A regular listener of Uncomfortable Conversations With Gregory joins the show to have an emotionally vulnerable discussion about breaking away from the ordinary life she is trapped in. She learns that as much as she knows what she doesn’t want from her life, she has never seriously considered what she actually values. She has had no rational way to take the first step away from familiarity and embrace the unknown.
The nature of living in a complex society is such that it seems nearly impossible to extricate your life from the constantly moving pieces of the machinery you have grown to live as part of. Stay stuck in the motion too long, and it becomes impossible to envision what your life can look like beyond its boundaries. As a result, even the people who begin to realize that there is more to their identity than what they have been told can never figure out how to take the meaningful first step away from the life they already know. They only know that that do not want to repeat the defining values they already know.
This idle suffering, if it persists for too long, can bring an exceptional young person to madness. In one form or another, they must begin to make meaningful decisions in the pursuit of their personal values. Above all, these choices must move out of the realm of concepts and into actions that challenge them, physical, mentally, and emotionally all at once. That is the only way they see what remains true for them in the face of great challenge.
The point of having values is to segregate and evaluate what actions to take out of all possible choices. Your values define for you what is right and wrong, what will bring you the deepest sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If you are never placed in a position to think with your own agency and arrive at a new choice with your values, you will always default to the values others have implanted within you. They have already made a million major and minor choices, so you don’t have to.
When you know the nature of your values, you will be able to reverse engineer the actions you can take, out of all possible actions, which will bring you closer to the embodiment of your values in your life. When you are thrust into the uncomfortable unknown, you will find that you have to make a choice. The nature of that choice will reveal who you fundamentally are.
In order to be able to make any sort of meaningful choice at all, you first need one vital thing as the foundation of your actions, and it is something notably missing in young people today (especially young women): self-worth. Without confidence in your wants and your abilities, you will never do anything new at all. This is the primordial step away from the life you already know: to believe in yourself so well that no matter what happens, you trust you will always thrive in the infinite uncertainty of the universe at large.