I have spoken a lot about the methods that I use to achieve my goals, to live the dreams that I want to live and the life I have decided will be mine. I have even spoken about that reason that I am on this path, the Why that keeps driving me forward no matter how difficult the road gets or the obstacles in the way. Yet I have not spoken about a very important factor in all of this, my core values.
If we live our lives driving towards our goals, but lose sight of our core value along the way, there is every likelihood that we will get to our goal and find it as fulfilling as ashes in our mouth. It will not be the triumph that we thought it would be, it will feel hollow and worthless. In fact, the most important factor in determining our happiness in life is whether or not we are living our lives according to our core values. That being the case, it is well worth looking at and learning our core values so that we can live them as we strive for our future.
Core values have another purpose in our lives; they make the hard decisions easy. When it comes right down to it, the reason that a decision is hard, is because we have indecision and fear attached to the decision and the outcome of that decision. We agonize over the choice we are making or not making and the outcome that will result from either action. Yet this can be solved by just making the choice and moving on with our lives, but the pain of the indecision is still there for at least a short time. Now the problem comes to dealing with the fallout of our decision, yet that can be solved to. The only fallout that should be fearful to us is fallout that we endure due to a decision that does not align with our core values. That fallout feels painful, scary and unjust to our hearts. The answer is to judge our decisions against our core values and make the decision based on those ideals. That way, when the fallout happens, we are at a place of strength and happiness to tackle it. It becomes the fuel that keeps our internal compass and happiness intact rather than an event that tears it down. Our core values act as a flow chart in helping to make those hard decisions as it holds us to the things that mean the most to us in our hearts.
So how do we understand our core values? This is a massive undertaking within ourselves, but it is as vital as finding our Why. I would suggest you utilize this tool that has been created for us to get a start on this work. Take your time and really thing about these things; find the ones that ring deep within you and not just the ones that our culture or society feel is right or just. Once you have those, share them with me here. I am working on the same project and would love to hear your insights on it!