A value is a ‘hot button’ that drives your behaviour. Whatever you do is done in order to fulfill a value – even though you are unlikely to be consciously aware of that value.
You have probably heard this before that we do everything to either get pleasure or avoid pain.
Everything you do is a means to an end and this end is the fulfillment of a value. You do what you do to either move towards pleasurable feelings or values, or to move away from or avoid painful values or feelings.
The challenge with values…is that
No. 1 – Very few people have any awareness of their values. They are on auto-pilot. Driven by values that they do not know exist. We do things because we ‘want to’ but we rarely know ‘why’ we want to. We usually do things because they felt successful in the past or because others have told us they are appropriate.
No. 2- Most of our values were established many years ago. Many were laid down when we were very young children. Yet they are likely to be still driving our behaviours decades later – simply because we don’t know about them and have therefore never got around to updating them.
No. 3- We usually have only one way of fulfilling a value. Take, for example, the value of excitement. Many people fulfill this by driving their car too fast for their own safety or that of others. Yet there are hundreds of other ways of fulfilling this value which are safer and more socially responsible.
No. 4- Some values are more important than others and, again, this ranking of values is likely to be both out of date and out of awareness. As a result we can spend lots of time, energy, and money attempting to fulfill a value that has relatively little importance while ignoring ones that are much higher on our list. This is a very common phenomenon.
Values are the essence of who you are….You need to design your life around your true values. When our life is focused on and around our ‘true values’ – that is when we live a life of passion and fulfillment!
When I work with my clients, pinpointing your top 4 values is where we start. Why, because how you do anything is how you do everything!