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The Value of Values

ValuesI recently completed my half marathon. Yes, I’m still revelling in the glory of the satisfaction this brought me. It often amazes me how much mileage I get out of simple things. People are doing these things all the time. There was one person I read about who did a marathon a day for 50 days – one in each state of the United States. Wow – that is impressive! When I wrote about my achievement, the achievement of reaching my goal, I touched on something that I believe is super important. It is so important that we often don’t consider it. Sometimes, or more correctly, most times in life it is the little things that are the really big things. On reflecting on what I wrote I examined it further and understand how big this seemingly small and simple thing is. Yet if we can do this, then we will live a life whereby we will live a life of happiness, true success, and possibly even being our best, most true and authentic selves. The place you get to when you cry out – “I JUST WISH I COULD BE MYSELF! ”How good would that be? Well you can…

This little thing I mention is this. Live by your core values. If we do this, and ignore comparing ourselves with others, striving for goals that we’re not sure we want, running on the treadmill of life – then we will achieve peace of mind, contentment and happiness. And you’ll be living true to yourself.

Many of us, and I know I’m one, did not, and often still do not live truly by our values.

Our values are our core beliefs about how we live our life. I was defining my success and myself by what I achieved and by how much stuff I had, not how I lived my life.

“Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they … measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Values are not rules or doctrine – either imposed on us, or that we make up. If we’re not careful our values can cross the boundary into self-imposed rules. I know this kind of happened with me. I have always had a value of hard work (all things are relative). This then took control of my life with me imposing rules that embedded behaviours on my values. I felt I needed to be up early to do work, or not sit down and enjoy the company of others because I should be working – doing stuff! I’ve broken that now. Mostly! This is a real trap. Because we have a core value, we can create these rules that we believe are essential to support it, but are not at all. The value has morphed into a rigid doctrine, and this prevents us from changing when we need to.

I also have a value of caring for family and loved ones which I find I do by trying to provide for them. I also know that with children, caring for them does not mean giving them everything. Caring for them means protecting and growing them to be self-sufficient, equipping them to make decisions and thrive in the big wide world. I am working to change how I express that I care for them. A work in progress!

I love adventure and stimulation. And I’m curious. I have thirst for knowledge and love to do stuff, travel, reading, hiking, skiing, outdoors, catching up with mates, thrill seeking stuff! I like the spontaneous and unknown.  The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t understand, and the more I want to learn. Insatiable.

These are important things for me. There are more, and I realise I need to do more in understanding my core values, however you get the picture. If I can continue living by these values, then I am happy . you could say successful. As you can see I need to get a balance, as too much work will mean not enough caring or adventure. Too much adventure, and not enough caring. All things are connected. Lisa is great at helping me find a good balance.

The thing that often gets in the way is striving for stuff. Our goals. Our new stuff. In the next article I want to discuss with you my perspective on the relationship between values and goals. It is important to understand.

What do you think?

All the best for now,

Mike

  • Mike Overwater

Mike's an ordinary bloke who had a dream, and wouldn't give up. As the founder of EKO Group, and co-creator of ekoyou.com, he thought it was time to share his truths and personal life lessons. Mike hopes to inspire you to always keep it real, to go for your dreams, and to let nothing stop you! Above all BE YOURSELF.


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