Below in the highlighted boxes we describe the values that are important to us. The people that live or work in the
Walden Woods village support these values and act according to these values.
We describe our values in three areas: the individual, the group, the environment.
The values are all interconnected.
We make choices every day, every moment. Even if we decide to do nothing.
Small choices. What will I eat for breakfast? Big choices. When you change your job for example.
When we are free to make our own choices, we act from autonomous motivation.
People who act from autonomous motivation:
- are involved
- have more fun
- improve their mental and physical health
- are open to learn
- show more perseverance
- have better results
The desire to make your own choices, to pursue your personal goals and values. To act in harmony with your inner self and to create the outcome for your life yourself.
When we make choices about things that impact our own life, we usually are careful. We want to be sure to get the desired outcome. And if the outcome is not as desired, we change our approach. We choose, we act and we reflect on the result; we choose, we act, we reflect on the result. This circle continues until we reach our goal. When we choose from autonomous motivation, we feel motivated to continue, and we feel responsible to adjust until we have the desired outcome.
People who take responsibility:
- become more confident
- improve their decision making
- solve more problems
- are open to learn
- experience better relationships
- gain trust from others
- have better results
The believe that you’re in control of your actions and behavior. The willingness to accept that you created the outcome - whether the outcome is good or bad. The ability to reflect on your actions and behavior, to deal with the consequences and to change your actions and behavior when the outcome is not as desired.
In the choose-act-reflect circle you can find yourself daily when making decisions. You can go round and round in the same circle, adjusting until you reach your goal. When you have the result you want, you can start working on another goal. You can leave the old choose-act-reflect circle and start a new one. You learn, you grow.
We like to represent the line of growth as the shape of a spiral.
Autonomous motivation and responsibility are important for growth. Growth in every area of your life.
The result of growth can be something visible, a product. For example a wooden table, or a web application.
The result of growth can be something invisible. Knowledge-based, mental or spiritual growth. We call it value.
Benefits of creating value:
- it gives meaning to your life
- you can improve your life, to live the life you want
- it works as an amplifier: with the value created in the past it is easier to create
new value in the future
- it let's you flourish
To create a result that improves your life. This can be a product, or personal growth, something that adds value to your life. Only you can determine for yourself what has value for you.
Value is the product of your autonomous motivation (choose and act) and your responsibility (reflect and choose again to adjust the process).
How Autonomous Motivation, Responsibility and Creating Value are connected
We can use our time, energy and talents to create value. Time is the most precious thing we have.
Our belongings and our physical and mental state represent our past: it represents how we spent time to create value, how we used our autonomous motivation and responsibility.
When you take responsibility, you will not waste your time. You will use your autonomous motivation to create value that will help you in the future.
When you act from autonomous motivation and used your own precious time to create value, it’s more likely that you will take responsibility to maintain or improve that value.
What if you would create value together with other people? Maybe you have an idea, you share it with some friends. A couple of them become enthusiastic and want to join you. A group is forming and the group starts to self-organize in order to work together and create value. Together we can do more and achieve better results. This is how collaboration arises naturally, by itself.
Benefits of natural collaboration
- everyone involved is motivated to reach the same goal
- everyone uses their own talents and skills to achieve the goal
- everyone can learn from each other
- everyone acts from autonomous motivation, whether they use their skills or
they learn new skills from others
- the group decides on how they organize and if leadership is needed
- the organization and leadership is flexible and can change throughout the
process, dependent on what is needed in that moment
When people have the same goal, they form a group and coordinate their actions in order to achieve that goal.
The people in this group have their own autonomous motivation to reach the goal and are willing to join the group. The group is self-organizing.
When someone has a good idea, other people will join. A good idea requires no persuasion.
On the other hand: even if a lot of people support the idea, an idea never fits everyone. And it doesn't need to.
Different solutions can co-exist and will bring benefits to the group.
Benefits of variety:
- gives inspiration
- every solution has its own advantages and disadvantages
- enables learning from each other
- stimulates resilience, no unforeseen side effects on the whole
A question can have different answers, a problem can have different solutions. There is not a single solution that fits everyone. When multiple solutions can co-exist, everyone can be happy.
With variety the group is not relying on a single solution. When a solution turns out to have unforeseen side effects, it does not effect the whole group.
We support variety. That is only possible when everyone has respect for the choices of others. We believe in a peaceful society where people can make their own choices, taking others in consideration. That means you can make your own choices:
- without taking away other people's responsibilities*
- while taking into consideration possible impact on others**
* You are responsible for your life, your body and your created value. The choice of another person, should not take away your responsibility for your life, your body and your created value. That means that regardless of the choices of others, you can make your own choices from autonomous motivation about your responsibilities.
** When you make a choice you do not impact other people or their responsibilities, unless they asked for it :)
Can we make our own choices and still take each other into consideration? Yes, we can. One of the basic human needs is relatedness. That means we need to have close, affectionate relationships with others. It’s the desire to interact with others and experience mutual appreciation and caring.
This basic need for relatedness is biologically imprinted. We believe that especially when we are able to live from autonomous motivation, we are able to build positive relationships with others. Because we are able to fulfill our needs and pursue our personal goals and values, we are in balance. That balance gives us the foundation that enables us to interact in a positive way. Only when you take good care of yourself, you can take good care of others. We build on our relationships, with respect for each other. Peacefully.
Benefits of respect:
- everyone can grow in their own way and in their own time
- everyone can choose from autonomous motivation
- everyone takes their responsibilty
- everyone can create value, maintain and improve their created value, and use
it to create new value
- it is the foundation to build positive relationships with each other
To accept that every person has the right to decide about his life, his body and the value he created for himself. To peacefully let others have their own wishes, choices, solutions and belongings.
To not harm another person, your relationship with that person or anything owned by another person.
How Natural Collaboration, Variety and Respect are connected.
When we have respect for each other different solutions can co-exist, i.e. variety can exist, and we interact in a positive way that enables natural collaboration.
We are connected with our environment. The environment is everything that surrounds us. In the Walden Woods village the main part of our environment is nature. We need nature to survive and to live a healthy lifestyle.
When the nature around us gets polluted, the food we eat and the air we breathe will be poluted, and we can develop diseases. We depend on nature for staying healthy, and nature depends on us for staying healthy. Therefore we want to take good care of nature and create a village where a lifestyle in harmony with nature is stimulated by inspiring each other with sustainable solutions.
To use solutions that support a resilient ecosystem and that enable nature to flourish.
Benefits of a healthy environment:
- people are healthier
- nature is healthier and in balance
- stimulates soil formation and protection
- provides protection of water resources
- provides healhy food and medicinal resources
- nature can recover better from unpredictable events
- both people and nature can flourish
- resources will still be available for future generations