Living in tune with your values is the key to a sense of personal fulfilment. Your values drive your desire for a meaningful life and they are an essential component of your sense of security.
What are Values?
Values are the qualities that we choose to express like kindness and being fun-loving. They may be the image of God that we reflect onto the world in being open-hearted and compassionate. They can be the ideals we aspire to live by and the character we desire to become such as trustworthy and courageous. They define how we behave when we prioritise our family or gaining wealth. Deep within each of us are unconscious drivers that predict our decisions – our personal values. Think of times when you were happiest and most proud of yourself. Try and identify the value you were connecting with at that time. Choose the top five values that shape your decisions. Simply reminding yourself of these will help you have a less compromised and more meaningful life.
Values Motivate us.
A recent study on helping people to exercise more compared two groups. Each was told the importance and the benefits of exercise. For a period of time they were all sent a text reminding them to increase exercise in their daily routine, such as walking around and up and down the stairs. One group had an extra separate text reminding them of their values. At the end of the study this group was found to have been twenty percent more active than the control group.
Values Keep You Safe
Considering the power of values to motivate and direct our decisions it isn’t surprising then that they keep us safe. It is difficult to trust a person whose values you don’t know and whose behaviour you can’t predict. What better way of being sure of your teenage children than by knowing the values that guide their lives? That’s why 71% of parents want the teaching of values priotritised at school.
The conflict between our core values and our behaviour is experienced as conscience. Our need to silence the accusing voice in our heads and have a clear conscience is what helps us find the way back to be reconciled to our values and have peace of mind.
The best way to teach children is to be a living example to them and affirm the values you see them beginning to express. Children are rightly sensitive to what is not true. They are busy choosing, in myriad ways, how they are going to live their own lives. In the end everyone despises a hypocrite.
‘Practice what you preach before you try to teach it to someone else.’
The Value of Life
I believe that each person has a set of values to express in their own unique way. When they do this they unknowingly help to raise others’ aspirations, challenging those around them to step up themselves. However, too often we avoid doing so by idolising others, taking on their values, imitating their lifestyles and denying our own uniqueness.
‘God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.’
If we follow the call we all have upon our lives to be true to ourselves it will lead us into the power to actually live. Living authentically enables us to genuinely enjoy life. It is a move from the externals of imitation and material things to the inner constancy of our own being. People will take note that ‘you’re comfy in your own skin.’ It is not just a man that’s ‘gotta do what a man’s gotta do,’ we all have to. If you would like help in this area then call me on 07933 709169 or email me here.