In this week’s article, I would like to explain the link between your values and your misery or success.
Now let’s talk about clashing values and your success or failure.
Divorce attorneys identify that the top two causes for divorce are money and sex. What the divorce attorneys fail to tell you is that the real cause of divorce is arguments over money and sex. In other words, the arguments stem over clashing values and beliefs regarding money and sex. Clashing values lead to the breakdown of relationships, friendships and businesses. Identical or complimentary values lead to flourishing relationships in all areas of life.
I have said before that the very first step to success is to identify what you want in life. And to do that, you need to clearly establish what is important and meaningful to you – your values. Values can be defined as: A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. In other words, your Core Values is a list of the primary things or qualities that are important in your life.
Values vary from one person to another: Affection and compassion to freedom and God, from intimacy and leadership to purpose and trust, from security and wealth to wisdom and winning. In my book, soul mates, I offer a long list of over 100 values to help you to identify your Core Values.
In a moment, I will share with you the exercise to help you establish your core values – your top ten values but first, I would like to clarify a major misconception. When I mention clashing values people often respond with “But I thought opposites attract?” and some people even cite examples of healthy marriages that have lasted decades; where the husband and wife seem so different like chalk and cheese. Opposites do attract but only in terms of personality and not in terms of character or values. A quiet introverted person can love the company of an exuberant extrovert. A highly talkative person can thrive on the company of someone who enjoys listening rather than speaking. A person who enjoys letting go and being led can flourish in the company of someone who takes initiative and leads. But a person who believes in morality and justice cannot last long in the company of someone who believes in stealing, lying and cheating.
The “personality” is vastly different to the “character”. For example, one personality profile divides people into four categories: Talker, Doer, Thinker and Watcher. In very simple terms, the Talker is the highly talkative and expressive person; the Doer is the highly active, physical and decisive person; the Thinker is the pensive, reflective, philosophical person and; the Watcher is the quite person that enjoys standing back, studying and observing. Each one of us is a combination of those four types but we tend to display two dominant traits. Thus, for example, the Talker-Doer is well matched to the Thinker- Watcher since they can balance each other.
A person’s “Character” though, relates primarily to their moral and ethical traits and principles i.e. their deeper values.
Thus the extroverted Talker – Doer, may love the company of the introverted Thinker-Watcher until they find out their morals and values are entirely opposite. For example, Rob was loud and extroverted while his girlfriend Paula was shy and introverted and yet they could talk for hours on end; they loved nature, beauty, music and art and Paula was thoroughly entertained by Rob’s antics, jokes and eccentricity. Their problems arose when Rob learned that Paula engaged in recreational drugs and lied to grow her investment business. While Paula and Rob both valued money and success they had other key values that clashed: One of Rob’s top ten values was honesty and personal health while Paula prized money and financial security above all else and didn’t care what she had to do to get that. Paula also didn’t mind lying or breaking the law to do drugs. Paula defined success as being rich – no matter what it took to get there – she and Rob had a huge argument one time because Paula was praising the financial success of an adult actress in spite of what she did to herself to get that money. Rob didn’t fully realize the significance of the clashing values between himself and Paula until she cheated on him and went to great lengths to hide the betrayal. Paula didn’t value honesty, loyalty and truth or her personal health.
Thus while their personalities blended nicely, Rob and Paula’s values collided and ultimately resulted in the destruction of their relationship.
It is vital to your happiness, success and enjoyment of life to surround yourself with people who share the same values as you – be it in personal or professional relationships. How many times have you heard someone say, “I ended my business, because I found out my partner was stealing and cheating”? Also, please be aware that you cannot change anyone, so beware hooking up with someone in the hope of rescuing, reforming or transforming him or her reach their potential.