Tag Archives: values

destiny

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

Your dreams, where did they come from?   Where are your dreams taking you?

Think back to a time that you were the happiest, what did that look like?   What did it sound like?   What did it feel like?   What did it taste like?   Can you remember that time when you felt the most alive, the most vibrant, the most in touch with all of who you are?

Wasn’t that an exciting moment?   Wasn’t that powerful?   What was that experience that brings to life so much life and joy and potential?

What would it be like to live that experience all over again?   What would it be like to live each day with the potential of experiencing life as full as it was once before?

It is possible to live life with greater joy right now.

foundation of character

“While your circumstances are beyond your control, your character is not.” 
John Maxwell

 

Helen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

 

What is character made of?

Values

It is more than just values.   Character is living your values with sincerity.     Sincerity is derived from the Latin sincerus meaning clean, pure, sound.  

Values that are expressed and lived out in a pure manner demonstrate your character.     Values are often associated with a positive moral ethic, truth, honesty, humility, kindness, and patience to yourself and with others.    The values that you live determine your character. 

footsteps in the sand

Imagine walking down a beach and what you see are a crisscross myriad of footsteps. You stop to look at some of them, footprints, footprints of children, footprints of those who wearing shoes, footprints etched deeply in the sand and others that just skim the surface. The waves move in to erase the canvas of footprints.

You put down your foot into the wet sand and you too leave an impression in the sand, your mark on the world an ephemeral mark as the water rises and sweeps up the sandy beach erasing all that was printed there. You notice three footprints – your footprints etched onto this large canvas and they tell your story.

The first footprint is the mark of your values. What is it that you value? What do you care deeply about? Write those values down? Oh, by the way, money is not a value. It is a tool. What are your values? Now that you have them written down, rate them in terms of desired importance in your life from 1 to 10. The value of one indicates that you are not even close to living out this value and a ten is saying out loud that this value is fully being realized. Are you able to live your values?

The second footprint is about your smile. We all can smile but do we? Do we practice smiling? Or, are we not able to smile because of the way we feel about ourselves or others. We have shutdown and stopped smiling. What makes you smile? When was the last time you were able to genuinely smile? You know the kind of smile, the one that is fueled from deep within. It is not the smile we can put on our face, this is a smile that erupts across our face without denial – it appears and you can’t erase it – it is alive. When was the last time you had one of those kinds of smiles?

The third footstep is a hunger for our personal truth. Dante writes, “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” This footprint seems to be floating up and out of the sand and before long the print is lost. To seek the right path, to seek our personal truth requires that we be honest with ourselves. How can you find the right path?

Align your attitude with your values. Smile from within. Seek the right path – honestly.

“Our feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, loss of hope and so forth are in fact related to all phenomena. If we do not adopt the right outlook, it is possible that anything and everything could cause us frustration. Yet phenomena are part of reality and we are subject to the laws of existence. So this leaves us only one option: to change our own attitude. By bringing about a change in our outlook towards things and events, all phenomena can become friends or sources of happiness, instead of becoming enemies or sources of frustration.”

“The Dalai Lama’s Book Of Wisdom” (1999)

beginning of Freedom

“We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.” Anais Nin

A photograph like a sculpture is a snapshot in time.  Some people are just like that fixed in time unwilling to change or to adapt to become who they really are. Others copy an image in an effort to be more like that image refusing their own image. The beginning of freedom is recognizing that the picture is dynamic and that it must change.

Change begins with a thought, the thought that change must begin.  The direction of change is in alignment with values, beliefs, strengths, abilities, desires, passions, and dreams which need to be cultivated and developed.

What change are you holding back on that will bring about freedom?

Become who you are

To realize new personal heights implies focus, vision, values and awareness are being refined on a daily basis. Having a laser like focus on your goals and where you plan on being in a few months to a year. A vision that is compelling and just about out of reach can be a source of inspiration. Clear values that are central and core to who you are with alignment to the vision will carry you through moments of discomfort. Awareness of who you are and where you want to be will help keep the momentum of change moving in a positive direction.

Questions to answer:

Who am I?

What do I want to become?

What costs are you willing to bear to become who you want to be?

What forces are holding you back from making significant change?

An exercise for you to consider:

You are writing the last chapter of your life’s story. You are reflecting back on the years past and reviewing those years objectively, what will you write about? What would you have liked to change? What would you have liked to do more of? How would you define your life? What memories would you like your children to have of you?

Are your values clear?

What are your values?

Where do you stand on education (yours)?

How clear are you about your emotions? (Overly emotional, or lacking emotion)

What is your attitude about finances (borrower or saver)?

Is there a spiritual component to your life?

Are relationships important in your life?

Do you value family?

Do you value community?

Have you taken an assessment of the things that are important to you recently? Score your values from 1 to 5, 1 being not important to 5 being very important. Then grade those values from 1 to 5, 1 being not satisfied and 5 being very satisfied. Is the most important value graded highly or is it in need of some help?

If you have important values that are low scoring then what do you need to do to improve that value score? What is holding you back from getting a five on that value in terms of satisfaction?

When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror do you see the person you want to see? Is the person you see a person of integrity? Does that person live a life that reflects their values?

Do you believe in yourself? Do you immerse yourself in positive thoughts? Do the words “I can” and “I will” dominate your thinking? Do you say to yourself “I can make a difference”, “I can change one thing today?”, and then do you go and do it?

Take a look at your values. Write them down. Score them for importance and for satisfaction. Look for those areas you want to change and begin setting the course for change.

Find your strengths

Marianne Williamson writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “

What does it mean to really, truly believe in our abilities? Do we know that we can change the world if we change ourselves? Releasing the hidden potential we have within us can be transformational not only for us but those around us. Often though we don’t know what we want to release. We aren’t sure where our strengths really lie. Even with introspective looks at ourselves we don’t always find our strengths.

We need to step back from the daily grind and listen to our hearts at times. Take a step back, relax, and just listen to your heart. Listen with open ears to the voice that emanates from within. What do you hear? Is what you hear familiar or is it something new and different, liberating, energized, and filled with potential.

Strengths, therein lies our potential when we can mobilize and utilize the strengths that we have. Peter Drucker the guru of business thought wrote, “… one cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities.” (The effective executive, p. 60).

When we maximize the use of our strengths we find fulfillment in what we do. The use of our strengths also releases positive feelings within us and that fuels us to continue in that endeavor.

Check out www.viastrengths.org to get an idea of what your strengths are.