In last week’s message, I talked about the importance of having a clear vision; a detailed destination in mind pointing you in a direction that feels right to you. In summary, having clarity of direction narrows your focus and attunes you to the right choices, especially in these uncertain times. It provides you with strong positive thoughts and beliefs that literally attract what you want and sustain you through these unprecedented times. Click here to read last week’s article.
This week, I build on that by discussing the importance of defining a set of core values. What are values? They are your principles or standards, your important beliefs or ideals, in which you have a strong emotional investment. They are core beliefs that guide and motivate your attitudes and actions. They are what you know to your soul to be who you are and what you stand for… your uncompromising beliefs.
Let me give you an example, “I am a person of my word, honest, sincere, and caring of others.” If this is your value statement, you would feel horrible working for a company who requires you to withhold pertinent information or make false statements to customers in order to strong-arm deals to hit corporate sales goals. If this company offered you a sales job after you had been unemployed for two months and you sensed this was their way of doing business, having clearly defined values would make it easier for you to decline the offer and hold out for something that is more in alignment with who you are.
Roy Disney said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Clearly defined values create a personal compass that you can refer to time and time again. Your compass will help you make better decisions that keep you on the right path so you can get where you want to go while staying true to who you are.
Take a moment to think back over the major decisions in your life. You have likely already come to many defining crossroads that radically changed the course of your life. Did you choose to react in the moment and live with the consequences of your actions? Or, did you hold the moment up to your values to see what was right for you before making your decision? You will have many more crossroads to face on your life’s journey, especially as we navigate through this pandemic. What guidelines do you have in place to help you decide with confidence, in that moment, which way to go?
There is a fantastic quote by Steven Covey I love to share, “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the pro-active person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Pro-active people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected, and internalized values.”
Many of us believe we have a set of values, our own personal code of conduct that we would never violate. Most of us believe in honesty and integrity, and various “Mom-and-apple-pie” ideals. Many people aspire to live up to a set of values defined by their spiritual beliefs or religion. Others have developed their values through life experience. Many more discover their values were imposed on them by the teaching of others and have struggled through life because, down deep, they know these beliefs are not their own.
However, few of us actually take the time to consciously go through the process to define and write our own unique set of values that resonate within ourselves. Consequently, when the going gets tough and we’re backed up against a wall, we invariably waffle and make some pretty bad choices along the way. These bad choices cause us to take detours we didn’t expect and keeps us further from our intended destination. With a clearly defined (written) set of personal values, you will know what to do; or, perhaps more importantly, what not to do, or you will know how to figure out what you need to do in order to get where you want to go while staying in alignment with your true self.
Have you taken the time to define your unique set of personal values?
Imagine knowing you can face any challenge in life because you have the tools to make the decisions you know will be right for you! Imagine having the guiding principles at the ready to nearly instantly determine your true path time and time again!
You might believe your upbringing has provided you with all the guiding principles you need, and that may be true. For you then, the process of values development may be simple and quick, but the power of the results will be no less amazing. The power will come from distilling (or focusing) the teachings from those who have influenced you to those values which resonate with – and are most important to – you. Then, you will have in your hand a simple, clear and definitive list of guiding principles that represent your unique self that will most effectively guide you on your personal journey.
Defining your personal values will provide a pocket compass to your life to help you determine the path that is most likely going to get you where you want to be, while doing so in alignment with your true self.
If you are ready to define your personal values, you can access our values exercise by CLICKING HERE. As I have said before over these weeks, should you wish to discuss how to better navigate through these uncertain times, I am here for you. Click Here to schedule a no-obligation, free consultation.