“We all have a value which is most important to us. By connecting to it, you can make sure your life choices align with what you need to do,” Sanderson Jones says at Stylist Live LUXE.
He imagined a space where people who don’t believe in religion could still believe in these things, and created a weekly event that runs at 60 different locations around the world. Each Sunday Assembly mixes interesting talks with mindfulness techniques, and creates a sense of belonging and community by having attendees belt out some banging tunes to end the week on a high.
Jones was a hit at last year’s Stylist Live, and even sold out his own show at the Opera House in Sydney by selling tickets to punters by hand. And, at this year’s Stylist Live LUXE, Jones returned to help our audience find the meaning of life. As you do.
You may also like
How to incorporate mindfulness into your morning routine
Speaking at the event, Jones explains that if you can ascertain what thing in your life you put the most value on and truly understand why this is, you can ensure that everything you do in your life builds towards it.
He says: “In life, we are often told which things should be most valuable to us – it starts off with exams, then careers and finances – and we start absorbing those values. They’re not coming from inside, they’re things that have been put onto us.”
Jones uses the example of someone who might have finished top of their class in university, and now “earns a million pounds a year at 40, but feels empty inside.”
“This is because you haven’t checked in with what’s important to you. Each one of us has a value which is the most important to us and it’s by fostering this and connecting to it that you will make sure that all of the choices in your life are aligned with what you need to do in your life,” he continues.
To do this, Jones uses a simple activity. He says: “Think about the value that feels most important to you – that could be family, kindness, making a difference – and then write down why that’s important to you.
“Look at what you just wrote down and now think about why that’s important to you.
“That is how we will discover the thing that’s actually driving us, and it’s by understanding that we can make sure that whatever it is that you’re doing is the right step for you.”
Jones advices that after that, you look at what you’re currently doing to foster that value: “If we look at ancient wisdom practices like mindfulness, looking at the positive effects that being part of congregation and communities has, it then poses some other questions.
“Like how do you treat what is important to you? How much time do you dedicate to that? Look at your bank statement and if your biggest value in life is social justice, go and have a look at how much you’re spending on that every month. I bet it’s less than Starbucks.”
Sunday Assembly explores these themes within many of its talks and mindfulness sessions, so if this feels like something you’d like to hear more about, why not check out the closest event to you.
Images: Bronac McNeil
Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter