Understanding what drives you crazy can make you happier
When you think about the question, “What drives you crazy?”, what comes to mind? It may be seeing a person in the car in front of you throw their rubbish out of the window, or perhaps a colleague who is always moaning about everything. It could be that clutter and mess stress you out, or being stuck inside for long periods due to rainy days. Thinking carefully about this question can reveal something about you that could help improve your life.
Here’s how it works. When something drives you crazy, it is usually because your personal values, or things you think are important in life, are being “violated”. A way to identify personal values is to look at the opposite of the thing that is driving you crazy. For example, if that thing is negative people, your value is likely to be “positivity”. If being on your own for long periods makes you want to climb the walls, your value may be “community” or “togetherness”.
Sometimes, in life, things don’t feel right. Our jobs are too stressful, relationships are unrewarding, where we live drains us of energy. There is a very good chance that what is happening is that personal values are not being acknowledged or honoured. By really understanding your own personal values, it is possible to find more ways to live a life with greater happiness and fulfilment.
Try a value audit:
- Make a list of what drives you crazy.
- Go through the list and create a second list of your personal values, thinking about the opposite of what drives you crazy.
- For each value, think about how much you are “living” the value right now, on a scale of 0–10. For example, if my value is “creativity”, and I am being very creative in my life right now, I might give this a 10. If I value “harmony”, but my life is full of conflict, I would make this a low score.
- Once you have rated all of your values, look at your scores. Wherever you have a lower score, think about what you might be able to do to raise the number. How much is in your control to do that? What action could you take? And if something is not within your control to change, how might you cope better with it? Maybe you can use breathing techniques or find a helpful distraction; sometimes you just have to let go.
So, what drives you crazy?
It’s interesting how such a little question can reveal so much.
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