When people are asked what their core values are, many do not know and even if they do know, they often doubt them because they seldom put them into practice. So how do we consistently walk the talk?
Firstly, we constantly demonstrate what we value through our behavior – be it possessions, positions in life or other people.
Secondly, we live in a society where success is measured by the ‘achievement model’ not the ‘wisdom model’ – giving license to organizations to dictate terms of employment and to ‘loved ones’ to dictate terms of relationships – making it easy to compromise and even sacrifice our own value.
Thirdly, when we live according to the principals of others, we will set ourselves up for failure every single time. This is not to be mistaken for being inflexible in life but rather to stay true to our own inherent value while living it.
Fourthly, living our core values can be challenging in a busy chaotic world, but to do so is to truly walk the talk – if I want to be respected than I must demonstrate how much I value myself.
And lastly, no matter how much we value peace, it can never truly be restored through anger, violence or war.
If things are not flowing smoothly in your life, it may be worth your while to take some time out to explore and re-evaluate the following 4 areas of values …
Material Values: Physical things I respect and care about – possessions, positions in life, cars and homes, titles, friends, family etc. – anything material that is subject to fluctuation and change (temporary at its best). When I value physical things, I equate my own worth with what I have, how much I have and who I surround myself with.
Ethical Values: Usually in a professional context. These values are declared in our Codes of Conduct that define what is right or wrong. For instance, a health professional disregarding the privacy and dignity of a patient, is deliberately ignoring their duty of care and is therefore not upholding their ethical values.
Moral Values: Rises from a deep place of knowing what is morally right and wrong. These values are declared in the laws of society to maintain order but can be rather subjective. For example, in most societies to kill or steal or torture is immoral, but what is seen as immoral in one country may be seen as moral in another. It all depends on the conditioning of that culture.
Core / Spiritual Values: Our Virtues … Love, Cooperation, Tolerance, Acceptance, Humility, Compassion, Truth, Simplicity, Respect to name a few … To put them into practice is to use our Power – to walk the talk – giving us the greatest value of all. To ignore, deny, compromise or sacrifice them is to devalue ourselves. When I give away my Power I do not know my own value, so how can others respect me?
Reconsidering our approach to life helps to see where our priorities lie. If we want respect than we must show that we value ourselves. Whether I play the role of a bully or a martyr, I am not living up to my value and others will find it difficult to respect me. What about a valued friend who has just crashed my car, if my attention shifts to the damage and the repair bill rather than check to see if my friend is ok – I’m demonstrating my material values.
There is evidence everywhere in the world that suggest most people place material values on top of their list, it is proven by the amount of fear and insecurity that surrounds us.