Derek Sivers

Living according to your hierarchy of values


My “daily” blog was silent the last four days, because I took my kid on a spontaneous trip to another country. No phone. No computer. I gave him my full attention every day from when he woke me in the morning to when we fell asleep together at night. It was great.

I thought for a minute about the importance of my commitment to post here daily. But nope, being with him is more important than writing.

Upon returning, I considered heading off by myself on a 10-day trip, balancing writing and exploring another culture. But after sleeping on it, I realized that no, writing is more important than exploring.

Once you realize that one value is more important to you than another, you have to ask yourself if you’re living accordingly.

What’s ultimately more important to you?

Once you know which takes top place, consider taking it to an extreme, to its logical conclusion, and optimizing your entire life around that top priority, letting go of almost everything else.

If the idea sounds unfulfilling, try re-ordering your priorities, and do the thought experiment again.

(That’s the subject of my next book, “How to Live”, which is my top writing priority right now, and so much fun!)

pyramid of values