“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and VALUES are in balance”
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business is to get clear on your values. This not only allows you to understand the points on your internal compass, it also motivates you to head towards them! They can be used as a framework for which all decisions you might make can be held up against for consideration.
Most of us take a lifetime to understand who we are. Through life’s experiences, some unpleasant, we gradually come to know what we value, what we believe and what we have for gifts and skills to make a difference in the world.
Unless we know ourselves and understand our values, we become attached to what lures us in, and mere objects of other people’s will. We can become outer-directed and lost inside. We can easily be attracted to money, power, control and prestige. The chase for these things often leaves us feeling empty and yearning for something more.
The three most important rules to understand with values are these:
1-There are no right or wrong values. Only right or wrong for the individual. Your values are right for you and mine are right for me. It’s highly unlikely any two people will have exactly the same values because there are an infinite number of permutations.
2-Only you can determine which values are most important for you, someone else cannot determine your values.
3-If somebody’s values do appear to be blatantly wrong-refer back to rule #1
Make a list of your values. You might want to take a look at a list of possible values to help you get started.
1-Circle the key values
2-Now identify your top five. Don’t try to override your gut feelings with an internal conversation that goes something along the lines of : “I suppose I should really have family at number one, otherwise the wife/husband/kids will kill me.”
3-Examine these top 5 values by responding to these questions:
- Are you living out these 5 values? In your family? In your business? In your community?
- How are you doing with these values? Very well, or not so well?
- Where are you living out of alignment with your values?
- If these values were missing from your life, how important would that be to you?
Value-centered living or leadership is acting on our beliefs and our values. When we use our values to make decisions or help us lead our business or lives, we become inner-directed and outwardly motivated.