Values, a building block of a fully functioning and thriving life.
- Values minimise the impact of our whims or those of others.
- Values increase clarity of the path ahead of us.
- Values reduce conflict with others and ourself.
Values are foundational principles of what is important to us. Clarity of values enables personal decision making based upon a well thought through account of our own personal wants and desires in life.
Despite this, values can also be a cause of grief when we allow our own values to compete, for example take two common values, health and family.
What takes priority when a family crisis demands your attention, is it health before family “put on your own gas mask” or family before health? “legacy, love and community”
That’s a tough call yet unless it has been spelt out friction can cause an ill feeling.
To maximise the benefit of values we must:
- Be clear on what our values are.
- Understand the hierarchy of our values.
1. Clarity of Values
Values can come from any area of your life from relationships to work, upbringing to health or a burning desire for achievement success or fame!
There is no right or wrong behind values but I do believe values that cause no harm and 'build' rather than 'destroy' are healthier and are long term focused.
- Start by generating a list of all things that are important to you, bring you joy, meaning or satisfaction
- Go through your list and group similar activities
- Now look for which activities have depth (a bar of chocolate brings me joy but does not connect me at any level to something important!).
- Now look for breadth, what do you do that interacts with society, yes individual vales are important but interactions that build others has greater depth.
- Can you create 5 values with a description?
Here is an example of what 5 values may look like (yes they are mine).
- Persevere - Build a better future for our community Be the North Star - shine even when no one is looking. Work towards building a society that cares, creates and causes good things to happen. Be the change you seek to make.
- Clarity - Of action and words. Let no one be able to question my actions, do before I say and when I say, say with confidence, clarity and be concise so anyone can understand.
- Learn and grow. Commit time each week to learn new skills and develop old ones. Stay relevant, stay useful, stay flexible.
- Trust leadership and wisdom. Back myself, until it is wise to back others. Lead but be wise to know when you need to be led.
- Health. Every choice is one which supports the older me. Choose love, choose nutrients, choose movement, choose mental space, choose to be here for you and family.
2. Hierarchy of values
The values above are in that order for a reason. A quick way of doing this is take each value and compare them to each other and decide which is greater. Do this enough times with all the values and and order is created.
I believe it's important to put things into perspective, health is my no.5 and community is no.1, both are higher than numerous other elements of my life and rarely do they compete, but when they do, I know what to lean upon.
Values do change. When I was younger personal health was my no.1 value, things change, we change, checking in with your values from time to time to reassess is a great use of time.
Values are personal, a little introspection and reflection from time to time to look at your values can save being swept up by the values of society which carry a lot of mass and easily suck us in if we are not aware.
If you would like to explore your values I offer a coaching session focused on developing a values hierarchy - you can book a session here and walk away with a set of clear personal values.
Thats it from me.