‘Our values make us different’

I love an inspiring quote – whenever I see one, I scribble it down and mentally file it away for the right moment. On this blog, I’ve quoted Einstein, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Kurt Vonnegut and Abraham Lincoln amongst other people. So where did today’s inspiring words come from?

Inspiring words from my shopping trolley

Inspiring words from my shopping trolley

Yes, that’s right: my shopping trolley. As I leant over to drop the carrots into the end of the trolley, I noticed the black sign. It made me wonder what Sainsbury’s values are and then it made me think a little more about my own values. Sainsbury’s obviously consider that their values make them different from other supermarkets: do our values make us different from other people? I believe so.

Do you know what your values are? What’s really important to you? This is a topic which comes up frequently with my coaching clients so we take some time to examine what their values are and then use them to figure out their priorities and as a measure of their own version of success. My clients find that when their current situation is out of kilter with their values, they feel restless, drained, mega-busy but seemingly not making progress, dissatisfied and like they are never in the right place at the right time. When their lives reflect their values, they feel satisfied and fulfilled.

You can work through a simple exercise to determine your values. Find a quiet time in your day, take a pen and paper (or tap away on your tablet, record it on your phone – whatever works for you) and ask yourself this question –

What’s really important to me?

Think about what makes you feel most fulfilled, when you feel at your best, when you feel happy. Write it all down. Perhaps your list looks something like this:

  1. Being healthy
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. Achieving results

Now define those values – working with the list above, that might look like this:

  1. Being healthy – To me, this means that I make time to exercise three times a week; that I cook from scratch five times a week; that I book myself a spa weekend once a year and that I only drink coffee before noon.
  2. Spending time with my family – To me, this means I’m home in time to put the children to bed three nights a week; that I take my wife out on a date once a fortnight; that I make sure I plan my diary in order to be able to take my full holiday allowance.
  3. Achieving results – To me, this means I deliver against all my budgets and get promoted to the next level within the next twelve months.

Over the next couple of weeks, track your time: are you spending your time in a way which contributes to these values or conflicts with them? If you’re honouring your values, that’s great news: keep on doing whatever you’re doing! If there’s a conflict, maybe it’s time to make some changes. This can be a tricky process and probably best tackled with a trusted friend or, if you’d like a completely objective opinion, a coach. If that’s of interest to you, why not email me to find out more about how coaching could work for you?

Today’s pebble for your thoughts:

Do you know what your values are? Does your lifestyle honour those values?

What do you think?

Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?


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17 Responses to ‘Our values make us different’

  1. Barrie Jenks says:

    What a great thought-provoking and, hopefully, action-provoking post! Thank you! Bazza

  2. Lesley says:

    Brilliant, so much food for thought in this. I will definitely be taking some time to reflect on m own personal values.
    Many thanks for the article. Very timely for me.

  3. John says:

    How often do I feel ‘restless, drained, mega-busy but …. not making progress, dissatisfied, … never in the right place at the right time’ or see other people exhibiting these symptoms? Does this mean much of what I do is out of kilter with my values? Sounds like I need a coach to help me identify why there is such a disconnect between my values and my activity! It makes such a positive difference when my activity aligns with my values.

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