Research has shown that about 95% of our values and beliefs have been learned by the age of 5.
Unless you have actively worked on choosing your values since then, most of your daily decisions are influenced by what you learned from the culture and circumstances of your life before you went to kindergarten.
What Is A Value?
A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy. It has intrinsic worth that inspires you and provides meaning that cannot be taken from you. Samples include family, patriotism, safety, creativity, orderliness, punctuality, loyalty, innovation.
Whether you are conscious of them or not, values are like your personal operating system, preprogramming your choice when making a decision.
Values Are the Operating System of Success
In my definition of success, you purify your goals by filtering them through your beliefs. Success means you have used your beliefs and values to actively select and shape your goals, the actions to achieve them, and design how you carry them out.
In computer programming, if-then-else logic drives the outcome based on pre-selected choices. Values are what you use to pre-select life choices. If honesty is one of your values, when presented with an opportunity to lie, you will choose to tell the truth.
Values As A Standard for Managing Your Personal Energy
In Loehr and Schwartz's book, they explain that values drive fuller engagement in all areas of our lives. A values-driven life increases the likelihood that you bring passion, commitment, and perseverance to whatever it is that you do. You make choices about how to behave from a position of confidence, strength and dignity rather than from anger, resentment or insecurity.
In this era of feeling our lives are controlled by everything but ourselves, this model gives us back that control.
What are your top 5 values? How have your actions over the last month reflected those?