One reason our resolutions fail is we continue to live inconsistently with our core values. Are you living consistently with your core values? Do you believe your usefulness determines your success? How are the answers to these two questions in harmony with one another?
How are your core values determined?
There are number of things that determine your core values:
- Your family of origin
- The things you admire most in the people who have positively impacted your life
- Events from your past; both good and bad
- Your personality, talents, strengths and weaknesses
- Things that make you angry or offend you
An exercise to identify your core values
Inc published this and is a good beginning point in developing your list of values. Additionally, you can simply start a series of top 10 lists. Try these:
- What 5-10 things from my family do I most admire? Make me angry?
- What 5-10 things do I most admire from the people I love the most?
- What are the top 5-10 good things occurred in my past? Bad things?
- What 5-10 things do you learn from your free personality assessment?
- What 5-10 things make you angry? Frustrate you?
On the angry list identify the opposite of the meaning. This would be something you value. For example, it offends me when people believe the worst in others. As a result, one of my core values is compassion. This is also somewhat aspirational. My other core values are adventure, restoration and curiosity.
As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” (1)
Do you believe your usefulness determines your success?
This is a difficult question because it is directly related to your world view. In Christianity, we believe, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2.10, NIV) However, this does not mean we are simply a tool to be used. We are empowered to make choices. Living consistently with God’s word means we endeavor to become the person God created us to be. Not in the original but in the restored state.
Equating our value to our usefulness can never lead to satisfaction. And equally as this mistake is believing our value is based on others’ opinions. Many fall victim to the performance trap. In other words, they believe their success is determined by the opinions of others and their performance. Living consistently with your core values determines your happiness. If you value adventure but work 70 hours per week you are living inconsistently.
If we bring this question back to core values then we should endeavor to understand the 4 or 5 values that resonate the most with us. Living consistently with these values is the recipe for peace and fulfillment.
Want personal fulfillment? Discover your core values!