The Importance of Values

the importance of values

I love this quote from Mahatma Gandhi. So….

Let’s talk about values. We all have values of course. They are part of us and they define us.

According to Wiki:

Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. “Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representative of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior.

Values are beliefs that explain our motivations, our needs. Values guide our life choices, our behaviours and our actions…and do you know that your values can change depending on the situation.

In fact, we can have different values depending if we are in a family, cultural, working, educational or political setting, etc…you can name more and you get the point. And you know what? It is normal.

In business…

We should not be afraid to have different value sets in business than in another context. However, we have to respect what I call our core values. We have more general or core values such as love, hapiness, family, health, success, peace, commitment, respect, wealth, security, etc…

In business, we need those core values and we should add the ones that are more specific to business, such as integrity, effort, partnership, and passion.

Identifying your core values and your values in more specific contexts, such as business, can help you with the direction you want to take in life.

Knowing your values in different context, for example, in your business, will guide your behaviour, your motivation, your actions, and your success.

How to identify your values?

As I mentioned our values change, evolve. The majority of our core values are acquired in contact with our family, our friends, our educational context, our social context, our culture, and the political context too (like it or not – for me politics are a big monster).

Values are also changing with time. You are different as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, as a parent, etc… Your values evolve with you, with your experiences.

Here are 2 exercises to help you identify your values in different contexts. I suggest you identify 8 values at least per context. You can choose the exercise that will suit you the most.

Exercise 1

In a quiet environment, ensure that nobody or nothing (like a cell, a tv, a computer) will disturb you.

Take 10 deep breaths and relax between each breath. Ensure that your shoulders are not stressed.

When you feel calm and relax, take a moment and do as if you were taking a snapshot of your current life. Do it with the context you wish to identify your values for, let’s say your work.

According to you, what are the 8 words that reflect what you see?

For me, I see calm, harmony, peace, stability, healthy, active, love, life.

Identify your words.

Exercise 2

Again, in a quiet environment, ensure that nobody or nothing (like a cell, a tv, a computer) will disturb you.

Take 10 deep breaths and relax between each breath. Ensure that your shoulders are not stressed.

When you feel calm and relax, take a moment and ask yourself this question:

What pushes me to act or that gets me out of bed in the morning?

For me, it is my business! I just love doing what I do! Honestly! I wouldn’t do anything else right now!

And you, have you identified your WHY?

Next

From one of the 2 exrecises above, you will have identified what is really important for you in a specific context.

What you want to do next is to operationalize your values.  How do you do that? You use you values when you define an action plan for your business. You can find out more about how to create an action plan by reading my 2 posts about it:

I Have a Dream…and an Action Plan

5 Steps to Write an Action Plan

I hope that this post will help you creating and developing your business.

I believe that knowing ourselves makes us better entrepreneurs and help us making better decisions. Decisions we can live with; decisions that will make us better and successful.

Cheers!

Patricia

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