“Our values should be so crystallized in our mind, so infallible, so precise and clear and unassailable, that they don’t feel like a choice – they are simply a definition of who we are in our lives. In those hard moments, we know that we are going to pick what’s right, right now, over what’s easy…”


I was having a discussion with someone the other day about the impact that we get out of affirming our core values and creating practical principles that shape our choices, behavior, and internal standards for how we show up in our life, work, and relationships.

This person had taken the time to identify his core values – and I was attempting to make a compelling case for why he should now do some follow-up exercises that I was recommending – that would help him to implement these values in his daily experiences and interactions.

So, I asked this person to imagine a series of moments, interactions, and experiences in his day to day life – where he is confronted with the opportunity to make choices. And when he is making these choices – he has two distinctly different voices inside of him that are pulling him in very different directions.

One voice is reminding him of his core values and principles – and is encouraging him to make choices that will lead to greater fulfillment, peace of mind, build self-worth, create better social outcomes, enhance his sense of purpose, and lead to a more engaged and meaningful work/life experience.

The other voice is enticing him to do what feels good in the moment – but often leads to negative long-term consequences, guiding him towards behaviors and choices that are often self-defeating, prefers results over process, is extrinsically motivated, and thinks about what’s in it for him – as opposed to what value he could add to others or the situation.

Now when we affirm and align our behavior, choices, and interactions with our core values – the self-talk that guides us to make better decisions, lean in to discomfort for the sake of growth, be accountable for our actions, and demonstrate our character strengths and virtues simply because it feels good to be good – grows louder, stronger, more confident, and assertive.

And when you do this with radical consistency – these choices will no longer be choices – they will simply become a reflection of who you are at your very core – and you will very organically be driven to make your best choices and live a life of maximum engagement, fulfillment, and significance.

After putting it like this – he chose to complete the exercises I was recommending – and he is already beginning to experience some of the results we had discussed. In my desire to practice what I coach – I try my best to daily reaffirm my values and align my life with my internal standards and principles so that I can strengthen that voice within me that aligns with the best version of myself – and leads to my best possible life and relationships (I am by no means perfect at doing this – but I am committed to a lifelong pursuit of living Authentically).

What voice do you want guiding your choices and daily life and experiences?

Speak Your Mind


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