Entering a new year and even a new decade is a great time to reorder and prioritize our lives. We do that by choosing what values matter most. Values bring clarity. It is like cleaning out closets and keeping only outfits we love. Living in the values we choose brings order, discipline, and simplicity. It is the genesis of fulfillment. Operationalizing what we care about informs the decisions of what we pursue and how we spend our time. Values are our source of motivation intrinsic to who we are and who we desire to become. They give life meaning, purpose and direction silencing the firehose of noise and information that surrounds us. Outlining our values, quiets our spirit and allows us to function without all the chatter so we can directly connect our behavior with what we truly value.
In her newest book, Dare to Lead, Brene’ Brown challenges readers to outline three life values. She opines, through years of research as a psychologist, that “Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.” When life gets hard and distracting, values help us resist the temptation to get immediate relief from our discomfort. Living out our three chosen values gives us courage to rumble and fight for them, staying in the arena and not checking out with pleasure-seeking, drugs, alcohol, pornography or just giving up.
In order to choose only three values to live by, we must first be quiet with ourselves knowing we are enough. We do not have to prove ourselves worthy, but, rather, know that we already are.
We must discover what lights us up and motivates us. We must think about the sweetest moments in our lives and the greatest disappointments and unpack the why of those experiences. We must name our greatest heroes and those we admire and then examine the reason we revere these people. We must set goals and figure out what really matters.
A significant body of research demonstrates that identifying and adopting three values catapults our ability to succeed and live with purpose and passion. Asking adolescents to outline and articulate what they deeply care about has a profound effect on their school performance, their partnering decisions, the friends they choose, their behavior and their life outcomes.
When we engage in the capacity to choose and to embrace the values that inform our actions, we are building human capital, living in an intimate, committed, and effective way accelerating the capacity to live authentically and strategically. Values set the direction of our life-path like a compass on an amazing adventure.
Companies set values to grow. The team at The Center for Relationship Education recently finalized three corporate values and built a strategic plan for growth and influence. The process was challenging; however, the clarity this exercise provided will allow this agency to accomplish its mission and do what matters most which is to provide relationship education skills training to everyone with the values of reliability, relevance and respect. joneen@my
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