When you think about the word value, you can give it two different meanings. The first meaning is material; what is the value of a product or service and what are you willing to pay for it? What’s the monetary value of the exchange? The second definition of value is spiritual. What beliefs do you have to guide you through life? Unfortunately most people don’t put a ‘value’ on their own values, and they wonder why they can’t become prosperous.
Personal values, like the physical value of an object, may have no monetary value yet still cost something. Personal values are purchased through sacrifices to strengthen the level of value you seek to achieve.
If someone values themselves more than others, they will put a lower price (worth) on other individuals, and in turn lose the ability to influence those people to their own ideas and purpose.
So, if a person values others more than themselves, they not only have themselves to pursue their purpose, but also those that they show who they value more than themselves. In turn when you show others you value them by caring for them they help you pursue your own dreams. As Zig Ziglar said, “If you help enough people get what they want they’ll help you get what you want.”
If a person has a lower set of values they seem to expect others to display a higher level of value towards them. Those who lie, cheat and steal don’t like it when people lie, cheat and steal from them. But in reality they receive what they themselves value.
You cannot receive what you do not give. It’s called the Law of Attraction.
Some people place a different level of values in different areas of their lives. The more physical or spiritual value they believe they’ll receive is the level of value they place on it. I can think of four different areas that our values may be at different levels;
- Family Values
- Work Values
- Personal Values
- Spiritual Values
If you value your family more than money, you’ll resist working long hours, sacrificing money for family time. Although at times a person may need to do so in order to properly provide for their family. If this is the case there may be other values that keep them in that state.
The person who is untrue to themselves will struggle to keep the same level of values between the different areas of their life. They may never lie to their boss for fear of losing their job and income, but they’ll lie to their spouse in order to fulfill their own pleasures. This is obvious when someone suffers from a lack of will power and become slaves to a specific addiction. If I lose my job I won’t be able to afford the prostitute or the addictive substance. But, that addiction may lead to a divorce.
They value themselves and their addiction more than others. Addictions are powerful and take control of a person’s thoughts and ultimately their life. They become habits and habits can be changed when you change your values.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
If you value health and life more than the simple pleasures of alcohol or tobacco, you won’t abuse them.
Let’s reflect for a moment on the most commonly known value, one that most religions and cultures share, the Golden Rule. Here’s a few; (1)
- Brahmanism: “Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you”. Mahabharata, 5:1517 “
- Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga 5:18
- Christianity: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
- Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to
you” Analects 15:23
- Ancient Egyptian: “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.” The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant,
- Hinduism: “Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” Mahabharata 5:1517
- Humanism: “Don’t do things you wouldn’t want to have done to you.” British Humanist Society.
- Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” Number 13 of Imam “Al-Nawawi’sForty Hadiths.”
- Judaism: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”, Leviticus 19:18
- Native American Spirituality: “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.” Pima proverb.
- Roman Pagan Religion: “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.”
- Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien.
So it seems to me that most religions and cultures follow some form of the Golden Rule. Then why does it seem like society is slowly getting worse? Seventy percent of Americans report that they believe American values are getting worse and 46 percent say it won’t be better in ten years.(2)
Is this because we’re living the Golden Rule, but how we value ourselves is worse? If I treat myself with less respect and have lower values, then that’s what I expect from others. If I don’t take respect myself, or even trust myself, than how can I trust others.
Has the Golden Rule changed to “Do unto others before they do unto you!”
Now this would work if people where “Paying forward” with kindness and generosity. But that isn’t the mindset with some, they think, “Let me get you before you can get me.”
How sad, but I can understand why, can you?
Have you ever lied to yourself, promised that you would do something for you, but didn’t? If so, then why would we expect someone else not to lie to us?
It all starts with self, and sometimes in order to become more aware you need someone to ask you the right question;
“How can the values of trust and respect be given to you when you struggle to trust and respect yourself?”
What do you value? What promises (goals) have you made for yourself? Build your business, build better relationships, lose weight, become a better leader?
What are you doing to achieve it?
(1) The Golden Rule: A list of two dozen versions. http://hipstermonk.com/the-golden-rule-a-list-of-two-dozen-versions/)
(2) 21 Charts That Explain American Values Today. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/21-charts-that-explain-american-values-today/258990/