Values A Key To Success

Setting goals doesn't work for everyone. In conversation with a good friend recently, he revealed that setting targets has never motivated him.
In a long and successful life full of much variety and some adventure he has never planned his course, responding rather to the opportunities that life presents, and changing direction in response to a finely honed intuition. Traditional goal setting has never appealed to him. What does work is identifying what is of value to him in a particular course of action.

Identifying our values isn't necessarily as easy as it seems. If asked, most New Zealanders would say that we value our family, our friends, and our health ahead of money; that we value people more than things, and quality of life ahead of "keeping up with the Joneses".

However if we take an honest look at our lives and how we actually spend our time and our money, we may see a different story.

You can get a clear snapshot of what you are currently valuing in practice, by looking around you, and by checking back through your diary and your bank records.

How is your space filled? Look not only at what is in your home as a whole, but also at places that are particularly personal to you, such as the den and office.

What activities and people do you spend your time and energy on?

Where are you organised, disciplined, reliable and focused? These are high-value areas for you. The areas where you are disorganised or unreliable show an area of lower priority.

(This is a particularly useful tip for us to remember when dealing with colleagues and family members with different priorities to our own. The "disorganised" colleague who is absolutely fabulous at customer relations, but never gets their paperwork filed on time, simply has a different set of values and priorities to the office manager who is tapping their fingers waiting for that data. Creating a fun and people-centred way for them to get the information to you will work better than sending an email.)

How do you spend your money? In particular look at the way you spend any discretionary money that is left after basic needs have been met

Now that you have gathered some data about what you are giving time and money and energy to, stop and ask yourself "Is this what I truly value? Am I spending my time, money and energy on things that are truly important to me?"

Your inner life will give you a clearer picture of your true values. Take some time to answer these questions:

  • What do you think about?
  • What do you visualise and dream?
  • What makes you smile?
  • What is your internal dialogue about?
  • What do you talk to other people about?
  • What are your top 3 most inspired moments?
Having goals and values aligned makes it much easier to take the necessary steps to move forward, and the journey itself will be far more enjoyable.

If you find that your true values and your external activities are out of alignment, it is time to review your life choices.


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