Core Values create your world. You live according to the beliefs and perform only the behaviors that align with your core values. Well, you live in happiness and find success when you do. However you fail to find either happiness or success when you fail to live in alignment with what you, in your core, believe is right.
If you have never done so create a list of your core values. Now rearrange the list in order of importance to you with the value you find most important listed first.
Done? Excellent. (If you think you will do this later then you have a value saying procrastination and incompletion of tasks works for you.) We both know the likelihood of you coming back to make your list later is slim to none. So take a few minutes to make it now. Remember to prioritize your values.
How did you determine the order of your priorities? Even more to the point, how did you discover your core values?
Those deep beliefs, alive and well in your subconscious mind, run your life. The thing is, some of what you think defines your most important values really do not meet that definition at all.
What am I talking about?
Core values move you forward toward your Very Excellent Life. Sometimes you think your behaviors protect you from what you do not want rather than forward you along your happiness path.
For most of my life I consistently rated honesty as my top core value. I could not tolerate anyone or anything dishonest. I used to ask my mom to go out and walk the dog rather than answer it and tell someone she was not home when she actually was. (That is how powerful my core value of honesty was for me – or so I thought.)
When I learned the true definition of core values then I found that honesty was so important because of all the dishonest people and experiences running scattered across my life. I was moving away from (avoiding) any new experiences with dishonesty.
Honesty remains on my list now but for different reasons. And it no longer holds the primo spot.
Okay. Got it?
Now go through your list of core values and note which move you forward toward your dream life and which serve to move you away from what you do not want.
Happiness happens when you move toward what you want rather than away from what you do not want.
Core values define how you live your life. They create the box that limits how you behave and what you believe.
Most people live their lives without knowing their core values. Yet even more important than knowing your the values you hld most dear may be knowing why you chose to live according to those beliefs taking only those types of actions. Add to that issue knowing whether your deepest beliefs move you toward the life you want or away from the life you do not want.
Phew! What a lot of information, yes? Too much for one short article. So right now let’s investigate how to uncover and prioritize your personal core values.
What is really important to you in your life? What sort of behaviors are okay for you to live and which are acceptable when other people exhibit them?
On a less concrete level, what is okay with you and what do you avoid?
Most people create include areas like these on their lists: integrity, love, family, health, truth, honesty, fun, spirituality, ethics, religion, privacy, silliness, pride
Consider the points on that list and see which areas are important to you in your life. I am talking vital to how you live your life. Deep in your core, the center of your being, what do you value (have to experience) in each area that you consider a core value for you?
For example, for me love is the primary core value by which I live. I feel love for myself, for all creatures, for the planet and for what I do. I must love what I do in all areas of my life or I know I will not experience any degree of success.
I believe love is the single solution to every problem. Love is the antithesis of apathy. For me loving my life and everything and everyone in my world becomes a driving force. (Being in love is different from loving, okay?)
Once you make your list of core values put them in the order of important to you. That way if you ever encounter a situation where you find it difficult to make a choice you can examine the choices against your core values and choose whatever path allows you align with the core value that ranks higher for you.
If your life does not look the way you want it to then make a list of your core values and see if you live in alignment with every single one of them. You will never know true happiness until you do.
Core values drive you determining whether you will find success or failure in life. When you run into a clash among different values, those with the highest priority win out over those that are less important in the situation at hand.
How do you create your core values?
Take a moment to think about what is really important to you…
integrity, health, being happy, truth, well being, being supportive, being logical etc
Really take your time and write down your list of what matters to you in your life. Your values help you decide who to date and who to marry, where it is okay to work and where you would really shine at work, what you do for fun, how you practice your spiritual beliefs, etc. Every aspect of your life reflects what you believe to be in your highest interest.
Seriously, take ten minutes to list your top ten values. Then place them in the order that you think goes from most important to least important. Do this now because your results will reveal how and why your life flows or flutters as it does.
Done? Okay, now look at each value one at a time. Make a note next to each describing (very briefly) why you hold that value so close to your heart and feel it necessary that you live in alignment with it.
This step is crucial so do it before reading further.
Now that you now why each value holds the place it does on your list ask yourself if you created that value in your life and gave it a high priority because in the past someone acted in a way contrary to your value leaving you feeling bad or hurt.
What do I mean? For most of my life I placed honesty as my top value. When I stopped to understand why honesty was so very important to me (I mean I need to live in honesty AND I only tolerate others in my world who also live in honesty) I discovered I never wanted to be lied to or deceived again.
You see, deception had been a common theme in my life as a child and also as an adult. Realizing that reality made me stride to live as an up-front honest person. That same value played a crucial role in my choice of partners, friends and colleagues.
The bottom line is I wanted to avoid and move away from dishonest people. By doing so I figured I could avoid a lot of potential stress from ever entering my life.
What I found is moving toward I want, rather than away from what I do not want, is far more empowering. I continued to attract dishonest people so long as I tried to avoid them!
Consequently I re-examined all my priority core values for whether I wanted them in my life or wanted to avoid having them in my life. My result? I created a new list of core values and new priorities for those that remained on my list.
Core values are your beliefs about what is important to you. They operate as integrity checks for how you live your life all across your life including both personal and professional areas.
Ultimately your success or failure in life depend on whether or not you live in alignment with your core values.
Most people never stop to actually think about what their core values are. Those who do fail to question exactly why those are so important to them. They also fail to list them in a priority order.
Why do your core values matter? Even more important, what role do they play in your life?
Did you ever do something that didn’t feel quite right? Do you work in a job you really do not like? Do you work every hard yet produce little forward progress in your life?
Your core values are those that matter most to you. Acting as a sort of sentry, they nudge you when you take actions that run contrary to what you believe is right for you and in your highest and best interest.
What do I mean? Someone who truly believes in recycling and living green yet works in an environment that wastes natural resources or, even worse, pollutes the world, constantly battles their core values. That kind of stress (going against one’s natural grain) leads (slowly but steadily) to emotional and physical health issues.
The stress usually happens in small increments and goes unnoticed until the major illness or condition stops them cold! Even then, people tend to blame other environmental issues for impacting their well being and never recognize the basis of their suffering, the true cause, is living a life that contradicts how they feel, deep in their heats at their core, how they want to and “should” live.
When you stop and look at successful people you discover they live in harmony with their core values—whether or not they are aware of doing so. Similarly, when you observe people who consistently fall short of the success they seek you see that they live a lifestyle that is blatantly out of alignment with their value system.
Health, as a physical, emotional, and spiritual concept, demands harmony across the board.
People who choose a job simply intent upon creating an income will not succeed to the degree they would if they choose to perform a job that fits their value system.
Performing tasks you do not believe in, feel strongly against doing, or weigh on your heart pose perpetual obstacles on your forward path. To end stress and live your Very Excellent Life learn how to know what your core values are and their order of importance to you.
Stress develops when you fail to live in alignment with your core values.
One of the very things I do when I work with clients is assist them in determining their true core values. Until you know what you really and truly value with all your being you cannot attain it or live your Very Excellent Life.
When you work at a job that runs contrary to your values, or even one that just plain fails to support your values, you will not find success. The alignment between values and work provides endless powerful motivation to succeed.
When you live any part of our life contrary to your values you create stress.
All my life I valued all life. As a kid, and later as an adult, I found it very painful to eat meat. How can you raise an animal with the intention of killing it to feed you?
Well, after a serious injury wiped out my health a holistic doctor informed me that I needed animal protein to regain my health and thrive.
As much as I denied that possibility he was right – at least at the time.
That kind of choice, that goes against our grain, causes stress. Stress hurts us.
I recently had to make some big choices that caused a great deal of stress to enter my life.
I discovered I had mice living in my house. Mice are dirty and destructive. I needed them out and could not figure out how to get them to leave.
I did something runs against my beliefs regarding killing anything AND against my way of life – which is to do everything naturally and never use chemicals, most of all dangerous poisons that come with pages of warnings!
That decision was not the only stressor. After suffering the aftermath of multiple spider bites, when I started seeing multiple spiders in my house again I knew my health could not afford any more bites. Some very poisonous varieties live out here – in and around my house.
But it wasn’t just the spiders. I thought about what to do about the spiders for many months. It was the past few weeks of watching the tiniest insects walk across my ceiling at night – and even during daylight hours, that got to me.
Knowing I cannot open any windows because they come in through the screens (that is how small they are) and not being able to open my front door because flies of all sorts are sitting inside the screen door waiting to gain entry – all those factors really got me.
I felt like the critters owned my house and I was the intruder!
With all those stresses weighing heaving on my well being and health I chose to hire a pest control company to spray poison in and around my house.
I am still adjusting to the stench of the poison – which he told me was not seriously a danger as it was safe around pets and kids. Hmm. Know it stinks and I felt sick the day after.
Well, I figured while I was doing things contrary to my beliefs in being all natural I also gave in and used a chemical drain cleaner to open my seriously clogged shower drain. I had tried over and over again to use natural means to unclog the drain. All attempts failed.
So I took advantage of being in that place of allowing my health concerns to over-ride my feelings of waiting until I find the “right” natural remedies and went the conventional route.
Frankly I am not certain which stress is greater – going against my natural way of life or killing living creatures.
I do know I made a choice for my own health. I feel consistent about what I chose to do – which lessens the stress. And as I see my world get cleaner I know I will lose the stressful feelings. Yes, it is happening already.
I am not saying I will revert to a non-natural way of life. I did what I needed to do and now I can move forward in my life feeling healthier and happier.