To Each His Own

Photo licensed by www.depositphotos.com

VALUES IDENTIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION

It is time to identify your values. Getting clear about what’s most important to you in life will help you establish a firm foundation for every decision you make, investing or otherwise. Knowing your values will free you from those moments of stunning and frustrating indecision about everything from what to invest in to where to work to what and who is on your calendar. When you take steps to clarify your values, you are making the decisions about your unifying or operating principles. You decide what you believe and what you stand and do not stand for.

When you have clear about your values, it is easy for you to make important decisions. When you know exactly what you believe in and what is important to you, it is relatively simple for you to decide among conflicting courses of action.

Your higher-order values will always take precedence over your lower-order values. For example, two people with the same three top values will behave in a completely different way if the order of their values is different.

Let’s say your top three values are family, health, and career. In this case, your family would take precedence over your health and your career, and your health would take precedence over your career if you were forced to make a choice sacrificing any of these, this is the order in which you would choose: family, health, career.

Another person has the same three values, but the order in which he places them is career, health, and family. What difference would there be between your choices and his?

The reality is that there would be a huge difference. A person who puts his or her career first would sacrifice his or her health and family for career success. When forced to choose, his or her career would always take precedence. His or her health or the health of his or her family would take second and third place.

When people wonder why their lives are a mess it is likely because they have a values mis-match.

Much of the time, we are operating on auto-pilot and are not really aware of the choices that we are making – because we are doing so unconsciously.  How often do you grab a box of cereal or pour a cup of coffee without thinking whether you really want it or not?  How often do you take the same route to work each day without thinking?

One  way that you can determine what your values are is by your actions.     Stress is also something that will reveal your values.  For example, whenever you are between two courses of action, you are forced to choose the one that coincides with the value that is most important to you at that given moment.

One of the reasons for a values mismatch is within yourself is is that some of your values are influenced by family, religion and community.   Sometimes these values are not true for you but you accept them as true because this is what you have been taught.   The reality is that  you are driven by the values that are actually true for you (core) and those may or may not coincide with the ones you have accepted but that are not necessarily your true core values.   What did your parents value that you do not?  What do you value that they don’t?  To each his own.

Getting the most out of life is about making conscious choices. And your values- what you think is most important in life – play a big role in this. Not only knowing what you value, but knowing what you value more and what you value less is key. So the kind of cereal you eat for breakfast might not seem like a big deal, but if you value health highly you probably would choose whole grains rather than sugary puffs. Of course, the more important the decision, the bigger the role your values will play. Knowing and honoring your true values will help you grow and preserve the unique inner power that keeps you alive and gives you the stamina to translate your dreams into into realities. Every choice you make either adds to this force or finishes it.

What are your values?

If you would like an exercise on values clarification, please contact me at ann@annbabiarz.com.