Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Years Resolutions… Let Your Values Be Your Guide

I know that at this time of year many people are contemplating their New Years Resolutions (e.g., wowimo). In the process of considering your New Years Resolutions, I suggest that you remain in touch with your own personal basic values.

From a somewhat classical perspective, “Values are implicitly related to a degree of behavioral freedom or autonomy by human beings; values steer or guide the person, on the basis of internally chosen options” (wikipedia). Moreover, Roy Posner’s excellent article, “The Power of Personal Values” (gurusoftware) makes a very poignant statement: “A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values.” To wit, many of the tenets and pearls of wisdom in two of my pop psych books, Living Life, Anyway (amazon) and Mom and Dad’s Pearls of Wisdom… You Gotta Love ’Em (amazon), are based on an awareness and vestige in ones own personal values.

In my view, our values are like the sextant to a sailor – they provide the philosophical compass for us. Our journey through life is not a straight line, and there indeed may be many speed bumps and detours along way. What is important, nonetheless, is that we continue heading in the right direction – the right direction for each of us – the direction consistent with our values. One of my personal values is: “Don’t sell out on your values, don’t settle, and don’t betray the most important person in the world – you.”

If your goal is to have a Happy New Year, make sure your resolutions are in keeping with your values.

Happy New Year, Bill

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