Value your Values

“Character – the courage and conviction to live by our deepest values is the key muscle that serves spiritual energy.” Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarts.

The question of values is always a good one to ask, it was a question that came up this past week a lot with AMZ Creative.

A few years ago I did a wonderful workshop in which I tried to discover my values. Guess what, I failed, I failed for many reasons. It was the first day of a five-day intensive, I wanted to impress my friend who had talked me into the intensive, I wanted to impress the person leading the session, and I wanted to impress someone sitting on the couch across from me. So instead of answering the questions honestly, I tried to answer the question, by trying to figure out what each of these persons wanted to hear.

But guess what, those values were forced upon me as the ones I should want to live my life by my ego, but they were not who I really am. So I was always at odds, with these values I created to impress others and the real values I had.

Recently, My friend Tom, made a brilliant observation,”look at your entire life, at everything you’ve done then ask why you loved doing it, and from there you will get your values.”

Low and behold. I discovered my values. I discovered them in the movies I loved, the things I loved doing, and the people I surrounded myself by.

I did it by really looking at every aspect of my life. For four days, I wrote down everything I did, everything I watched, every e-mail I wrote, everything I spend money on, every way in which I communicated and I asked. Why? what is it that I value in this?

Here is what I discovered. I started with ten.

I value:

1. Creativity

2. Adventure

3. Risk/Risk Taking

4. Intimacy

5. Fidelity/Loyalty

6. Truth

7. Freedom

8. Reputation

9. Self-Expression

10. Beauty

Now, After four days of careful consideration, these were the ten values that I tried to live every day

I took a few hours to think about which four I would keep if only allowed four.  These are the ones I would keep above the others.

1. Creativity. 2. Fidelity/Loyalty 3. Freedom and 4. Self-Expression.

Wow, these are totally who I really am and I feel they are totally what I strive for everyday.  I lead an incredibly blessed and creative life, I am absolutely loyal to those who help me meet my goals and dreams, and I work for myself (freedom) in a field (writing) which is all about self-expression.

And it was so simple.  Look at your life, take a few days and write what you do and why you do it. You will see a pattern of values evolving, and then from there, you will be able to glean a clear picture of the way people may see you, or the things you want to represent.

Overall, not a bad day to spend a few days.  I going to have to thank my friend Anthony for sending me back to the drawing board to figure out my values.  It has shed a new light on who I am, and what I want from life.

You should do the same.

M.

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