2.12 You Also Need To Change Your Values
“Figuring out your core values will help give you direction and keep you moving toward what is important to you. ”
CHANGING YOUR VALUES
(Take out a sheet of paper and use it to go through the exercise listed below)
As you go through life, your experiences are accumulated, labeled as to whether they bring you pleasure or pain, and filed within your long term memory system.
Based upon this evaluation and filing process, your memories eventually gather together and create a set of rules which make up your belief system.
Of all of the beliefs that you collect in a lifetime, you learn to separate those experiences and their related beliefs into sets or patterns which allow you to discover what it is that is most important for you to pursue to achieve your desired emotional states. These become your values.
Values guide every decision that you make and therefore direct your destiny. You become what it is that you value. If you are not leading a fulfilling life, you probably haven’t decided upon what you value most in life. Without having defined your highest values, you are unable to commit to living by their requirements on a daily basis.
What are values? Basically, to value something means to place importance upon it; anything that you hold dear can be called a value. When related to your destiny, values are based upon those things that are most important to you in life and hence could be called life values.
There are two basic centers from which you can derive your values. While operating from the position of your outer personality (your ego), you are able to pick from a wide list of human values not knowing which one will take you toward your soul’s ultimate purpose. Operating from this center, your values will be more emotionally centered and you will find that these ego values will be of two types – end values and mean values.
Means values are the values that you use to trigger the emotional states that you really desire. End values are the values that create your desired emotional states themselves. These end values are those that will fulfill your outer personality and derive a sense of having a rich and rewarding life.
From the position of your Witness Center (the conscious center of your Soul), your values are directly related to pursuing and empowering your purpose in life, your unique reason for being here. These values might better be called ideals rather than values.
It is only in the pursuit of your highest ideals that you will be able to uncover and realize lasting fulfillment in life. In chasing the values created by your outer personality, fulfillment, if realized through the attainment of a value, will only be shallow and temporary. Once you achieve the realization of a value generated from the center of your outer personality, you will always find that the gapping hole that you were trying to fill with something that is solid and permanent and lasting only slips between your fingers and disappears. It doesn’t provide the fulfillment that you were expecting.
The majority of the people on this earth are asleep to who they really are. They are unaware of their unique purpose for being here. There is a purpose for which their soul is most suited and it can be defined as a value, an ideal by which their purpose is to be implemented.
Through the discovery of your highest ideal, you will have discovered the primary direction that your life should take to fulfill this destiny. When you discover and powerfully pursue your destined path, fulfillment is felt deep within the heart of your soul.
VALUES THAT MOVE YOU TOWARD PLEASURABLE EMOTIONAL STATES
When operating from the center of your outer personality, you are constantly motivated to move toward pleasurable emotional states. Additionally, you end up valuing some of these emotional states more than others.
What are the emotional states that you currently value most in life? What are the emotions that you think will provide you with the most pleasure? Love? Success? Freedom? Intamacy?
From the center at which you have been operating during your entire life, what are some of the feelings that are most important for you to experience on a consistent basis? A short list of some possibilities follow:
(Write these feeling levels on a new sheet of paper with lines to the right of them)
You probably will find that you value most of the above emotional states, but for some, you’ll do more to achieve them over others. There is a hierarchy of values that is controlling the way you make decisions during every moment based upon your own list of emotional states.
To determine which emotions you value most and in what order, go ahead and reorder the above list according to you own values. On a scale of 1 to 10 reorder this list (that you’ve transferred to a new piece of paper) with 1 being the emotional state you hold as the most important and 10 being the least important. Go ahead and do this now.
As you examine the above ranking, you will find that your hierarchy utilizing this list would probably be different from every other person around you. It is important to know your own hierarchy of values since these values are what motivate you to create your own destiny. But it is also important to realize what other’s values are, particulary those close to you either in a personal relationship or in business.
Achieving your top values consistently in your life has probably until now, been your only way to reach some measure of success and fulfillment. Your most powerful desires have been directed consciously or unconsciously toward attempting to realize these valued emotional states in your life. If you have been unable to achieve these states you have experienced what seems like an inexplicable feeling of emptiness or unhappiness.
In reality, fulfillment is fast and fleeting. It is only temporary, and once one of your highly valued emotional states has been achieved, you begin to crave for another. The mind is never satisfied once it receives what it wants. It only continue to desire more.
The only true desire that leads to assured and lasting fulfillment is to discover the valued emotional state that comes with uncovering, pursuing and empowering your highest value, that which defines your Soul’s Purpose.
Until we discover our unique Soul’s Purpose and its accompanying values, we do need to define our most current valued emotional states. As we define these values, we will find that while operating from the center of our outer personality that we need to focus and accomplish our highest values first.
VALUES THAT MOVE YOU AWAY FROM PLEASURABLE STATES
The relative levels of pain that you associate with certain emotions will affeact all of your decisions. What are some of the emotions that are most important for you to avoid experiencing on a consistent basis? A short list of some possibilities follow:
(Write these emotional feelings on a new sheet of paper with lines to the right of them)
While you want to avoid feeling all of these emotions, some are more painful to you than others. You also have a hierarchy of value emotions that you move away from. Which value on the above list would you do the most to avoid having to feel? The answer to this question will determine your behavior in almost any situation.
Take a moment and rank the above list on a scale of 1 to 8. 1 is the emotional state that you will do the most to avoid having to feel, and 8 is the state that you’ll do the least to avoid having to feel.
As you look at your list, what does it tell you? If, for example, you put at the top of your list humiliation, you would do the most to avoid this emotional state. Can you see how you would consistently avoid entering into situations where you might be judged harshly? If lonliness is the emotion you would do the most to avoid, you may be driven to become a nurturing person, reaching out to others to try to give to them on a regular basis so that they will want to be with you, and so that you’ll be surrounded by many grateful friends.
Let’s look at the dynamics created by your values hierarchy. If you selected success as your top moving-toward value, and rejection as your top moving-away-from value, do you see any possible challenges that this hierarchy might create within your life? A person who is trying to achieve the pleasure of success without ever experiencing the pain of rejection will never succeed in the long run. A person with these two values will sabotage himself before he ever truly succeeds on a major scale.
People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. If you’re truly going to succeed at the highest level in life, don’t you have to be willing to risk rejection? Don’t you have to be willing to experinece it? And shouldn’t you create values that allow you to ideally become who you came here to become rather than the conditioned person society wants you to be?