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This special blog post is in honour of #WorldValuesDay 2016.
Values are like our internal compass through life. Why are they important and how do you make sure you’re heading in the right direction?
What we do and what we experience in life will either be aligned with our values or against them. When we do something that is aligned with our values, it makes us feel fulfilled and we are living life authentically. When we don’t we go on a discourse which leaves us unfulfilled and can lead to unhappiness and even depression.
Values are subconsciously held and sometimes we may not even know consciously what they are. But they’re always there, like the Wizard of Oz, pulling levers and playing a silent role in guiding our daily actions. Our values lead to beliefs. Our beliefs lead to our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to our actions, which lead to the results we get in life.
Any time we experience or do things that go against our values, we have a horrible gut feeling – like something isn’t quite right; sometimes we might not even know why! But it is important to be aware of what our values are in each area of our life. Once we know what they are, we can make sure we act them out fully in our daily lives.
Ask yourself the following question: What do I value the most about life? Write down as many thoughts which come to mind. Remember that values are generally single words or short phrases which represent you, e.g. “Valuing others,” “diversity,” and “faith”.
Take an account of what you’ve done over the last few days. In which situations did have an opportunity to exhibit those values? Did you make the most of those situations? What more could you have done to exhibit your values or make sure your values were met?
For example, let’s say you met some friends for dinner. One of your friends offered to pay for your meal and that of others. You knew this friend didn’t have a lot of money. Did you let them pay? Did you stop them? Did you make a decision as to how the bill would be split? How you handled this situation would depend on your values (and your beliefs which we’ll cover elsewhere on this blog).
Now think about the top 3 values you have for your life. How can you live these more each day? Set them as reminders on your phone for the next few days or a week. Set them as backgrounds on your mobile so that it acts as a constant reminder.
Lastly, check back on yourself in another week’s time. How have you progressed? Have you lived your values fully? What did you learn? How did you feel? What would you do differently? Write these questions down or bookmark this post so you can come back to it later.
And if you enjoyed this exercise, then sign up on the right for our free weekly planner which will help you free up more of your time so that you can live one of my favourite values a lot more: FUN! Also, it’ll act as a good reminder to check back on this post in a week’s time.
Sometimes we get into a situation in life where actually, we’re quite comfortable. We know we should move, but we just don’t muster enough courage to do it. It happens often in a job. A friend of mine was in this situation where he’s just had a promotion a few weeks ago. Everyone was congratulating him and telling him how well he’s doing. But he just saw it as another day in the office.
He wanted to find a company that he enjoyed working for. He wanted to work with higher quality people than those around him. But he was comfortable.
The first thing I asked him to do was to get uncomfortable with where he was. I got him to imagine himself in the same situation 10 years from now. Imagine that he’s progressed in other areas of his life – his family was growing, he was ageing parents to look after and he himself wasn’t progressing in his personal goals. “How does that make you feel?” I asked. “I don’t like it,” he said. “I wish I’d done more and achieved more.”
As we progressed through the session, my friend felt that there really is a need to make the change. Perhaps you can relate with a situation you’re faced with. Maybe it’s not a career. Maybe its a relationship. Or a social circle.
The thing is, unless we find a way to get really uncomfortable with the status quo, we find it hard to push ourselves to move forward.
I invite you to do the same. Find something to make yourself uncomfortable and that will make you want to make the change.
The next thing I told my friend was to be very clear on the values and beliefs he held about his job and himself in relation to his career.
He realised eventually that he didn’t see himself as being connected to great people. And “connection” was one of his highest values.
How can he achieve this personal goal? Of having more connection? He suggested that perhaps a company that places a lot of value in social activities which allow colleagues to connect and have fun – which his current place was lacking – would be ideal.
From this point he made a list of companies he would like to work for in his field. He found a couple that mentioned having a social club and a focus on team spirit. After applying for these jobs, he told me two weeks later that both companies had given him offers of employment. His pay was adequate for his needs and he felt that he would really fit in.
So having a little discomfort is not a bad thing. Unless it becomes overbearing in which case you really need to make a change. Having clarity on your values, beliefs, and goals gives you the boost you need to find the right path for you.
What is holding you back? Are you too comfortable where you are to the point that you do not make a concerted effort to make a change? Which values are being violated here? What else can you do to fulfill you values? Get out of your comfort zone and make that change!
Are you fed up of making decisions that are costly, not just financially but also sometimes emotionally and spiritually?
I know I’ve been there a thousand times in the past where I’ve made terrible decisions, even if my guy instinct tells me otherwise.
Now I go through a series of steps each time an important decision has to be made. I have to say that I still get the occasional decision and actions wrong (just ask my wife) but I now make better quality decisions almost every time.
One thing that I must stress right at the beginning here is that your intuition is one of your most powerful tools in your arsenal to actually making sound decisions.
At times you will feel that you followed your intuition and it still lead down the wrong path. However in hindsight, I’ve found that I’d not read my own inner alarms correctly. Learn to listen to your intuition more and you will make much better decisions.
An invaluable tool I have found is a guided self-hypnosis on YouTube. Listen to this when you have some quiet time. Listen to it a few days in a row. Then you can start changing some of the questions you ask yourself or add new ones. I often listen to meditations, and then alter them to suit my own needs. This will serve you greatly.
Truth is, we disregard so many of our “gut-feelings” that we have about anything. Learn to trust yourself again and get make much better decisions.
What I learned was, a lot of the inner alarms go off when we go against our own core values. What are values you ask? Values are the ideals or emotions that we hold dear to us. To find out your values about something, ask yourself “what do I value the most in _______”. So to get your life values, ask yourself, “What do I value the most in life?”
To get your values about business, ask yourself “What do I value the most in business?” You get the idea. Write these down, ideally you want to get at least 5 values for each area of your life. and you can then put them in an order of importance – what we call a hierarchy.
So now you have your intuition in check, and you ensure that you check each opportunity an decision against your values. One way you can go a step further is to ask yourself the question: “What would Person X do?” Where Person X is someone you admire, who had sound values and someone you would like to emulate. When making business decisions, I ask myself, What would my coach do, what would Richard Branson do, and What would Donald Trump do?
I can’t think of anyone else who would be better at making business decisions than these people. They work for me but you may need to change out to other people. Having read the biographies of these successful people, I have an insight into what these people may be thinking, as well as the mistakes they have already made.
A tip about my mentors and coaches, they are not only great decision makers, but they’re also a phone call away if I need to run something past them. Another great reason to get yourself a coach and a mentor (ahem!)
And remember, to live in Prosperity.
To your Success,
Welcome to the second part in our series Designing your Destiny. This series explores the Destiny By Design formula and how it can help you achieve outstanding results in all areas of your life.
In the first part, we spoke about the need to Decide what it is you want to achieve. We also discussed how you can really test your goal so that it is a good fit for you, and you have clarity on what it will do for you.
In this part we discuss how you can put real Energy behind your goal and how your Values and Beliefs can help you get there.
There are many types of Values, but we are going to focus on 2 certain types. Values are ideals, or feelings that we either want to go towards or want to avoid. These are called “moving towards” and “moving away from” values.
These values can be different in different areas of our lives. For example, in the area of Work, I might value punctuality. This is an ideal which I subscribe to. When something happens and this ideal isn’t reached; either because I’m late or someone else is, I get frustrated or upset. This would be a “moving towards” value. A “moving away from” value might be being “dis-organised”. I might do everything in my power to make sure I don’t fit this description or that my day might be unplanned and scattered. Similarly, if I feel dis-organised, I get upset about it and want to put it right.
Right now, in the area you chose to work on in Part 1, start by listing 5 values that you have associated with that area. So if your chosen area is health, you might have things in your list like: “energy”, “vitality” “feeling pushed/stretched” or “excitement” since you get excited when you know you’re heading to the gym. For now, only list “moving towards” or positive values.
Next, considering the 5 values you have just written down, place them in the order of which you value the most, so that the one that is most important to you is first, and the one that gets you excited the least is 5th.
This will give you what we call your Hierarchy of Values. How amazing is that!
The next step is equally important. It’s your Beliefs.
Beliefs are the rules that we have set up to decide if something is meeting our values or not. For example, if one of my values around health is energy, then how do I know whether I’m doing this part called “energy” right? Beliefs can be if..then rules that we have set up. For example, “if you kiss me, then you love me.” Or “if you love me, then you’ll kiss me.” Beliefs can also be generalisations that we have made up about the world around us. Phrases such as “All men are…..gallant” spring to mind. Or “Everyone at work hates me.” These beliefs can be about us, people around us – or specific groups of people, or the world around us in general.
I might have a belief that says in order for me to get energy, I can eat a Mars bar a day. Or I might have a belief that daily exercise will give me the energy I need. Which of these beliefs do you think will serve me the most?
Beliefs that do not serve us are known as limiting beliefs, because they limit our potential and stop us growing. Can you see how a belief such as “I can eat a Mars bar a day and stay healthy” might limit someone’s potential for change? You bet it will!
Take some time now and write down your beliefs around the area you chose to work on in your life. Give yourself 5 minutes and write down anything and everything that comes up.
If you’re having trouble in a certain area of your life, you might notice a few negative beliefs hanging out back there. Don’t panic, we’re going to transform those next.
Take a look at the negative beliefs that came up in the exercise earlier. Not very supportive huh? Now on a blank piece of paper, I’d like to invite you to write down the opposite of your limiting belief, and state it in the most positive words possible. So if my limiting belief might be “Rich people are greedy” and my goal is to become wealthy, we can safely say that this belief isn’t going to be helping me. We can now turn that belief around. I might turn around and say “Rich people are generous” but his isn’t really stated in an empowering way. I would actually take it a step further and make it personal by saying “Rich people are generous and kind. Being rich would enable me to give so much more back to the world!”
Can you see how this new more empowering belief would not only support me going forward, but also push me towards my goal?
Take some time now to write more empowering versions of your limiting beliefs. These new empowering beliefs will give you extra energy towards your goals.
Use this list of new empowering beliefs as your affirmations for at least 21 days. They will gradually change the way you think about that subject and your old beliefs will no longer hold you back!
And remember, to live with prosperity!
To your success,