Simple values framework for effective decision making and lifestyle design

Quite frankly, at first, I didn’t give a damn. But because of you, I know what’s important now. I know what I need to do.
— Dante

It’s common sense, I suppose, that everyone knows, understands, embraces, and protects her values. However, to me, it was not common practice. No practice at all for that matter. I didn’t know what my values were until recently. I guess what this means is that I’ve been drifting through life like a boat with its sail and rudder. The result of this is my free spirit nature — a positive thing, one might say. However, a downside would be I didn’t stand my ground in the face of change and adversity. Without values, I swayed, flinched, and flickered against winds of adversity. It bugged me, but now I’m more certain about where I stand.

I follow a simple framework of values. Values can be necessarily complicated, which inhibits effective implementation. My simple framework the 4 F’s: Family, Fitness, Freedom, and Fervor. These are my guiding north star to help me make decisions that lead to long term fulfillment instead of short term pleasures.

Family – Is what I’m doing serving the best interest for my family, friends, and loved ones?

Fitness – Is what I’m doing serving the best interest for my overall wellbeing — mind, body, and spirit?

Freedom – Is what I’m doing serving the best interest for my goal of being unbounded to time? This could be achieved by mastering a craft, creating a business, or whatever that enables me to give me time, choices, and leverage in decisions.

Fervor – Is what I’m doing serving the best interest of my passions? Does my heart light up and sparkle because of what I am doing?

When faced with several options, I turn to this simple framework to guide my decision making process. If an option does not serve most if not all of my values, there’s good chance I won’t execute on it.