Values Define Your Destiny (Part 3): Creating the Life You Desire – Keith Kurlander – HPP 137
Self-determination is a concept in psychology that refers to having a significant influence over your life, such as the direction and fulfillment of your career, relationships, finances, and the impact you have on the world. Although levels of self-determination vary greatly between individuals and their unique circumstances, there are a handful of things you can do in order to increase the likelihood of life going in the direction that you want.
In the first two episodes of this series, Keith talked about how to release values that aren’t your own and discover values that are true to who you are. In the final episode, Keith will share several steps you can take to live in accordance with your values and manifest the life you desire.
How I Discovered Who I Am – 1:28
Over time, I discovered who I am in my 20s. Like, I really get in touch with my values. That’s clear, that happens for me. And I start to understand, in my early 30s, my hierarchy of values meaning like what really makes me unique from other people, and what’s most important to me, and what’s least important to me, of who I am as being
Hacking Your Values Into Action – 6:03
But we all face this on any level, it doesn’t matter whether you have a global vision, or a local vision in your career, that doesn’t matter. Moving through progressive stages of your vision for your life, based on your values, always takes risk, it always takes challenging yourself and now let’s talk about, well, how do you hack that system so you speed up the evolutionary curve in your lifetime, around the manifestation of the form of your life, which is called Life Design, right?
You Need An Inventory – 8:16
So the first real piece here is you got to take an inventory of your current life, right? You need an inventory. Now, what does that mean? What am I talking about here? What I’m talking about is looking at your behaviors in a day and you want to look at the two systems I talked about.
Implementing Strategies – 14:12
And this is a constant process. This is the thing that people don’t get typically in some of the manifestation, self help movements. And you will see that successful people, influencers in the self help movement, they’re doing this. They’re not just relying on manifestation happening to them.
Realizing A Vision – 18:45
But if you have some vision, and you, that’s not being accomplished, and you’re just gonna go back to well, I don’t really, it sounds rigid and I want to do that. That was me. I was this person, by the way. So when I kind of spoke, that voice, actually hearing the inner Keith voice talking out loud, that was me.
Setting Up Values Driven Goals – 20:02
And it’s just because my vision has this thing of like, I want to have a global impact, right? Most people don’t have a global vision, they have a local vision. And that local vision has to have a strategy. Okay? You could do this with finance, you could do this with career, you could do this with family, do this with religion, spirituality, you come up with these goals, that are values driven goals. So they’re not, these things are actually visions for your future, you’ll know they’re not fantasies.
Keith Kurlander 00:11
Thank you for joining us for the higher practice Podcast. I’m Keith Kurlander, with Dr. Will Van Derveer, and this is the Podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health.
Keith Kurlander 00:27
Welcome back. So today’s episode is another part of a three part series, Values define your destiny, part three, and this is about creating the life you desire. Now, you need to have listened to part one and two to have enough information to put this one into play. Right. So if you haven’t listened to part one, and part two, go back, listen to those first and then come listen to this. Or just listen to this, do whatever the hell you want because values define your destiny and that’s your value. You want to listen to this today, and I don’t care. So that’s up to you. So let me return to my story. Now, if you remember my story, it started on Wall Street, I had a huge catharsis, it was hell for me to differentiate from values that were not my own, I did it, I went on a discovery path and I started discovering who I am as a healer in this in that. Here’s what happens next in my story. Over time, I discovered who I am in my 20s, like, I really get in touch with my values. That’s clear, that happens for me. And I started to understand, in my early 30s, my hierarchy of values, meaning like what really makes me unique from other people, and what’s most important to me, and what’s least important to me, of who I am as a being and how I can, one, be fulfilled as an individual. So more of a narcissistic endeavor. And then more of the altruistic endeavors like how this uniqueness of my values can serve the world, right? The altruistic endeavor. Anybody that thinks they’re only an altruist is lying to themselves, by the way, because the spiritual pursuit begins as a narcissistic endeavor, because we’re in pain, or we wouldn’t ever pursue anything to go to integration. We’re coming from fragmentation. So this is just an important piece of understanding in this values conversation that we always have self serving, and other serving forms of our values, right. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s nice to have a balance of both, or else, you’re going to get feedback outside of yourself that you’re focusing too much on yourself, or you’re focusing too much on others, you’ll get that feedback. So back to my story now in my 30s and to early 40s. Now, I have a lot of different teachers and tools. I was in medicine churches in South America, a lot of different things that woke me up here. And my wake up was in my late 30s, early 40s, I’m in the middle of my late 40s now. I had already created a very successful private practice, things were going fine and I started waking up to something else inside of me that my expression of my values weren’t sort of completed in the maintenance phase of my career where I had a successful private practice but I had other values in me that were screaming at me. And they were there the whole time, they were screaming at me. And I started waking up to recognize that some of these values were not just to help individuals, it was to actually make an impact on communities, nations and global people in terms of helping people with this struggle that we’ve been facing, probably as long as civilization. But I wanted to, I was realizing there was a value in me, like, I have to figure out a way to educate because I remember education was a value of mine. So in my late 30s, early 40s, I started waking up to I need to educate masses of people with tools that have helped me live a more fulfilled life and deal with mental health issues and the type of mental health symptoms we face now are kind of crystallizing more intensely in a lot of people differently than before. And I’m not saying that, you know, hundreds of years ago, it was pretty wobbly on this planet. It actually wasn’t I mean, there was a lot of suffering from thousands of years in terms of starvation, the way we treat each other, violence against each other. It’s been very harsh when you look at history, not talking about that. And people’s morality skills are very different, their ethos. We’ve evolved here, people live longer. They’re healthier overall, when you look at statistics, more people have access to food and water than ever before. Actually, people are treating each other better in certain ways than before. But our mental health isn’t better. In fact, right now, there’s a downward decline in mental health, right? So my value is to help somehow get education out to the masses. And that started to arise in me. Now what I had to face myself, when that started rising in me, and I tried to fight that value in myself, I was like, I’m doing great. Like, I’m helping a lot of individuals here in my private practice, like, that’s just, what is that? Like, don’t think about that because when I really came to listen to that, I realized, like, that’s going to take even more overcoming to make that happen, and it scared me.
Keith Kurlander 06:03
But we all face this on any level, it doesn’t matter whether you have a global vision, or a local vision in your career, that doesn’t matter. Moving through progressive stages of your vision for your life, based on your values, always takes risk, it always takes challenging yourself and now let’s talk about, well, how do you hack that system so you speed up the evolutionary curve in your lifetime, around the manifestation of the form of your life, which is called Life Design, right? And this matter, the concept of manifestation, we see it in the self help, go walk in the self help area of the bookstore. I have spent time there. I’m sure some of you have. We’re listening. Lots of books on manifestation there. But it’s lacking this piece. And this piece is the practical piece of how you take your vision for yourself, what’s important to you and turn it into action every day. Okay. Now, there are massive changes in the field of psychotherapy around this. Third-wave Behavior Therapy is addressing this. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is addressing this. I mean, one of the core principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is values driven behavior. We interviewed Steven Hayes a while back on this podcast, and he says somewhere, that really, this all boils down to like the fulfillment of a person is it’s boiling down to that they’re living in accordance with their values. Many wise people in different traditions have said this. Okay. But how do you do it? So let’s say you got through part two, and you do know your values, then if you don’t know your values, you got to go do some more stuff. I mean, we could go on about that for years about all the things you can do to discover your values. Now, I gave you a little mini hack. But there’s other things you can do there, obviously. Well, let’s say you have a good sense of your values. And so now we have to talk about well, how do you act on those values consistently?
Keith Kurlander 08:16
So the first real piece here is you got to take an inventory of your current life, right? You need an inventory. Now, what does that mean? What am I talking about here? What I’m talking about is looking at your behaviors in a day and you want to look at the two systems I talked about, the impulse instinct and values based behavior systems that I talked about in part two. Now, we need certain impulses, instincts, behavioral systems. In fact, mostly things like brushing our teeth, not burning our hands on stoves, and feeding ourselves when we are hungry and a lot of these behaviors in the impulse instinct behavioral system are very healthy, adaptive behaviors for ourselves, but you need an inventory. Go through your day and try to list out all your behaviors in a day. In a spreadsheet, if you don’t like spreadsheets, like I said before, go back to the journal and write them out. Some people like to write, I don’t because I have all kinds of disorders related to reading and writing. And you should see my handwriting. I can’t even read my own handwriting. So I don’t even know what I wrote. So that wouldn’t work for me. But some people are off the right and so you should do. I always loved the right. But so list out your hundreds and hundreds of behaviors in a day. Then we want to go through and there’s sort of three categories here you’re looking for. One is the healthy adaptive impulses, instinct behaviors. Second is the unhealthy maladaptive, impulsive instinct, pleasure principle based behaviors. And you can find those and this is not to create a shame loop in yourself. Okay, so you might be thinking right now like Oh, well, that’s not a smart like, you know, I, I do a lot of would do a let’s talk about diction doing cocaine a lot during the day like well I’m just gonna list that out and say they’re not healthy and well, that’s not a good approach. So you might be saying that or let’s say that’s what food for you means food has been that for me, I used to have addictions, drug addictions in my early 20s But food that can I can go there with food. And you might say, well, that’s not okay like don’t don’t ever list anything out like that and call them unhealthy. And you might be saying that. But the thing is if you can’t take a critical inventory of what are healthy impulse instinct behavioral systems, what are unhealthy impulses and say you can get to the next part, which is hacking your hacking your behavioral network, you can’t do it. And if you want to go on an accelerated crazy rocket ship, to Mars and beyond the path inside yourself of manifesting a vision inside yourself that food or becoming based on your values, you gotta be willing to do this. And it’s not about shame, it’s about taking a good look sober, look at what your behaviors are in a day. So you’re looking at healthy rather than unhealthy impulses, and then your last list our values based behaviors. Okay? These behaviors are not so much about the immediate pleasure. And it’s not really that, okay, these are like, the deep values inside of you that drive you to doing these behaviors. And you would do these behaviors, even if you didn’t get pleasure in the moment, you would be able to put off short term gratification for long term gratification in some of these behaviors, you might be getting pleasure based on these behaviors, it’s not that you are not getting pleasure, it’s just that the reason you’re doing the behavior isn’t just for the pleasure, right? Okay. So that’s values based behavior. I have a lot of values based behavior now in my life, a lot. But I’m not, you know, painting a picture of like, oh, that’s all I do. I mean, it’s never all you’re gonna do. That’s not the point of this. But I have a lot to do with my family, spending time with my family, and my daughter and my wife and I have a lot with the way I operate at work and being efficient and the way I critically do things toward a goal and in the organization, IPI. So you gotta take a critical look. Okay, so let’s say you’ve done that, right? Let’s put that down for a second. You’ve done that. So now we’re getting into the concept of creating the life you desire. So you know what you do in a day. And what we’re wanting to do is not just rely on time alone, to help us get more and more and more expression of our values, in newer forms progressively over time, not just allowing time to do that. But we’re actually going to actively lean into our behavioral output, and hack those behaviors, to create strategies and our behaviors. So there’s more values based behaviors in our day, there’s more values based behaviors in an hour. So that we are moving toward a vision of our future. And we’re influencing as much control as we can, in our situation that we have, that we’re in in our life. Again, I want to keep saying that, we all have different limitations, and some have a lot more than others. And this is gonna be harder for some people, based on the systems they’re in or oppression, some of this is gonna be really, really hard for people, because they don’t have a lot of opportunity with what behaviors they can go do. It doesn’t mean, we just throw that out and go while you know, I’m in that situation. So now, I should just say I will never have a meaningful life and I’m done. No, it means we take control of what we can. Right. So now it’s time to implement strategies toward your values. And this is a constant process. This is the thing that people don’t get typically in some of the manifestation, self help movements. And you will see that successful people, influencers in the self help movement, they’re doing this. They’re not just relying on manifestation happening to them. They may teach about some of that, but you will, if you go look at their behaviors, what you will see are lots and lots of behaviors in their day, that are attached to values based systems toward a vision for their future. So what we’re talking about now is implementing and refining in a continual manner to process when you’re you keep refining and refining it. very exciting because it’s your values. So you might be saying to yourself all that sounds well, good, but I’m gonna be all, I don’t want to live so rigidly and, you know, like, I don’t want to make my life such an intense experiment and and I’m more spontaneous and that’s fine. But if you’re fulfilled in that great, two thumbs up to you, like, a lot of people aren’t fooled and because they’re not seeing the evidence of their values coming through in an ever greater way over their lifetime. So it’s a constant process of evaluating your current life and these behaviors, right? This evaluation chart you created, and then you’re going, what do I need to shift? What new behaviors do I need to put into play? Now, this isn’t like behaviors necessarily like brushing your teeth.
Keith Kurlander 15:51
That might be my behavior that I need to put into play. But this is not what I’m referring to. This is about getting strategic. And you’re always updating the strategy. This isn’t like a New Year’s resolution, where you come to, you know, your values driven thought process once a year, or one day, or maybe 10 minutes, you set your resolutions, and you’re done. Not gonna work. This is a process and you’re continuing to look at yourself and refining your behaviors, and you’re updating them. So what I like to do is just, I like to think of this on, you know, long term goals, whether it’s six months, three months, a year or whatever, that’s fine. But you have to keep checking in with the process continually. And then once you achieve that goal, or you, it’s no longer valid to you, you reset, and you set the new goals. So part of this process is first you come with yourself and you go, or what’s the cycle I need to do right now? Is it a three month goal or it’s a bigger goal, maybe I’ll list some 12 months goal, maybe we’ll have some two years goals, three years, goals, fighters goals, you lay them all out, based on your values of what’s most important to you, not in the impulse and, you know, instinct driven system, it’s most important to you, you lay those out, then you start going into what’s here now, which is this week. What do I need to do this week? What don’t I need to do this week, to get a big step closer to that vision. And you go through your calendar, literally, in a calendar, day by day, and you lay out your week. And maybe this is a career thing. And we’re talking about careers again. So you go back to the career thing in your calendar, what do I need to do from nine to 1010 to 11, lemons 12. To get me closer to being fulfilled in my values in this job I’m in? How am I going to get there? What am I doing? Where am I headed? What else do I need to do? If I’m transitioning one day? What’s my next piece? Or if it’s all there for you? You see the path there? You focus on that? What do I need to do first, second, third, and you lay it out? And not just career right? Like, again, I’ve been mostly focused on the series and career but you could do this about anything in your life, family, finances, spirituality, community, friends, anything. And you lay out your values based into behavioral strategies for long term goals, and then you chunk them down into your calendar in a week. And you live your life this way. Okay, now again, you might be going, Oh my God, that sounds rigid. I’m not doing that. Right. That’s fine. But if you’re fulfilled, great, then don’t worry about it. But if you have some vision, and that’s not being accomplished, and you’re just gonna go back to well, I don’t really, it sounds rigid and I want to do that. That was me. I was this person, by the way. So when I kind of spoke, that voice, actually hearing the inner Keith voice talking out loud, that was me. I was like, I’m not doing it that way. I’m not living that way. That’s rigid. I’m more spontaneous. It feels trapped like a trap. To me, that feels tight. That was me, I was that person. What I learned. Coming back to my story, where I became the co-founder now of a very large organization where we are training thousands of people around the world, in tools, providers in tools that will impact hundreds of millions over time if we train 10s of 1000s of providers. So if we get to 100,000 providers over time, which we can do now we have a path there, over let’s say 20 years, you’re talking about this could impact 100 million people getting these tools, the clients, right, have the translation of the numbers of how many providers how many clients see in a lifetime for providers, right so this is how I think about strategy of my vision. And it’s just because my vision has this thing of like, I want to have a global impact, right? Most people don’t have a global vision, they have a local vision. And that local vision has to have a strategy. Okay? You could do this with finance, you could do this with career, you could do this with family, do this with religion, spirituality, you come up with these goals, that are values driven goals. So they’re not, these things are actually visions for your future, you’ll know they’re not fantasies, because A, you’ll see that they’re your little willing to delay gratification be, you’ll feel like they’re going to come true. They may not. But you’ll feel like they are because they’re your values. And you know, you have worth and what’s valuable to you to offer the world because it’s who you are. And it’s what’s most meaningful to you. So you feel the meaning inside of you. And you’ll feel that it will mostly come true because you know that you’re you have worked there to offer. So likely if you get strategic, it won’t come true to some degree. And maybe a little bit of a different form that you see. But it’ll come mostly true. So you chunk these things down again. And each week, you go to the calendar, and maybe do this once a day. But you start to think about your week, you start to think about your life in this way where you’re strategizing your behavioral output. For some people, maybe it is too rigid to go down to the weekend, plan it. So everyone, I don’t go to every single minute of the day, like that’s a little too much for me. But when you look at my week, my calendar is pretty full. And you will get my behaviors in a week more and more progressively each year, you’re going to see in my life, more and more strategic behaviors toward a long term vision that I have inside based on my values. And I see in my life, and others would see the evidence that they’re coming true. So these are the hacks to do this. And I’m going to start to wind down here, the hacks around life design around moving more and more behavioral output toward values based behavior, less than the last output towards impulse instinct based behavior that are really good saying unhealthy, trying to fill out more of that time, and move those over, those will still happen. Some of those that we that we might call unhealthy, like, I can get a little stuck in social media, sometimes just like, you know, looking in the reals and like some balls jumping off of a diving board backwards and hits their head or something, right, like I get stuck in those reels, right. And some of that can become unhealthy for me, like where I’m getting stuck in there, right. And so then sometimes I have to sort of reorient and remember, like, wait, I’m spending too much time doing stuff like that. And if I start to see evidence that I’m not living a values based life, I’m gonna feel less fulfilled, right, so I have to move back over. But this can get extreme. And again, when I was younger, it was more extreme in terms of spending unhealthy time and behaviors that are based in pleasure and reducing pain. And, you know, a lot of trauma can really send us into those systems, and did for me, and it does for many, and we have to have compassion there for ourselves. As we try to move toward a more growth oriented mindset, a more values based mindset. We have to have compassion for ourselves, because a lot of the reasons we are not in the more values based action is because of trauma. All kinds of levels of trauma pace depending on who you are. Cultural trauma could be systemic trauma, it could be individual promo, it could be intergenerational trauma, be events, specific trauma, and trauma will take its toll. But as an individual, we can remember the call from those higher self actualized places in ourselves and hear it and listen deeply that we can overcome. These systems are trying to give us a lot of pleasure because we’re in so much pain. We can cut through that and work with the trauma and heal the trauma or whatever’s keeping us there. But it’s a lot of trauma. We can work with that trauma and heal it and at the same time that we’re in that process. We can start to hack our lives. Get in touch with who we are and start to hack our behaviors and stuff Read up, turn the volume knob up, or I should say, turn the the speed on the record player for those of you that are at least my age or older that have record players turn up the speed, so that our evolutionary path in this world starts to get logarithmic where we see our values, translating to the behavior, translating into the results we want to see in our life, or having the impact we want or receiving the gifts from the universe that we want to experience. We can turn that speed up and work through these things. So I’m going to wrap up here.
Keith Kurlander 25:40
Thank you for listening to this three part series on values and values defining your destiny. I had fun talking to you. I was talking to myself because it’s a recording, but I had fun talking to myself. And I’m excited that you know, hopefully this helps some people out there to get more in touch with who you are and where you can fine tune where you might be incongruent with your values and get more congruent in your behavior of who you are, and what you want to become. And that fine tuning never stops. This isn’t what I did. I’m done with the fine tuning process over a lifetime. And it’s a beautiful process, and it’s a gift to take it on. And I hope that you can get something from that as I have. And the teachers before me. You know, I’ve taken a lot from that too. Thanks so much.
Keith Kurlander 26:46
We look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of the higher practice Podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health.