The Values Paradox
Sometimes it takes losing something or someone to help us gain clarity on what we value in life. One way to prevent this from happening is making sure our values are in alignment with our actions, in other words … internal and external integrity.
If I asked you to make a list of the 5 things you value most in life … what would be on your list?
If I asked you how much time and attention you devote to those things or people on your list … what would you say?
“More-than-enough, not-enough, not as much as I would-could-should, or … but you don’t understand!”
I once worked with an Executive Leader who told me that family was first and foremost at the top of his list. I then asked him how many hours he spent working a week. “I average about 60 -65 hours per week,” He replied. “Doesn’t leave a lot of time for your family?” I asked. “But you don’t understand Joe, I do it for them so they can have a nice lifestyle!”
After a little digging the truth came out. He loved to work, he loved his clients, and most of all he loved the sense of value and purpose his work gave him. And he loved his family too! However, choosing to work and consistently missing your daughter’s soccer games creates a values paradox. He realized he was not living authentically and that it was time for a realignment.
Sometimes when I ask someone what they value, it’s easy to say the things they are supposed to say that sound good ( family, honesty, integrity, my wife, etc.). And it’s not always where they focus their resources. Over time the demands of life can draw us away from what really matters most and we get misaligned.
And when we are not living in alignment with our values it creates stress, frustration, depression, and an overall dis-ease.
The Point …
Look at where you spend your time and energy. Is it with the people and things you value most? If not you either need to realign your time and energy or realign your values.
This isn’t about shaming, blaming, or telling someone they are bad or wrong. It’s about integrity and making sure that what you say you value is what you are valuing in your life.
And this is important because … ?????
Because you never want to wake up and find that the person or thing you value in your life is gone …
And more importantly… that you could have done something to prevent it.