Values are the guiding light of committed action. Values are the source of accomplishment and satisfaction in life.
Show me someone who lacks values, and I'll show you someone who is devoid of true satisfaction and accomplishment. Show me someone who has a wealth of values and value-based priorities and I will show you someone who sips the nectar of life's most precious gifts of personal fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction.
Many of us are confused about the nature of values. Because of this vague understanding of values, it is not surprising to find that even well educated, highly trained, and somewhat wealthy adults often rate themselves moderate to low on the scale of personal fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction. I define values as those abstractions in language that represent an experience in life that is intrinsically desirable or of great worth. These abstractions have specific characteristics which make them easily identifiable. The characteristics of a value (or values) are:
- A value is universal. It does not matter whether you are African or Asian, young or elderly, male or female, a value is intrinsically desirable and attainable by anyone.
- A value is atemporal (timeless). It does not matter what time of day, week, month, or year it may be, the value persists. For example, honesty is the same in the winter as it is in any other season. Values are not constrained by time.
- Values are static. For example, prosperity is always prosperity no matter how much or how little money you have in your checking account. Values are process oriented. Values are not results in themselves, they are the process we use to achieve the result. For example, there is no way to prosperity ? prosperity is the way!
- Values are amorphous (formless). While loyalty is always loyalty, it may look different in differing situations. For example, someone you love may endanger themselves via substance abuse. Loyalty in this circumstance, may look more like supporting their participation in a formal treatment program than the co-dependent behavior of tolerating their addiction.
Having said that, take a moment to take inventory of what you value. Compare your values to the above criteria to ascertain whether or not what you have listed is truly a value. Then prioritize the list in terms of what is most important to you. In doing so, you will be taking a giant leap towards manifesting your inner vision expressed as goals, demonstrative behavior and personal performance. The final step to values realization is to develop your goals and action plans as expressions of your highest priority values. This creates absolute congruity between intention and behavior. Values realization is "walking the talk."
Goals Are Important
If the values we hold are realized through action, then the actions we take toward their fulfillment are best organized in terms of goals. Goals are the actions you have determined will lead you toward the completion of your mission. Your mission embodies the forward looking actions that are designed to fulfill your vision and purpose. The fulfillment of your vision and purpose is attained in the process of values realization. The final piece to this puzzle is the articulation of the goals and actions required to fully express your values. The definition of a goal is as follows:
+ Goals are specific.
+ Goals are measurable. If it can't be measured, it's not a goal.
+ Goals are action-oriented.
+ Goals are result or outcome-oriented.
+ Goals are temporal. They are conditioned by time.
When describing the goals that are most appropriate to the mission you have embarked upon, make sure that they are a direct expression of your highest priority values. When goals are generated as a direct expression of a set of values, they harness the inner resources in such a way as to fuse spiritual essence into material form. It is like focusing watts of light into a laser. As simply ambient light (light bulb), 100 watts is only sufficient to illuminate a small room. But a 100 watt laser can easily burn a hole through dense metal or send billions of digital instructions via a telecommunications satellite. Focus. Flow.
Channeling the visions of the Higher Self into the values and beliefs held by the Inner Self, the One Song Hero expresses vision, values, and beliefs as goal-seeking behavior. This is what is meant by "The Flow." The Flow is the universal tide of infinite energy and information flowing in, through, and around you in every moment of your life.
The Flow is recognizing that the inner vision of the soul is made manifest on the material plane as a consequence of purposeful living. Additionally, The Flow is a psychocybernetic information system involving three levels of awareness expressed as goal-seeking behavior. The Flow has also been described as the universal tide of infinite energy and information flowing in, through, and around you every moment of your life.
The Flow is also a recognition that the inner vision of the soul is made manifest on the material plane as a consequence of purposeful living. Accessing the power of The Flow is as simple as following these seven steps: (re)Discover and embrace your purpose in life;
Choose your destiny by creating a vision of the fulfillment of your life's purpose; Define a specific direction in life you are willing to commit to here and now that leads you towards the eventual fulfillment of your vision and purpose; Take the action required to complete your mission, no matter what! Define and prioritize your values in terms of importance; Set goals which are a direct expression of your top priority values; and live powerfully into the future, from the future.
Setting the Direction
Having chosen your destiny and invented a new possibility for your future, it is time to consider how you will accomplish it. The One Song Hero knows that the driving force behind every great accomplishment is commitment. According to the folks at Shearson Lehman Brothers and Company, "commitment is what transforms a promise (vision) into reality. It is the words which speak boldly of your intentions and the actions that speak louder than the words. It is making time when there is none. It is coming through for yourself time after time after time...Commitment is the stuff that character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism."
Your mission can be aptly described as the committed action you are willing to take on a daily basis to fulfill your life's vision and purpose. When accurately described, your mission will act as a compass, giving you the ability to always locate the "North Pole" of your vision. A mission serves as a created and continuing commitment to self-actualization.
To describe your life's mission, you need only to answer five simple questions. 1) Who are you? Describe your most fundamental understanding of Self. 2) What are your intentions? Describe your most fundamental desires and foci of attention. 3) What committed actions are you engaged in? Describe the most fundamental actions and behaviors you are willing to demonstrate now which are targeted to realizing your vision. 4) Who benefits from your actions? Describe who, besides yourself, is better off because your life made a difference. 5) Why do you exist? What is your purpose?
After you have started this process you will learn that, while the questions may be simple, their answer requires a rigorous and sometimes complex thinking process. After you have formulated your answers to these questions, condense them into a short paragraph of three sentences or less. This short paragraph will serve as your mission statement. The mission statement should describe your life's purpose in terms of the specific committed actions you are engaged in on a day-to-day basis. While firmly rooted in the present, this forward looking statement articulates who you are, what you do, whom you serve, and the very reason for your existence.
Use this depth of self-knowledge to set the direction in life that you will take toward the fulfillment of your vision.
When you have a complete articulation of your purpose, vision and mission, give yourself the opportunity to reflect upon it. Try it on, see how it feels to own such a deep understanding of Self. Review this entire process. Look for the major themes emerging out of your imagery and journal writings. Capture those themes in writing. Finally, integrate these themes into a single action statement that describes the specific task, that when fully engaged in the task, your actions virtually assure the completion of your mission and the fulfillment of your vision and purpose.
Accessing the power of The Flow is the birthright of a One Song Hero. Go for it!
About The Author
Marcus Robinson is a leading authority on the process of transformation and is a hypnotherapist. He is the co-author of "The Quest For Excellence," and has led workshops and seminars throughout North America. The above was excerpted from his book: "Quest Of The One Song Hero", ©1994, published by Human Potential Network, and Magna Publication Associates, 388 Newcastle Road, Rochester, NY 14610.