What Do You Value?
Your values are the primary determent of your decisions and behavior. If your values are aligned with the picture you have about what success means to you, you will be living a life of inspiration and innovation. When you attempt to live your life out of alignment with your values, you will be living a life of desperation and frustration. Understanding your values and aligning them with the success you desire in your life, will determine whether you live an ordinary or extra-ordinary life.
The values I am referring to can best be explained as follows:
- Things that you find more desirable or that you feel are more worthy of your esteem are high in your value system.
- Whilst things that you put little intrinsic worth to, or you rate as lower on your scale of needs are of little value to you.
Your values are your evaluations of what is most or least important to you at any time on your journey through life. They are the drivers of your behavior and determine what you do and determine what you choose to label as good or evil, moral or ethical. On your journey toward the success you are seeking your current values will determine what activities will feel effortless and require very little outside motivation to carry out. They will also make some activities feel tedious and difficult to perform.
The best way to determine what your current values are is to look at your life and see what is reflected back at you. The three areas we will look at are:
- Where are you spending your money?
- How do you fill your space?
- How do you spend your time?
Where are you spending your money?
Use the table below, explore your values and see where are spending most of your money?
Look at your monthly expenditure and list how you are currently spending your money.
- Income $ 10 000/ Month
- House $ 2500
- Food $ 1500
- Clothing $ 1500
- Entertainment $ 1200
- Books $ 1000
- Education $ 1000
- Investment $ 500
- Miscellaneous $ $ 800
|Description||Percentage of total||Area of Life|
|Living Expenses||30 %||Familial & Social|
|Home||25 %||Familial & Social|
|Book & Education||20 %||Mental & Vocation|
This example shows that this person places the highest value on their home, living expenses and lifestyle. Secondly they are driven to educate themselves and lastly they spend a very small percentage of their money on investments. It is important to understand that there is no right or wrong answer when doing this exercise. All that this exercise will show you is where you values are focused at present.
How do you fill your space?
Look around your environment and see the things that stand out most.
There is a big screen TV in your lounge where you love spending all your free time. Your lounge also has a computer where you spend some time writing and researching. Books fill the space next to your bed and you have shelves of books in your study.
|Description||What Role does it fill||Area of Life|
|Television||Entertainment||Social & Familial|
|Books||Education||Mental & Vocation|
|Computer||Education||Mental & Vocation|
How do you spend your time?
Take a look at your life and write down how you spend your time.
- Work 8 Hours
- TV 4 Hours
- Reading 1 Hour
- Writing computer 1 Hour
- Exercise 30 minutes
|Description||Percentage||Area of Life|
|TV||16 %||Social & Familial|
|Reading and writing||8 %||Mental & Vocation|
Analysing these results
After doing this exercise, which is an integral part of the motivational speakers intervention, you should have an intuitive feeling about where your values lie. To get a clearer picture, you must look at the following seven areas of your life and see how they fit into the tables above.
- Relationships or Family
Using these seven areas of your life go back to the previous tables and see which of these best represents each of your choices.
After analyzing your results, use the table below to highlight where your values are focused
|Area of Life|
From this example it is clear that this person currently has values that are focused on their social and family. If this person were to set themselves a set of goals to become financially independent in the next two years, they would place themselves under huge stress. Investing and finances are very low on their list of values. When something is low on your value list, it requires massive amounts of motivation and willpower to carry out the activities needed to succeed.
This person would need to first work to change their hierarchy of values before they tackled anything related to finances. If they were to try to achieve any goals that are not aligned with their values they would struggle and lose interest at the first challenge that crosses their path.
When you understand your hierarchy of values and how they affect you and your performance. You equip yourself with an understanding of how to achieve the maximum level of performance, with the least amount of conscious effort. This awareness is extremely empowering and allows you to take only actions that are aligned with your values. When you do this your actions feel effortless and you are inspired to do whatever it takes to succeed.
The challenge we often face is that our values are not aligned with the outcomes we want to achieve. This requires conscious effort on our part.
- We must first identify our hierarchy of values.
- Then we must explore and define what success means to us.
- Set realistic goals that will deliver on our expectations.
- Re-align our values with the outcome we are attempting to achieve.
- Develop new habits that will support our daily efforts.