Reexamining Your Values:
Since values are priorities that tell you how to spend your time, right here, right now, you may want to change your values when you understand and accept where they are taking you. Sometimes what appears to be so important to us will not really enables us to enjoy the “best” possible life. So, the questions to ask are:
What are the “airports” where my planes will merely pass over but never land?
Will I never experience an intimate, loving relationship?
Will I never have children?
Will I never become wealthy?
Will I never develop an outstandingly energetic physical body?
Will I never travel around the world?
Will I never be able to help my favorite cause?
Will I never feel that I am living in total accordance with God’s purpose for my life?
Now what if all these “NEVERS” could suddenly become possible for you?
How can they?
They can become possible for you by shifting your values.
When you change your values list and consciously act on it, you change your behavior and therefore your results. And this can lead to incredible new experiences.
For example, if your top value is health, and you’re already in outstanding physical condition, what would happen if you changed your top value to wealth? You would cut back on your workouts for a while and invest tremendous energy into becoming wealthy. Your investment in health would slide a little, but in the short-term, it probably won’t make a huge difference. Health may still be one of your top values, but it just isn’t number one anymore.
So now, by focusing intently on your new top value of wealth, you eventually succeed in becoming wealthy. But eventually as you become wealthy, making more and more money beyond a certain point may no longer serve you. Now you decide to shift your top value to compassion, so you go out and use your healthy, wealthy self to compassionately help others.
Through this process of consciously shifting your values, you’ve changed from a gym rat to an entrepreneur to a philanthropist. You’ve lived an amazing life. But if you always maintain your original values, you’ll only experience being a gym rat for your entire life. And most of your true potential would remain untapped.
Changing Your Values:
So how can you decide how to change your values?
You go through a very similar process of listing and prioritizing, but now you do it with your destinations – your goals.
Here’s a sample goals list:
Reduce weight to 150 pounds
Become a millionaire
Move to San Diego
Become a real estate investor
Travel through every country in Europe
Fall in love and get married
Give a speech in front of 5000 people
Get a part in a movie
Visit the moon
Run a marathon
So again, write out your goals.
Decide which ones are truly most important to you.
These goals represent the experiences that you feel are part of the “best” life you could live. The “airports” that you would like to land someday.
How is a single list of values going to allow you to hit all these different stops? The values that will make you wealthy probably aren’t the same ones that will get you married. And the values that will send you skydiving aren’t the ones that will help you become a real estate investor. At some point in your life, you’ll need to focus intently on one of these goals while letting the others slide.
If you fail to focus your energy on the goals that are truly important to you, some of them will slip away, and that’s a heavy price to pay.
Now that you have your goals hierarchy, pick the top one or two goals, and consciously devise a values list that will lead you to achieve them. Let’s say your goals list is prioritized as above, so your #1 goal is to reduce your weight to 150 pounds. To achieve this goal, you might make fitness your #1 value. Then you might make self-discipline your #2 value, so you’ll stick to your diet and exercise program. And then learning might become your #3 value, so you spend time educating yourself about proper diet and nutrition. You must design these values based on your own personal circumstances. Like any skill this takes practice, but over time you’ll become better and better at designing your values to adapt to your goals.
Before you can set a course for your plane, you must first determine the airport where it will land. If you set the course without knowing the destination, then you will experience tremendous frustration trying to get your planes to land where you feel they should.
Don’t let life “pass by” but make the best of it and remember: You were made for a purpose.
Ephesians 2:10 says that:
“we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.
God created us to do amazing things. He gave us life and He already loved us till the end. He gave us a special mind and unique talents. Through our challenges He made us stronger. So, the least we can do, is to make sure that He will always be our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY!