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My hierarchy of values

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I think it would be helpful for some people if I posted my hierarchy of values and I'd like input if it could be improved. I think its important to know my values and have them straightened out in a non-contradictory way as to keep things clear in my head. So the list is in order from one to six, one being what would give me most happiness to attain followed by what would give me lesser happiness and so on.

1. Making Music for my income

2. Wife

3. House

4. Car

5. Food

6. Money

Without doing something you love to do as your life work the others are pretty much meaningless. They're for your life, but then your life has no point. I'm not sure if money is in the right place because the only real value money (pieces of green paper) has to me is that which I can buy with it, however I think once I start earning my money from my work it will give me a real good feeling.

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Not sure what feedback you're looking for. It sounds like you want to be a musician, and that the other decisions you make will derive from that prime value. (Check out the thread on "Central Purpose"; there are probably other threads too.) So, if #1 is what you strongly believe should be #1 for you, and if you think it is a practical and achievable value, then go for it.

#2 -- soul-mate -- sounds like a natural "near top-most" value.

At the risk of stating the obvious, such a ranking should not be construed to mean that you will not give up a single second of practicing music to do something with your soul-mate. Strictly speaking, you are your primary value in the sense that your value to another person and their value to you, depend on who you are. However, your ideal would be a situation where you had a tough time choosing between your available values in any specific case: like a child and a huge dessert table.

The others -- house, car, food and money -- are obviously values in the sense that they make the others acheivable. A different situation would be if a car means more to you than just transportation; or, if you wanted a specific type of house; and so on. Money is clearly an "enabling value", unless you collect coins and currency :thumbsup:

It is actually useful to draw up a list of values, leaving out the enablers for a start. Other than music and a soul-mate, what else do you enjoy: movies, dance, exercise, basketball, gardening, dressing up, history, philosophic discussion,... all sort of possibilities. Then ask yourself if you are acting toward gaining and/or keeping these values. Doing this once in a way can be a useful direction-setting/direction-correcting exercise.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Money is clearly an "enabling value", unless you collect coins and currency :worry:

LOL... I like your replies softwareNerd. Quite whitty.

But anyway, I am in a similar situation to yours Hazmatac, and I might have some insight for you.

To begin with, I agree with softwareNerd that you've provided us with a somewhat limited list of values that are rather difficult to interpret. But, making the same assumptions he did, I think your list boils down to three items- musicianship (work), your wife and possessions. Money can't be a part of your list, really, because without it none of the others can exist. And I would not say that money itself is the value, but rather what you do to obtain it (ie work again). So, now we have only three items that you value in your life. I'm sure that there are others, but these are probably the three that are most important and occupy the majority of your resources.

Now, my thoughts are these: As with all things, there must be a morally correct order for these three items. The easiest distinction to make is between your material possessions (or your desire to have material possessions) and your life's work (music). Because, without the efforts you make to earn a living as a musician, you could not afford any items, it seems that this value is slave to it's master value that is your income. What kind of house, car, vacations, clothes, etc. you can afford is dependent entirely on your ability to make money. So, I think it's safe to say that those desires should be lower on your list than the desire to be monetarily successful.

A trickier matter is the decision between your wife and your musical career. If I were to tell you that, if you leave your wife today, I could guarantee you an in to the record label of your dreams, would you do it? I know that is an unlikely and normally absurd question, but in this case, you answer should be yes if you value your musical success over your relationship with your wife. In reality you will probably always have both, but answering that truthfully may shed some light on your true desires. What really is more important to you?

But, whatever your answer, I do have thoughts on which should be the #1 value. It's a little touchy to talk about, but I think it is important to understand it clearly for the sake of both parties in the relationship.

I am also working tirelessly towards a career as a musician, but I value my boyfriend before this desire for success nonetheless. This is why I question either your priorities or the fact that your wife is your 'soul mate', for lack of a better word. My 'soul mate' is someone who enriches my life so much that a life without him would be a higher price to pay than foregoing a successful career in music. That is what a significant other should be, or they are probably more like a friend in reality. Undoubtedly, friends make our lives better as well and thus are worth the time and effort to keep, but a 'soul mate' must be someone that helps create a life for the two of you that could not otherwise exist. Without that person, you could not possibly be as happy. That person is irreplaceable and you would not wish to give them up at any cost because they are that important to your personal happiness.

So, clearly, I know nothing of the nature of you and your wife's relationship. But I do know what it means to care for someone more than anything else in the world. Anything short of that would not and should not be a #1 priority. However, if you think of this and realize that your life would suffer more from the loss of your wife that the loss of your career, then your list may need to be amended. And, if you realize that you list if correct, then perhaps your wife is not for you what a person of that nature should be. It is possible, then, that she is not your 'soul mate'.

In any case, perhaps this helps. It's an important issue because it is crucial to treat the people in your life fairly- as they deserve to be treated. There is more to say on the value of a successful career and so on, but I think this post is quite long enough as it is. ;]

Interesting topic- thanks for bringing it up!



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