By Karin Leonard
article discussed taking the driver’s seat of your life by assuming full
responsibility, and living with purpose. In part two we’ll clarify
values, and discover ways to stay connected to what matters to us, even in
the fast lane of everyday life.
ARE YOUR COMPASS
not always apparent or conscious, values guide the choices we make. And
the more we live in harmony with what’s most important to us, the more
fulfilled we’ll be. Values like creativity, love, contribution, family
or inner peace are the touchstones which crystallize the essence of goals.
When we have a difficult time with making a decision, for example, it may
be a values conflict. Let’s assume, for a moment, you are a leading
political figure, and you’re being offered a handsome “donation”
from a financially very successful company. You know that you could use
the money to initiate much needed changes in the American education
system; however, you are also aware, that the “generous” corporation
has been accused of questionable practices in the third world, and is
expecting “favors” from you in return. Would you say that values like
“integrity” and “progress” are a wee bit in conflict here?
can get to clarity about what you hold as important by listing your top
5-10 values. Think about how they show up in your life, and number them.
Is that how you’d like it to be? If not, prioritize them in the order
you want them to be, and decide what you need to do differently
to make it so.
TO LIVE BY
it has been the job of religion to provide us with guidelines for how to
be in the world. Like “The Ten Commandments of Christianity”, or
“The Eight Noble Truths of Buddhism”, or more recently, “The
Celestine Prophesy” (by James Redfield) all intend to provide guiding
as our species evolves, it seems that our sense of truth becomes more
internally located. We must choose our own code of conduct. Principles
like “Help, at least don’t harm, all beings” or “Practice
compassion instead of judgement”, “Continuously improve everything I
do” or “Be fully present in the moment” can put a frame of clear
intention around the busiest day. It is helpful to go on an inquiry as to
which principles you’d like to include in your code of conduct. These
truths, when applied to your everyday, will assist you to navigate through
the most difficult waters of life.
THE GAP BETWEEN VALUES & ACTIONS
tend to admire individuals who successfully align their actions
with their positive values. Consider the Dalai Lama (the exiled
leader of Tibet), for example. Even though his culture and people have
been severely persecuted by neighboring China, he continues to act on
his highest principles of compassion and peace.
is admirable to come up with a powerful purpose, clear values and an
inspiring code of conduct. The proof of the pudding, however, lies in our
actions, and how lined up they are with what we hold as important. For
instance, what will have you remember a core value in the moment of
choice? When under pressure, most of us act habitually, automatically –
and hopefully – intuitively. Thinking about your routines - what would
have you recall your code of conduct in the middle of busyness? Some folks
wear their watch on the opposite wrist, use “Post-its”, or have their
watch alarm going off at certain times during the day. And remember,
it’s about intention and continuous improvement – not
your personal “constitution” make take some effort and
experimentation, but it will assist your ship beautifully, to navigate
clearly towards fulfilling your dreams and destiny.