What do you value?

This year has gone by so fast. It’s the holidays already! I am always amazed how it appears I have all the time in the world to prepare and then BAM - I don’t have enough hours in the day. I love December and all the things that go along with the festive season. My love of this comes from my mother who would prepare special meals with lots of treats throughout the month. Her goal was to make sure she touched everyone around her with a little of her joy for the season. She loved to have as much of her family at home even if it was a little crowded and meant more work for her. From childhood my mother’s belief in family and giving of herself, even when they had little, was a priority.

I have been doing a lot of research on the stock market and all that it entails. So much to learn, investigate and decide. One thing I have learned is to understand more than just the numbers but to look for value. This led me to think about people and values. I watch the world and hear the noise of how we are divided in thought and actions. This brings me to core values and if we believe in our values or only when they are convenient for us. Core values are a belief and that belief may not always be positive. For example, you may have a belief that family is of fundamental importance. Or you may have a belief that people are not trustworthy. There are countless core values but here are a few to think about:  dependability, reliability, loyalty, commitment, open-mindedness, honesty, consistency, compassion, respect, and perseverance.

Another way of looking at core values is identified by researcher Eduard Spranger. The values are: utilitarian or maximizing value; individualistic  or driven by ego; theoretical or love of learning; social or doing good for others; traditional or believing in the “right way” to do things; and aesthetic or looking for beauty in the world.

While some people might share their core values, often the best way to identify these values is to watch how they behave. A core value is only true if it has an active influence and if people live by it, at least most of the time. It’s also important to remember that individuals don’t necessarily choose their core values. Many people have had these values instilled in them by their parents and the surrounding community. You may already live by strong core values (good or bad) without realizing it.

Often, we find our self at odds with others because of our core value beliefs. A good example is politics. Our reaction can be destructive.  Many times, we are critical, outspoken, close-minded and angered by anything opposite to our values. To become a better communicator, accept that some people have different values than your own, that you cannot change those values and treat others with respect even when you disagree. You also need to accept that while their values may seem wrong to you, they are not inherently wrong – they’re just different. Finally, you need to open yourself to the possibility of incorporating other people’s values into the decision-making process while not giving up your own values.

Wondering what your true values are? To get a sense of what your core values are, ask yourself what activities bring you the most joy, or what you couldn’t live without. What gives your life meaning or what do you want to achieve? Your values will be the things you believe are important, and they determine your priorities. If you can articulate those answers, you’ll see a pattern that you can boil down into a single concept.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and hope you find joy and see the value of the time we have to share with others.

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” ~Unknown

Robin Anne Griffiths is a published author, certified master development coach, personal trainer and behavior change specialist. She works with groups and individuals on life transitions to create personal balance - physically and mentally. www.rechargemezone.com