It’s amazing how many people talk about values but really aren’t totally clear on what they mean by that. When you value something, you hold it in high esteem and will make the time and space to prioritise it no matter what.
And it’s quite interesting to ask someone what they think they value in their life. They may tell you all sorts of things but when you begin to look at their life under the magnifying glass, you get a completely different picture.
So why is this? It basically boils down to the fact that many people think they should be living their lives in a particular way. They may think they should be spending a lot of time with their kids; they may think they should put a lot of focus on their general health; they may think they should be going to the gym a lot more to keep in shape.
But when you look to see what is really happening, you might find something like this – they are holding down a job that keeps them away from home for long hours and this means they only see their kids for the last hour before they go to bed in the evening; they may be rushed and only manage to eat junk food for lunch and in their breaks; they may be really exhausted in the evenings and weekends and not be going to the gymn all that often at all.
So already we can see that there is a huge discrepancy between what that person thinks their values are (and would tell another person), and the reality behind it.
It would be much closer to the truth to say that this person values holding down a stressful job because it brings in a lot of money to enable them to have the lifestyle they desire (as an example); it could also be true to say that they have a very troubled relationship and therefore value every minute they can spend away from home. One thing is for certain. This person does not highly value spending time at home with their kids, no matter how hard that may sound.
They also think they highly value going to the gym but turning up once a week at the very most and often not even that, shows that their heart is not in it despite the fact they may tell friends and family they are intending to go more often. Their preferred activity of resting on the couch with their feet up reveals a hidden value on giving themselves well-deserved rest and relaxation after a period of hard work.
And looking at the eating habits shows us the same thing. They will tell friends proudly how much they value a healthy life-style and yet they are munching their way through mounds of junk food each week. Again, their true values lie elsewhere. Perhaps the fast food is available just around the corner and minimises the amount of effort and time needed in each break to go and get some. Perhaps the healthy food just isn’t as tasty as the fastfood and so MSG & co. win the day.
There’s no right or wrong in any of this, but it is important to get real on what is happening so that you can better understand the underlying driving forces in your life.
So where does this descrepancy come from? Join me in part two to see.