Happiness is a state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievements of one’s Values. – Ayn Rand
This statement by Ms. Rand is at first strikingly simple, “Duh, of course that makes sense, I am most happy when, what is important to me is front and center.” Upon further reflection the statement is suggesting first, you must become mindful of your values, that is to be in a state of clear focused awareness of what they absolutely are, not what you assume they are. Then you can take action to achieve your values, or in other words live your life in accordance with them by making decisions and taking action grounded in them.
Now it seems counter intuitive to suggest that we assume we know what are most our most sacred values. What do you mean I am assuming to know what are my values? But truthfully, how often do you step back reflect and narrow down all the qualities you appreciate and hold in esteem to your most sacred values. Yours personally. Not your family’s values. Not your profession’s values. No one else’s values.
That is not to say there is no overlap between your most sacred values and those of your family, your profession, your culture or any other number of sources. There likely is overlap and for good reason. We inherit values from our families. We adopt those of the groups we belong to, where we live, where we work, go to school, and play. Because groups are made up of individuals there is an inherent diversity with in the collective group. That is rich. The diversity you bring to your family, work, and other aspects of your life should be celebrated and honored.
Investing time and energy to clarify what are your most important, most sacred values your core values is worth it. There are multiple benefits to be had:
- You make decisions guided by your most important values
- You know where you stand and what you won’t sit for – your bottom line
- Your credibility is impacted, because your know what you want and how you want to behave and act accordingly
- Making hard decisions is easier, such as when conflicting opportunities arise
- You bring integrity to everything you do
- You tap into your personal wellspring of energy- what keeps you going when the tough times come along
- You sense of security, self-confidence and your self-identity are reinforced and grow stronger
- You have a solid, stable interior core allowing you to navigate and indeed thrive in the midst of chaos such as the past 16 plus months have brought
If you neglect to examine the congruence of your actions with your values, your actions may be misguided by old assumptions that no longer hold true for you, or immediate concerns and instant gratification rather than your values.
Tomorrow I will share a values clarification exercise