Are You Living in Alignment with Your Values and Purpose?
“If you don’t know what you stand for you will fall for anything” – Source unknown
The people that have gotten the results they were striving for, don’t just know their values and purpose, they live them. In order to discover your purpose and your “Mighty Why” you must first determine what your core values and ideals are. Let’s take a look at values. Values are what we stand for, what guides us in our decision making process. Our values are the compass by which we live. Every decision and action are filtered through our belief and value system. Knowing what you value most and living from those values will reduce conflict and indecision in your life.
Milton Rokeach, a well-known values expert, defines values as “modes of organizing conduct – meaningful invested pattern principles that guide human action. They are real determinants of behavior, acting as the criteria by which goals (and means) are chosen among alternatives…Values and their hierarchical arrangements thus are observable as choices; they provide a means of studying all human action in a way that culture in its strict normative sense cannot”.
He also made five assumptions about the nature of human values:
1. The total number of values that any person holds is relatively small.
2. All individuals throughout the world possess the same values to different degrees.
3. Values are organized into value systems.
4. The predecessors of human values can be traced to culture, community, society, and personality.
5. The consequences of human values can be manifested in almost every aspect of an individual’s life.
That basically values are sets of beliefs and convictions that let you know what matters most to you as a human being. These values are critical because they determine what actions we take along our path. By living by our own high ideals or principles it gives us a foundation and a sense of consistency. Knowing your core values opens the doorway to the mind.
There are basically two types of values: Ends values and Means values. Ends values are the deeper emotions that we want to experience in life such as love, security, independence, freedom, joy, etc. Means values are a way for you to trigger or realize you ends values.
For instance, if I ask you what does money mean to you? You might say “Independence, freedom, security”. Money is your means value, but your ends value is Independence, freedom and security. The challenge that most people face in our society today is that most people are so busy pursuing means values; that they don’t achieve their truest desires: their ends values.”
Abraham Maslow noted in his book Motivation and Personality that one of the key characteristics of a self-actualized person is “They are fixed on ends rather than on means, and means are quite definitely subordinated to these ends.”
Okay, you understand the importance of your values, now it’s time to move on to your purpose or mission. Many of us still struggle to find our true purpose let alone live it. The word purpose and mission are synonymous, but I prefer the word mission, it gives me a sense that I am here to do something big in this life.
“This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy”- George Bernard Shaw
You can also use the words Quest, Grand Purpose, Philosophy, Creed or Calling, whatever resonates with you. Your mission has always been with you, you just may not have uncovered it yet. Or maybe you’ve known what your mission is but let your limiting beliefs, thoughts and feelings about yourself stop you from living on purpose.
You see most people live a divided life. They spend their time between what they have to do to earn a living and what they want to do to find joy or have fun. They are choosing to make a living rather than designing a life. Their business or career is not in alignment with their life mission. This creates duality and unfulfillment.
People living their mission do what they love and love what they do, there is no separation. They have a “Mighty Why”.
Your mission isn’t work, a have to do, a burden, a responsibility, – it is your life – your reason for being on this planet, the direction you are moving. Your mission is your inspiration, motivation, and sense of who you are as a human being. The reason your creator brought you to this place at this time in your life.
Your mission should excite and inspire you to action; it should make your heart beat faster, and your mind expand. It is the essence of who you are.
Ultimately your purpose aligns around your individual pursuits and your loved ones, those people that mean the most to you. Those people that you would sacrifice it all for.
If you have walked through this process before, please access my Life Design Workshop at Bankcard Life.
This tool will help you gain clarity of purpose so you can truly get in touch with your values, mission and legacy you want to leave.