24 Values in 24 Hours
If values still exist in our world and among our species then why are those values so hard to find and live by? If you have lost a sense of awareness regarding what your personal values are or where they might be hiding then let’s explore a bit together.
It All Begins with YOU
Why is this important? Well, because what the world needs now more than anything is a reminder of the values and characteristics that live inside of each of us and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
The year of 2017 will not go down in my life journal as the happiest one of all but I did manage to extract quite a few great memories that I’m very proud to have experienced. Is anyone’s year on point 24/7? I would say 2017 has been memorable, head shaking, woeful, twilight zone feeling for sure. I’ve learned that happiness is subjective so please search your hearts for the happiness you are seeking to extract from all that 2017 has brought to your consciousness.
Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my soulful evolution, maybe it’s the pounding into my gut and brain that takes place day after day regarding the stupidity, valueless behaviors and moral corruption that seems to swirl like a tornado around me more now than ever before. I’m not sure what exactly it is that has left me so confused and truthfully so scared. What I do know is that my happy life moments are courtesy of that which I keep coming back to time and again, that which grounds me and helps me choose to restart and not give up.
What are values? Simply put, if each of us were a house, values are the foundation on which we build our house. From the time our personalities start to develop at a young age, we are creating and forming our individual values; those pillars of core characteristics that declare what we live for, strive for and believe; a guiding light, what makes us authentic and real.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit
Author Dean Koontz, who wrote, False Memory, showcases one of his fictional characters that says, “Reality is subjective. Values and truths are subjective. Life itself is an illusion.” I agree and disagree with this character, fiction based or not, because in my humble subjective opinion core values, the pillars of magic that we have been blessed to carry inside of us and summon up throughout our whole lifetime, are the building blocks of our legacy. In the Velveteen Rabbit, author Margery Williams describes through her character, Skin Horse, what it means to be REAL. To love and be loved, that is a real value and a legacy. When we allow reality to be subjective without objectivity we risk damaging truth and love. Once those values are damaged our legacy is damaged as well.
Our legacy is our “why” for living and while our “why” is personal and subjective the pillars of the core value system stand firm and true; the value system is real. How we put those values into action, build those values, leave behind the truths of those values as examples is subjective. Please remember that we live in a country where we are given the freedom of choice and the more choices we have to make the more our values matter most. Imagine a world where we all respected the fact that each one of us governs ourselves based on the same 24 positive core value/characteristics? What a great world indeed.
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
I Value You, You Value Me
“Values aren’t buses… They’re not supposed to get you anywhere. They’re supposed to define who you are.”
The understanding of values has seen a huge uprising since the introduction of positive psychology by Dr. Martin Seligman. Dr. Seligman looks at values as core character strengths that consciously and unconsciously carry us throughout our life and help us to conduct ourselves with regard and worthiness. Sadly, we have seen way too many times in 2017 alone how values have been discarded, disrespected, destroyed or never used at all.
Dr. Seligman discovered 24 core values that exist all the time. In one 24-hour day we make choices as to which core characteristics, values, we use to influence our decision-making processes and the world around us. The values list is a positive list of every characteristic known to the human species. A warning however, for every positive that is extracted from these core values there is negative and it is those negative interpretations and assumptions that have humans so muddled and backwards.
“The goal of a life purpose is not what you will create, but what it will make you into for creating it.”
Shannon L. Alder
We carry with us 5 core values that are in play most of the time however, we can delete or add a value at anytime throughout our lives. If you find that you want a value to be listed in your top 5 but isn’t quite there yet then you have the freedom and hopefully the time to devote to raising your chosen value (s)to a higher level. Just know that whatever your initial top five values are today or whether they change positions at some point, YOU ARE AWESOME!!
So, in 24 hours, how does someone go about purposefully putting their 24, or at least their top 5 values into action?
1) Keep the top 5 list with you at all times so that you can check in at least once per week. If it helps, expand the list you carry to 10 top core values.
2) Take notes throughout the week to see how you are using the values that are listed. Do you notice that you are using some more than others most of the time? Do you notice that you are using a value that you initially answered as a less prominent value?
3) Throughout each day make time to remind yourself of your core values especially when confronted with a challenge that requires putting your values to the test.
4) Find a colleague or friend or mentor or coach or spouse that you absolutely trust and discuss your observations. Ask for help from these trusted people in your life to keep you on track toward your evolution.
5) Create an avatar, a song, a design, a rotating screensaver or a static picture/drawing for your home screen or on your phone or on a large post-it note, one that represents your top 5 or top 10 values so you can get in the zone of becoming in consciousness what you know in your heart.
What an incredible opportunity you have to start the new year or each new week or each new day with hopeful purpose and deeper understanding of being your best self not only for you but for everyone around you. Just knowing that the values you choose to concentrate on are always right for you is a very freeing, wondrous journey. Remember that each of the 24 values exist in each of us all the time. We decide which ones we use most.
CALL TO ACTION
Where do your core values fall?
What characteristic (s) do you use most of the time?
How can your values list become your “why”?
In what ways are your values your legacy?