In my last post in this series, I decided that I did not have a clear answer to the question "What’s ultimately the most important thing in life to you?", since my values are somewhat of a muddle, which I think is a common condition. I then said I'd proceed to consider three more questions from How to Think Like a Roman Emperor and see if they are more helpful for values clarification purposes.
• What sort of character do you want to have?
• What sort of person do you most want to be in life?
These are aspirational, so I think I can answer them, and they're very related, so I will answer them together. On account of having read a lot of Stoic books lately, and being inspired by that philosophy, I want to have a more tranquil, peaceful, calm, rational disposition. I want to speak more plainly. I want to care less about various external things like money and appearance. I want to focus more on what is valuable and important, especially philosophy. I want to get better at breaking negative thought spirals and avoiding anxiety (matters on which I've made great progress, but could make more progress still). I want to be more like the Stoic sage, or more like Howard Roark, and less emotional, prone to anxiety, and prone to wasting time on trivial things. I want to continue developing better habits and working on improving my skills. And I want to get better at focusing on internalized goals and on improving my processes and methods, as opposed to focusing on external results.
• What do you really want your life to stand for or represent?
I'd like to be the person who made wrong decisions for a long time due to bad values and then ultimately turns things around and starts making good decisions based on proper values. That seems like a worthy aspiration.