Living by your highest values

In January this year, I wrote an article on values and judgement, which was in part inspired by the dramas happening in the world of cricket that that time. A few weeks ago, I attended a Dr DeMartini seminar on Your Thoughts Determine Your Destiny and DeMartini spent a good part of the seminar talking about our values because he believes that our values determine everything that we do in our lives. Given this, I thought it would be a good idea to dive a bit deeper into this concept.

According to Dr DeMartini, if you spend your time and energy living by your highest values, you are placing more value in yourself and you will automatically be motivated to do things that align with them. If you start spending your time on living by your lower values, you are de-valuing yourself and tend to procrastinate and turn to things like consumerism and addictions (be it food, alcohol, drugs, etc) as a coping mechanism because you are not fulfilling your highest values. In other words, you turn to consumerism and addictions for instant gratification, but you actually don’t get that because you’re not fulfilling your highest values anyway! It then becomes an endless cycle of destruction.

The other interesting thing is that if you live by your highest values (i.e. you know what your purpose is in life and your actions are all aligned with this purpose), you tend to be quite objective. It’s easier to weigh the pros and cons of doing things, and in some ways, it is a lot easier to go after challenges because you know it’ll put you on the path to being closer to who you really are.

The more you spend your time living by your lowest values, the more subjective you are.. there was a funny example that Dr DeMartini gave about this concept. It’s like the infatuation stage of being in a relationship with someone – in this stage, in your eyes, the other person can do no wrong and even when it’s clear there are certain things that might cause your alarm bells to go off, you are somehow able to rationalise it (e.g. “Oh they must just be in a bad mood and that’s a one-off occurrence” – sound familiar?).

So let me return to my point above regarding challenges.  Life is not meant to be all rainbows and unicorns – we are here to experience things, which means experiencing the tough stuff as well as the amazing stuff! You can’t really have one without the other, and I feel that if you live in one end of the spectrum all the time, you’re really missing out on life. Challenges, or better still, different experiences are there to make you a better person, to make you see that you actually have the strength to be able to handle it. 

For many of us, we are used to doing the same thing over and over again. My feeling is the reason for this is out of fear for experiencing something different, something which, in some ways, is out of our control. This fear can be absolutely paralysing and it can certainly stop us by living in accordance with our highest values! One of my previous fears was getting myself out there and talking about the stuff that I do. Why? Because I was afraid people would think I was looney and wouldn’t understand what I was trying to say. I also did not want to be seen as big-noting myself. But what I’ve realised is that if I don’t champion myself, if I don’t get my message out, then I may as well not be here, because the whole point in what I do is to help spread my message which is to make people think outside the box a bit more! The more I am able to be me and let the world see who I am (i.e. the more I can be authentic to myself), then my life is a lot better for it and I have less resentment (e.g. who here has a slightest bit of resentment because they can’t really say or act in a way that they would like?). So it was a bit of a challenge to put myself out there, but now I’m ok with it because well, what do I have to lose? Not much because I actually am OK with the fact that some people will like me, and others won’t.

So the point is this – don’t opt to NOT do something because you’re afraid of it. The fear holds you back from really achieving your highest potential, and if you know what your highest values are and understand why they are your highest values, you can actually make decisions around your life that is congruent with them (as opposed to spending your time and making decisions that are congruent with values lower on your list).

Obviously the first thing is to actually know what your highest values are! Dr DeMartini has a 13 step process to determine them. You can find it here: . Now you might say “I’ve done this sort of stuff in my corporate work as part of team building” but I’d wager that this is quite different because it actually asks questions around how you currently spend your life, and from that you’ll see what your highest values are (which might be a bit different to what you thought they were).

Give it a try and remember, challenges are there because it’s a nice push to make you better!