, and trust, determine how you will face the world and relate with people.

other examples include: Caring, Courage, Creativity, Honesty, Spirituality.


Cultural Values:

Cultural values, like the practice of your faith and customs, are principles that sustain connections with your cultural roots.

They help you feel connected to a larger community of people with similar backgrounds. 

Other examples include: Ethnic roots, Nationality ties or Spirituality.


Social Values:

Social values are principles that indicate how you relate meaningfully to others in social situations, including those involving family, friends, and    co-workers.

Other examples include: Diversity, Eco-consciousness, Equality,       

Family closeness.


Work Values:

Work values are principles that guide your behavior in professional contexts.

They define how you work and how you relate to your co-workers, bosses, and clients.

They also reveal your potential for advancement. 

Other examples include: Competitiveness, Dedication, Punctuality,         Financial remuneration, Team player etc.


As you change and evolve, it will be clearly illustrated by your shifting value system.  The following process is a simple way to stay in touch with yourself and to understand where your inner world may or may not be taking you!



Make a list of all the things you value in life (at least 31).


To help you define those ideas you can use the four “theme” categories;


        Personal, Cultural, Social and Work related areas.


Another way to generate a value is to think about what you don’t like.

What do you find fault with? (Someone or something).


For example:


War or fighting = Peace.


Angry or judgmental people = kindness or compassion.



The Practice




Purchase a deck of recipe cards.


On each card write one value. 


There will be 31 cards (for the 31 day calendar months). You can also be creative by coloring or illustrating each card. 


Each day the practice will be to place your attention on one “Value of the day”.


Your role is to simply remain attentive to your daily value throughout the day, notice it when you wake up first thing in the morning or if it spontaneously drifts into your awareness through out the day, or you notice “the deck” during the day.


It is NOT necessary to analyze, evaluate or define the value any more than you presently understand it.


Before going to bed at night take a moment to remind yourself of what the value of the day was and any connection it might have to your daily experience.


Review or think about your daily value just prior to your meditation, and again, as you come out of your meditation.


While you may be inspired to engage behaviors that enhance the

realization of these values in your life for this particular practice it is

suggested that you do not  force  any sort of behavior modification to occur around the value!




If by chance something sychronisticaly occurs around the value during the day or some serendipitous opportunity presents itself, then by all means feel free to see where that leads you.

As you progress through the calendar month, day by day, you will turn the page so that everyday you will have a new value to place your attention on.


When a new month begins you can start over again at the beginning.


For the months where there are only 28/29/30 days you can choose to have two values ( AM ~ PM) so that you can complete the entire deck during that calendar month.


The steps are to be effortless ~ the transformation is unbounded…





In order for me to stay in integrity with where this blog and “I” am going, I want to emphasize the fact that this particular entry is a strategy for the mind.  All strategies however successful are for, and about the mind. 


You, are not the mind. 


And while certain strategies may provide insight, understanding, and once in a while, perceived “improvement” in the quality of life, this occurs only at the level of the mind…    




What do you value most?



To order a copy of ZEN Shredding please visit:






Check out “Living The Dream”, the gift book version of the slideshow/movie that is available to view free on You tube or the ZEN Shredding website; an inspiring read with full color photo’s of Whistler/Blackcomb Alpine…





(c) Copyright – Michael Sean Symonds. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.





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