How many times have you been frustrated at yourself because you did or didn’t do something you know should or shouldn’t have?
If you’re anything like me I’m guessing a lot – we are only human and we do make mistakes.
That being said, there is a significant difference between making mistakes because you’re not aware of a key insight at the time you make a judgement and having flawed judgement so you can’t make good calls. If you want to get anything new started, learning how to make the right call and reduce the chance of a mistake is an imperative.
The underpinning of knowing if something is right is how well you understand it fits with what you value. Words like resolve and conviction are about the ability to act on and keep to what you value to be right. The obvious point here is that you must first have determined what values shape who you are and how you go about engaging the world around you.
The trouble is if you don’t make a concerted effort to define values for yourself you will most definitely catch them from something or someone else.
The goal is to develop a set of consciously held values that sit well with you. We all need to make the big calls on how we see things and what matters most. Mass abdicating of our responsibility to do this leads to things like the genesis of global financial crisis and the continued underperformance of our Governments and employers.
There are many ways to set your values, too many for me to recommend, and it’s worth stating that it’s actually quite difficult to do. Determining what your values are requires a level of self-awareness and honestly few of us seem to naturally posses. In short, you will need to work hard at it over time.
For those of you wanting to try, here’s a place to start – troll through a decent newspaper reading around two-dozen stories from a variety of news sections. Take note of any of the instantaneous reactions you have from the stories you read – positive or negative.
Now try to distal what is that got to you – is it the way the journalist communicated? The attitudes of the people involved in the story? The gravity or implications of the facts of the news etc?
Next step is to classify each reaction as negative or positive and try to pinpoint why.
From all your conclusions try to group the reactions together based on common thoughts or themes.
You now should have a handful of trigger points – things that push your buttons; that expose your deeply held attitudes towards something. Again positive or negative is fine.
The next goal is to think about WHY these have been triggered. What about them matters to you?
Though a simple exercise, this will take you a step closer to deciphering what you are about and what you’re not.
Try this technique out and use the comment section below to let me what how you get one.