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Using Your Values As Your Guide
Values are such a precious gift. They help us to get clear about what is important to us in any situation. The clearer we are about what we want, the more simple our decision making becomes. Simplicity helps to eliminate confusion because we get to the root of what really motivates us and thus we can identify if we’re winning in a situation or if we are losing out based on the energy that we are giving.
A lot of times, we tend to take certain actions purely because we’ve formed a habit — but some of our habits have nothing to do with actually getting to the real satisfaction that we want in a given situation.
The exciting challenge that we have then, is identifying what we’re really after — or the feelings that we would like to experience. This tells us what we need to decide upon and focus on. In turn, we create a guideline for our lives in various areas, which helps us to stay on track while minimizing distractions — and it provides the reassurance that we are really in the drivers seat of our lives, even when to an outsider, our decisions don’t seem to make “sense.”
Here are a few examples of what decision making process might look like in a few situations.
New Car Shopper # 1 might consider these most important items when planning a purchase:
- Brand Prestige
- Technological Features
New Car Shopper # 2 might consider these most important items when planning a purchase:
- Fuel Efficiency
Employment Seeker # 1 might consider these items to be the most important on a job:
- Fixed Annual Salary
- Opportunities for Management Positions
- Company Covered Benefits (e.g. Life/Health Insurance)
- Networking Opportunities with Co-workers
Employment Seeker # 2 might consider these items to be the most important on a job:
- Improving a Skill
- Earning Commissions
- Exposure to Learning a Business System
Home Buyer # 1 might consider these items to be the most important when making a purchase:
- Low Maintenance Property
- Close to shopping and entertainment areas
Home Buyer # 2 might consider these items to be the most important when making a purchase:
- Curb Appeal
- Ample Space to Entertain Guests
- A Large Yard for Gardening
Now here are some examples of how our decisions might look based on the values that we have identified. These are going to be the means that we use (actions that we take) to achieve the ends that we want (desired result).
Desired Result: To feel more energetic every day.
- Eat healthy energizing meals; stay hydrated; concentrate on empowering and peaceful thoughts; exercise regularly.
Desired Result: To maintain healthy relationships with friends and close relatives.
- Focus on communicating for the purpose of creating more unity; make time to call/email family regularly to see how they’re doing, be more vocal in expressing our appreciation for people in our lives.
Desired Result: To have enough money to travel frequently.
Create a savings account exclusively for travel; set a limit on recurring expenses throughout the week; have a plan for taking quarterly trips.
An additional beauty of living by our values in any situation is that we can not only avoid most types of internal conflict within ourselves but we can avoid a lot of conflict with others as well, especially where cooperation is needed.
For example, suppose you were co-planning a social event with someone for your peers. After figuring out what the purpose is for such a gathering, you can start working backwards by figuring out how both yourself and your co-planner can get what you really want from the event by understanding each other’s values more. This can minimize a lot of frustration and resentment that may come with these types of occasions between organizers.
You may want an event that highlights your strongest values in a successful event: decorations and food presentation. Your co-planner’s highest values in a successful event might be: orderliness at the event and the music selection. You might even find that both of you have identical core values but have very different tastes in how they should be expressed based on your individual unique preferences.
In this situation, one thing that you both undoubtedly want though is: a successful event with limited stress that ensures all of your guests have a good time and that you both do as well. This could be considered as a major core value. Once you both have that major core value identified and in order, you can use that major core value as the guiding force to help you make mutual decisions.
One thing that might help along the way is to recognize each others strengths and to agree to play to each other’s strengths in this process. This way, the both of you feel more appreciated in the process and the event planning doesn’t feel like it’s one-sided. You might also agree that if there is something that you can’t agree on that interferes with your major core value being achieved, than you will eliminate it altogether to avoid one person’s preference to dominate the other’s. With some fine tuning and a committed spirit of harmony, it can be a major success!
What are some values that you feel that you should get clearer about in the various areas of your life when it comes to things like: income, occupation, relationships, choices in entertainment, feeling happier, etc.?
Copyright © 2016 Waymon Brown
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Written By: Waymon Brown. Creator of theesquireproject.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org