In daily life, before you take any action, your brain runs through a series of possible scenarios. It then puts them through a filter that asks: of all the things I could do, which one should I do?
That filtering process is governed by your Values.
For example: your teacher makes a surprise announcement that there will be test in class tomorrow. Do you:
- Clear out time on your evening schedule to cram for it?
- Say, “Life’s too short to panic over a pop-quiz” and decide to wing it?
- Or, do you make plans to cheat off of your smart friend who sits next to you?
Those are all potential options. Which one you pick is determined by your guiding Values.
These Values are extremely powerful, as they govern every choice you make in life, whether you’re conscious of it or not.
What determines your Values? Largely, it’s the experiences and influences of your early childhood. While your values will still evolve somewhat throughout your life, what makes you who you are at your “core” is pretty much set by the time you reach high school.
So, understanding your guiding Values is critical to finding happiness and fulfillment in life. Decisions made in alignment with your Values just feel “right” in both your mind and gut. Not only have the worst decisions you’ve made like been in conflict with your values, but they probably felt wrong at the time you made them. That was your inner self trying to warn you.
As Gandhi famously said, “Your Values become your destiny”. So if you care about your destiny, which every sane person should, make sure you have a clear understanding of the Values guiding you towards it.
Once you’ve identified them, you can embrace them. Use them as a dependable litmus test for any important decision you’re facing: Which of these choices is best aligned with my core Values?
Being able to answer this with clarity and confidence will dramatically increase you’re odds of making the right life choice.
Ok, so knowing your Guiding Values sounds pretty important. How do you go about finding what they are?
After all, there’s a zillion out there, right? How are you supposed to identify the ones that uniquely fit you?
Don’t worry. The exercises in Stage 1 of the The Better Path make it easy. Just follow them in the steps prescribed.