adam khoo – Have your values sabotaged your success up to now? Is the ranking of your values or the way you have defined them causing you any conflict? Are they misaligned with your goals? Do they help you to achieve your ultimate dreams? If there are certain areas in your life where you are not consistently getting the desired results, it can almost always be traced back to a values conflict.
Here are a few examples I have come across. I once worked with an accountant (let’s call him Alan) who had big dreams and grand plans about setting up his own business. It was a partnership. However, Alan just could not bring in much business to his current partnership and felt frustrated with himself. When I analyzed Alan’s values, I found that his top towards value was success (definition: when I achieve my goals). That explained why he wanted to do it so badly. Unfortunately, his top ‘away-from’ values were ‘rejection’ & ‘failure’. He felt rejected whenever someone rejected his ideas or his services. He also defined failure as ‘when I do not reach my goals’. Do you see the big conflict here?
It’s no wonder Alan could not reach his goals. On the one hand he wanted to succeed by bringing in more business to achieve his sales targets. On the other hand, he never took any action to solicit for business or come up with creative ideas because he was so fearful of rejection and failure. So he felt stuck and frustrated all the time. Until Alan changes his values to align with his goals, he will never get what he wants.
Spiritual Growth & Money do not Mix
There was a woman who came to my seminar who learned that what was holding her back were her two top towards values, in which they seemed to be in conflict. Her no. 1 value was spiritual growth. Her no. 2 value was money. So, every time she worked hard for money, she felt guilty because she felt that making money would make her less spiritual. In the end, she felt totally unfulfilled.
Love and Freedom make for Conflict
Another guy discovered why his relationships never lasted for long. His top value was love (he felt love when he was in a steady relationship). On the other hand, he had freedom as a top 2nd value (freedom to him meant not answering to anyone and being free to do his own thing). Whenever he was single, he would be driven to settle down in a steady relationship (driven by the need to feel loved). The moment he was in a steady relationship, he felt like he had no freedom, so he would unconsciously sabotage his relationship and become single again, earning his freedom. As a result, his relationships would always break down within three months or so. The way this guy set up these two top values just tore him apart. As you can see, it is not just how we rank our values that determine whether they empower or limit us. More importantly, it is how we have learnt to define these values.
Change your Values, Change your Life!
When you change a person’s values, you immediately change the way they make decisions, the way they behave and ultimately, their future. For example, if you took a person whose number one value was ‘security’ and swapped it with his number seven value of ‘freedom’, what would happen? You would literally change his entire decision making process and the direction of his life. From being satisfied in a comfortable corporate job that gives him perceived ‘security’, he may suddenly decide to become self-employed and start his own business! The problem is when we have values that conflict with each other or are not useful in helping us live an exceptional and fulfilled life. Right now, you have the choice to start designing the values that will drive you to get the best out of yourself.
So, I want you to think, ‘How should my values be arranged so that they propel me to achieve my life’s goals?’ ‘How can I define my values in such a way that they empower me to take action? We must remember that the values we have today are not the result of conscious choices we made in the past. You never consciously chose the values that you have today. They came about mainly because of conditioning from your environment and the significant people in your life. If you find that your life values are not arranged or defined in a way that will propel you to achieve your goals, then surely it’s time to take charge and re-design them! [adam khoo].