Are You Living True to Your Values? Part 2
Most people are living true to their values whether they realize it or not. It may their values they have adopted and developed, or we could be influenced by the environment we live in.
Examples of values might be trust, security, integrity, love, stability, freedom, material gain, prominence, financial security. If you have identified self care as a value which means keeping your body healthy and under a certain weight through proper exercise and nutrition, then you will be able to resist the temptation of cookie, cigarette, or drink. If you hold integrity as a value, you will probably be willing to take a hit for something you did wrong and endure the reproach rather than lying.
If you are wondering what your values are, take a few minutes and think about where you have spent most of your time and money over the last 6 months. The way you manage your time and money will point to some of the things that you value in your life. While your are doing this think about the types of friendships and relationships you invested in during that time as well. You will begin to see some of things that matter to you.
Deeply held values are often called convictions. They are the things we value that are not negotiable. The convictions we hold can often fuel the energy behind our life purpose and calling. Some people think that their ideals are their values. We may hold to the ideal that family is important, but if we are chronic workaholics and do not spend time with our spouse and children, then we really don’t have a family value.
Guess what, here is another really important connection. Our values are connected to our needs. (See the post on how to get your needs met) We will either engage or disengage in behaviors the meet or do not meet our needs. It is pretty simple. When something meets our needs, it becomes important to us and the value of it increases.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that feelings are connected to our needs as well. If you listen to your feelings, you will find a path to understanding your needs and what you consider valuable. You will continue to apply your energy, thinking, and actions to those things that make you happy, satisfied, proud, loving, and joyful. On the contrary, you will avoid those things that make you sad, depressed, mad, upset, etc..
Think about your job, your family, and friends. In what ways have you acted upon your values because it has met an important need?
Now, reflect upon this. In what ways did you act upon a value that was not driven by a need but by a higher principle? (like honor, giving, sacrifice, integrity, honesty, etc..)