I'm back after my Caffeine-free hiatus, and it's time to talk about Core Values again. I have six core values. You can read about the rest of my value words: Adventure, Impermanence, Unity, Discipline, Simplicity. Today I’m going to discuss Efficiency.
Efficiency is an important part of my chosen profession. As an Engineer, my work revolves around efficiency. Engineers are constantly trying to make systems more efficient: run with less energy, faster, and with less waste. This carries over into my daily life. It’s not just about building a better mousetrap, it is also about putting value in and respecting resources. My definition of Efficiency fits well with my engineer’s drive to constantly improve the world around me.
Efficiency – be a good steward of all my resources
Resources is the key word in this definition. There are the obvious resources, like natural gas, electricity, and water. And many people go through their daily routines and don’t consider how they could conserve energy or water in their lives. There are simple fixes, like adjusting the thermostat, or more involved fixes like adding valve on the shower head so you can reduce the flow of water while soaping up. It’s about not being wasteful. Conserving our natural resources for future generations is a large part of this core value for me.
But there is also less thought about resources, like emotional energy, social energy, or time. I believe it is important for us to thoughtfully control how our resources are allocated and make sure we aren’t wasting them. For example, cutting back on Facebook time and spending more focused energy with one on one interactions. It is important to take your space, and protect the limited resource of your time and energy and that is what this core value reminds me to do every day.
But efficiency for me is more than just optimization it’s also about taking care of yourself. A healthy body and mind is important to doing things better. I need to exercise and eat better to ensure that my body is healthy enough to do the tasks I need or want it to do. I need to use a standing desk to make sure that my body doesn’t sit too long which has been shown to cause health problems. I need to eat a balanced diet so my body and mind have the fuel they need to run efficiently.
The final aspect of this core value is being a good steward. It’s not about not using your resources, be it electricity or your time. It’s about appreciating your resources, being thankful that you have the opportunity to enjoy modern electric lights, that you have access to all manner of food, that you have time to spend enjoying someone else’s company. It is important to contentiously use your resources and truly enjoy them.
My monthly resolution for April is going to be going meat-free because meat takes a lot of resources to produce and prepare. Not to mention to green house gases emitted by the large groups of animals in farming environments. But in addition to that, a diet rich in varied fruits and vegetables is important to a healthy body. I haven’t been eating well recently. My hope is that this monthly resolution will kick start a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients.
Would you like to join me in a meat-free month? Share your favorite meat-free recipe in the comments.