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Feb 27, 2024

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." --Henry David Thoreau

Lost? Here's 4 Steps to Finding Your Path

There are moments in life when we lose our sense of direction. Whether you're faced with major life-changes, a sense of dissatisfaction, or simply feel the need for some self-reflection, UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center magazine outlines four research-backed steps to finding your path, with a focus on defining your values, identifying domains in life that matter the most to you, translating values into actions, and integrating these new practices into your daily life. "Your values are freely chosen, not because you think you should value something or because you think it's expected of you," writes clinical psychology researcher Jennifer Belus. "The more we engage in behaviors aligned with our values, the less distress, suffering, and depression we tend to feel, and the better we function overall." The ultimate intent is not just ticking off a list of goals, but to lead a meaningful life that is aligned with your core principles. Evidence also indicates that clarifying one's values can lead to lower biological stress reactions, such as reduced levels of cortisol. Like a compass, "values help us get unlost by bringing clarity to imbue our life with meaning and help us do important things, even if they are hard."


Pick a domain in your life (e.g. family, community, work, health, etc.) and reflect on how you can foster deeper inner alignment to more fully show up in it.