Values: How To Be A Better Person Using Values
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Ayn Rand 1905 - 1982, US Russian-born novelist and Philosopher.
Values are often founded on our beliefs and the rules we associate to these. Values are what we have decided to hold onto. Values describe individual or personal standards. Values are emotional states which we want to experience. Values are waypoints on the map of our life. And they are merely thoughts. Figments of our imagination.
Everyone has values - They are important and often unconsciously developed; meaning we may not be aware of what they actually are but they are still running our life. What's with that?
Values are the present or current state of our thinking, not a goal – they are an end point, not a journey or a means – and they are a feeling/emotion you want to experience on a regular basis but not something you are aiming for or moving toward.
Values may have bubbled up out of the primordial soup of our life up to now. They are, according to the dictionary: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, codes of behaviour. Stuff like that.
They are what we think is important in our lives. Perhaps a bit like the ingredients list required when baking a cake. Everything is based on them, can't happen without them, but what you do with them is entirely up to you.
Personal standards are nothing more than a set of behaviours. They are the set of behaviours that we have decided to live by. While the dictionary definition of values contains the word standards, it is better to think of these as the way, through our behaviours and actions, we embody or represent our values.
The manner in which we live is usually a reflection of our personal standards, or to put it another way what we are prepared to put up with. We often We have to step out of our comfort zone if we wish to raise our standard
If, for example, one of my values is Learning, I would ensure that I am open to new things and this would set the standard for my daily pattern of life. I do not seek 'sameness', but raise my sights and my standards so that I come away from each day's endeavour with something new. No matter what is presented to me, I find a way to learn from it. That is espousing the value of learning and the increasing the standards by which I carry on my day to day business. What did you learn today becomes my daily mantra.
According to Anthony Robbins - life values are:
• your Personal Compass. Values guide our every decision and, therefore, our destiny.
• a personal / life value is something that is very important to you; that is a principle that you will live by no matter what happens.
• generated from a mixed bag of experiences, of lifelong conditioning through punishment and reward.
• the cause of difficulty making an important decision: you can be sure that it's a result of not being clear about your values.
Robbins further divides values into two different categories:
• Moving-toward values which are those where pursuing a reward or pleasure is paramount. For example: common sense, self-respect, integrity, making a difference, freedom, learning, significance, humour.
• Moving-away-from values which are those where avoiding punishment or pain is the main objective. Things like: rejection, anger, frustration, loneliness, depression, failure, humiliation, guilt.
Not all values are equal. There is, and needs to be a hierarchy – some you will follow in one set of circumstances and some in others. Some are more important. A bit like “Animal Farm”. 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'.
• Avoiding 'values conflict' is vitally important. For example, Health/Vitality might be a top value for you, but Fun/Happiness as a value within the same hierarchy might suggest late nights with friends - eating and drinking too much and not feeling like exercise in the morning. These two values cannot co-exist for very long without some heavy pain. You be the judge.
• Similarly, if your top moving-toward value is Success, and your top moving-away-from value is Rejection then you are setting yourself up for a major conflict. And a major failure.
◦ A person trying to achieve the pleasure of success without ever experiencing the pain of rejection will never succeed in the long term.
Another example: Honesty and Integrity may be in conflict at times too. If being honest about a situation would result in pain and suffering for another person, but your value of Integrity forbids that type of action – then how do you deal with that? Perhaps you replace Honesty with Integrity or juggle the hierarchy to get them both to work?
In a time of war, for example, on being captured by an enemy you may be asked, “Are you alone?” If you are with another soldier, the answer, “Yes.” is dishonest, but may save a colleague who has not as yet been detected. The answer, “No.” will invariably end up in the capture of someone else. A situation probably best avoided in a war scenario. Integrity, as a value, allows a person to be dishonest in this circumstance and still remain true to their higher standard.
Figure out your current values. Remember they are not real. They are just something that you chose or was chosen for you to live by. If they don't match your current life. Get rid of them. Find new ones. Just pick one or more value words from the list available at one of the following websites:
Just make a decision. Don't over think. Choose from the lists.
As usual with this kind of thing, values are nothing if not applied to your life. They are building blocks, pieces of the jig-saw, maps. The whole point of any of these discussions is becoming the best person you can possibly be.
Take this knowledge and use it.
Check your values. Do you know what they are? Are there any conflicting values, or are some of your older values incompatible with the new you. The person you are now, or want to be in the future?
This must always be about how to get better results at work or home, how to have a better relationship, how to be a better parent etc. Values per se are nothing, they exist only as the basis for the standards by which you live. They define the essence that makes up the person that you are.
Bring your life into sharper focus with values.