Sunday, 8 June 2008

Why articulate your values?

All of our individual clients will work with values at some point or another. Why?

We believe that central to the human condition is the ability to decide what to do and how to do it. Indeed, it could be argued that our lives are defined by a series of decisions. So how do we make decisions?

It's easy to think short term. What will keep me safe? What has worked before? Often, we are influenced by our mind's first concern (safety) so we are highly influenced by what others or whatever pays the best.

These ways of making a decision are fine. Indeed, they have evolutionary approval. They kept your ancestors alive and well.

However, most people want more than to survive, they want meaning and fulfilment. Think of your most fulfilling times. Usually, it's a time when safety first did not rule and instead you tried something, committed to something and took a risk. Deep down, we instinctively know this but it's easy to forget.

If when making a decision all we do is listen to our minds' initial reaction then we risk, over time, falling short of what we could do if we live more consciously.

If we ask ourselves what's really important to us in life, we usually find values like courage, honesty, learning, making a difference, meaning, love and justice.

If we do not take conscious action to define what's important to us, we risk making a series of semi-conscious safety-first decisions that, when put together, result in a life only half lived.

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