Do You Value Your Future?
Value… It seems like a simple enough idea, doesn’t it?
That word could lead to talking about great sales at the mall…
It could be a conversation about how we position our businesses in the marketplace by providing customers so much more than they bargained for…
Or maybe we could shoot the breeze about the current state of the world and how today people don’t seem to know what’s important any more.
Those three completely different conversations are all brought about by the same simple 5-letter word.
For the purpose of this conversation, let’s define value as the guiding principles considered to be sufficiently valuable as to be worth one’s time, effort, or interest.
Basically, what are you willing to give up your time and energy for?
This apparently simple idea can make you amazingly successful, if you play your cards right.
Why wait for your ship to come in? By getting in touch with what you value, you can grab the remote control and steer your ship right into port.
“But, how can it be that simple?” you ask.
When you know what you want, the decision making process becomes almost effortless.
For example, let’s say you absolutely love carrot cake. When the waiter presents the dessert menu, if carrot cake is one of the choices, your decision is practically made, right?
Or, let’s say you are cutting back on meat for health reasons and you are going to dinner with some friends. If they gave you a choice between Ruth’s Chris Steak House and The Cheesecake Factory, you would already know your preference, right? (For the salads, of course…)
How about one more… You HATE numbers. You NEVER balance your checkbook. You don’t even know where it is! You would almost certainly apply for a job as an accountant, right? Of course not!
Well, most people make choices about what to do for a career, where to live, or which friends to hang out with purely based on chance… There’s no thought given to what really makes them happy!
When Ghandi began his career in Africa, he was an attorney. He was so incensed by the way he and his friends and family were treated because of the darker tone of their skin, that he began organizing groups before and after work hours in protest. Eventually, it became an obsession and consumed all of his time. When he moved back to his mother country, India, he began to lead similar protests and gatherings in response to treatment by the ruling British government.
Ghandi did not start out with the intention of freeing India or changing the world. He simply understood that equality, freedom, and peace were important to him.
Once he allowed himself to live his life based on what drove him, his life flowed, delivering to him success, freedom, and the hearts and minds of his people.
Abraham Lincoln is another exceptional example. He led a life of despondency and despair. From his childhood, he knew loss and suffering. Mental illness ran in his family and sickness took the lives of his mother, sister, and several other relatives. He even lost the love of his life early on.
Lincoln got involved in politics in an effort to right what he felt were serious wrongs in our country at the time. He lost many more times than he won when running for office. But, he never gave up. And because he knew his core values, he had the strength to keep going when others would have surely quit.
Lincoln decided to retire from politics in his 40s, but was drawn back into the fold in 1854 when the debate over slavery got hot again. So passionate was he about the causes of justice and equality that he continued to campaign and travel and address audiences for 8 years, attempting to convince the country that slavery was wrong and that he was the man to put the matter to rest.
After losing two elections, he finally got his shot. Today, he is one of our most admired and revered presidents, even though most people only understand a small part of his story.
So, what makes these two amazing people so different from everyone else? Aside from fighting against slavery, each valued his future. Each knew what he was passionate about. Each understood where his time would be best spent to make life more meaningful for himself and those around him.
And, let’s face it, life is more fun when it’s meaningful. You get more done in less time. You enjoy the process so much more… AND you are far more likely to actually get what you want at the end.
Are you a slave to a job you hate? Do you sell your soul because you don’t think you can live your dream?
What are you trading YOUR time for?
Need help getting in touch with your Core Values? Come to Lingo Leverage: Do You Value Your Future? on Thursday, December 10th. For more information, click here
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