What are “Values”?
Values are the principles behind your actions and form the matrix for meaning in your life. They define your standards of behavior and serve as your internal guidance system for your actions. It is your values which provide a roadmap for your likely actions for any given circumstance. They can move you steadily toward or away from your stated destination.
As an example, you desire to make more money. To do so requires you to work weekends. But you value time with your family. Something gotta give. This is a classic values conflict. Which matters more? Time with family or more money? Until you have done a thorough investigation of what matters to you, you will find yourself in an endless sea of values conflicts. Clarifying what you value by establishing which have priority can have an enormous positive impact on how good life can be.
Our ideals are values we need to be aware of as well. These are the attitudes and behaviors we feel we should express but often fall short of. Think of them as your higher aspirations. Values trump ideals because values express intentions and ideals express aspirations. “Ideally” we would like our values and ideals to align. Full alignment of ideals and values is in fact itself an ideal. Both are mission critical to bring meaning and order to our life journey. Our ideals are the values we aspire to express and are embedded in our spiritual path. Our goal is alignment with our highest aspirations. In the Ken of Zen coaching model we aspire to align our higher aspirations with our pursuit of our daily bread.
“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it, and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”
This is a mission critical piece to your longterm success and peace of mind. You need to know what is driving your behavior. Values clarification is a process which illuminates your path forward. It’s time to make what is truly important to you a real priority so that your plans, goals, activities and decisions align with them. This is one of the foundations for a happy and productive life.
Values clarification will be a significant aid in deciding what matters most to you. It will also illuminate clear distinctions between what you think you should value versus what in truth you do value. A list of your top five values will do more to transform your life for the better than you can imagine. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase: “When you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there!” Clarifying your values will restore your internal and eternal roadmap to a meaningful and happy life.
If you feel energized by the possibilities the next move is yours. A year from now you will wish you had started today. Invest in your best self now. The journey of a thousand miles begins now. Your path starts here!