Tuesday 13 January 2015

Clarify Your Values

"Any attempt to live on the outside in a manner that contradicts the values you hold on the inside will cause you stress, negativity, unhappiness, pessimism, and even anger and frustration." (Brian Tracy)

Google's definition of values are "a person's principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life."  Brian Tracy says that before you set out on the journey to achieve your goals, you need to clarify your values.  Think about what you want to be known for, what you represent.  Imagine what you would like people to write about you in your obituary.  As Dr. Gordon Eadie said about American soldiers fighting the enemy in World War II: "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Ideal values in the workplace include:  hard work, dependability, cooperation, initiative, ambition and high performance.  Ideal values within the family include:  unconditional love, patience, forgiveness, generosity, kindness and attentiveness.  Ideal values with regard to money and finances include: honesty, thrift, education, industry, persistence and performance.  Integrity is high up on the list of values.  A millionaire once said:  "Integrity is the value that guarantees all the other values."

Brian Tracy points out that your values need to be congruent with your goals.  "Be sure that as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building," warns Stephen Covey.  If you are an environmentalist, you are not going to fit it at a factory where workers dump toxic waste into the nearby river.  He says that the people who are the happiest in this world are those whose behaviour is consistent with their beliefs.

Tracy maintains that people demonstrate their true values in their actions, especially when under pressure.  An example that comes to mind is my old neighbours.  They said that they loved their dogs, but they never walked them, they chained them up and ignored them.  Then, when times get tough and they were evicted from their home, they abandoned the dogs in the house, trapped inside with no air during a heat wave, walking around in their own filth.

"As within, so without" is a good motto to live by.  Whatever you put into your body or fill your mind with, often comes out in your thoughts and/or actions.  If you do nothing but watch violent movies, play violent video games, read violent books, listen to violent music and use violent language, chances are you are going to have violent thoughts and/or show violent behaviour.  By the same token, if you keep a positive attitude, watch positive shows, read positive books, listen to positive music and use positive language, chances are you are going to have both positive thoughts and actions.

Note:  For more information, read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale http://www.amazon.ca/Discovering-Positive-Thinking-Norman-Vincent/dp/8122204120.

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