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The Value Of Values

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

What are your values? What are the core principles you don’t just believe but that you live by?

It’s tough when we’re taught that we need to make compromises in life. As well we should. Adopting a “my way or the highway”/”if you’re not with us, you’re against us”-attitude isn’t all that conducive to bring about change.

Situations do come up where we our beliefs are tested. We start to wonder if it isn’t better to go against our core beliefs. This is usually when we get into trouble.

Tiger Woods

“Be vewy, vewy quiet.” – Elmer Fudd

I’ll just let Tiger speak for himself here.

“I stopped living according to my core values. I knew what I was doing was wrong but thought only about myself and thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to.”

Things will turn up where we get the urge for a quick fix, it seems exciting and we feel special and chosen. At the same time there’s this feeling, usually located in your gut, that asks you: “Is this right?”. When we go against it and rationalize away our own or other people’s behavior we’re slowly steering into oncoming traffic.

No Bueno

This cannot be good…

I don’t think anyone is immune to this. I think that all we can do is to get better at spotting it and with time and practice our values will be so ingrained into everything we do that it just comes out naturally.

Recently i’ve had two situations that’ve tested me.

The first was an opportunity to invest some money into a company that looks really promising. I had rejected the idea before out of principle. The company might do more harm than good in the world. This time I started to think about all the good that I could do with the money and perform economical judo on the company by investing the profits into something I really believed in. In my mind this would counteract the initial investment.

I seriously considered doing this before it became really clear that I couldn’t make this compromise. Even if I don’t make the money in the short term, at least the good I can do will not be tainted by something that runs counter to my beliefs.

The second one was really cool. Warning, the next section will include what some might deem “esoteric hocus pocus”. It’s basically what you might call “the law of attraction”. I use it, and it makes me more aware of opportunities in my life.

A few weeks ago I wrote down a new list to bring about some stuff i’d like to happen. One of the things was to get involved with a sports equipment retailer. I’d bought their shoes for years and they sponsor some of my heroes. So I wrote it down and put it away since it wasn’t my main priority.

Lo and behold, the following week i’d gotten a message in my inbox from a sports equipment retailer! I had to laugh since it came around so fast. They wrote about how they’d read some of my stuff, thought we shared the same values, interests etc. They wanted to use some of my material on their site.

There were some issues though. It wasn’t the company I was interested in. Reading the message again I could tell that it was a standard form. They’ve probably approached many bloggers, writers and columnists with the same message. I can understand that, they can’t spend the time to individualize every mail. The main issue however was that, based on the company’s history, they obviously didn’t share my values. So, I declined.

Sean Parker

“There came a time when these two incompatible notions of who I was, well, something had to give. Either that ‘something’ is where you acquiesce to the world around you and you conform, or you sort of defiantly break whatever remaining bonds connect you to that world and create for yourself a different set of values.” – Sean Parker

It’s amazing how easily decisions can be made when you know your core values and what you want to accomplish. It’s your system to filter what gets through. All that’s left is to act accordingly.

“If you really want to see more work that reflects your values, you have to produce it. You have to be a contributor to the business.” – Eric King

“Wisdom is a kind of knowledge. It is knowledge of the nature, career, and consequences of human values.” – Sidney Hook

“The decisions you make are a choice of values that reflect your life in every way.” – Alice Waters

“And, we put a lot more value, or at least I personally put a lot more value, on the creative values and creative challenges of something than the commercial necessities.” – Rowan Atkinson

“Find people who share your values, and you’ll conquer the world together.” – John Ratzenberger

“It is easier to exemplify values than teach them.” – Theodore Hesburgh

“When we began Starbucks, what I wanted to try to do was to create a set of values, guiding principles, and culture.” – Howard Schultz

“You just decide what your values are in life and that you are going to do, and then you feel like you count, and that makes life worth living.” – Annie Lennox

“Authentic values are those by which a life can be lived, which can form a people that produces great deeds and thoughts.” – Allan Bloom

“Believe in something and base your business on values.” – Jerry Greenfield

“Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth – don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.” – Aesop

“Your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life.” – Stephen Covey

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