Funny how things work
Or how they seem to piece together when we are open to seeing what is around us. We are all in a constant state of change, growth and development. The past 4 years has seen me transition from physiotherapy to wellness coaching and at the same time help to build a sustainable not-for-profit organisation, *Bicycles for Humanity.
My worlds collided this month when I was led, through my coaching learning, to the inspiring work of Dr John Demartini. In almost the same breath–as I was doing some preparation work for the fabulous Growth Project I am honoured to be involved in–I was sent his book Inspired Destiny and encouraged to follow the exact exercise I had completed the week earlier! Demartini’s book is focused on discovering our highest values and linking these to the (not so everyday) topic of discovering our authentic purpose in life.
Connecting to our highest values
One of the many things that resonated with me was why it is that many people feel they lack energy (for more on ‘energy’ see previous blog here) when heading off to work on a Monday morning. Or why they can’t wait for Friday to arrive. Why is it that we procrastinate and find that something always gets in the way of us achieving our goals? Could it be that the things we set as our goals are difficult to achieve because they are not connected to that which is most important to us?
There are also times when we need to be doing things which may not be connected to our highest values, and which we are not authentically inspired to do, but which can benefit us as we head towards our bigger purpose. For these things we often lack motivation.
This is why it is important to take the time to discover our highest values:
When we set goals based on our highest values, we will have no trouble staying motivated to achieve those goals. ‘You will become dedicated and focused.’ (J Demartini).
When we connect our goals which are not highest on our values to our highest values, we can increase our motivation and energy towards achieving them. Heading to the supermarket is something I put off till both our fridge and my son’s stomach are empty! When I attach the fact that I am going to the supermarket because it is connected to my highest value—that of family―I am able to change the energy around my supermarket expedition.
Having an understanding of the values of an organisation or business and ensuring these are aligned with those of its members, energises a team to work towards a shared purpose and helps create shared aspirations for the future.
People feel appreciated and understood, it helps increase trust in the workplace and allows people to be in a space of being ‘open to influence’ (a Conversational Intelligence® term where we have an open mindset, come to conversations with curiosity and are able to let go of ‘being right’).
Dr Demartini talks about how we surround ourselves with the things that reflect our highest values. We spend time thinking and talking about–and always have energy for– those things that matter most to us.
There are numerous ways to assess one’s core values that drive our behaviour, our aspirations and expectations about life. If this interests you, here is a link to Dr Demartini’s Value Determination Process to help you get started. This simple, yet powerful process will give you clarity around your highest values.
Root of our values
Dr Demartini states that ‘values are formed from your challenges and often shape who you are today and who you will become.’
Until I sat with this for a little while, I hadn’t realised the connection between a childhood experience–I must have been about 8 years old–and what I am passionate about now.
I have such fond and incredibly visceral memories of taking part in a 10km fundraising walk called *Blisters for Bread along the coast in Cape Town, South Africa. I remember feeling so proud of raising about 20 Rand (a decent amount of money it seemed to me at the time!) and having the sense of really achieving something huge to support others.
This early experience is clearly reflected in my current passion for long distance running and my volunteer work with *Bicycles for Humanity. Energy flows and motivation is high when you link your challenges to your highest values.
When you think about your most important values are you able to link back to the source of your dreams and aspirations? I would love to hear!
*Bicycles for Humanity: Andy is co-founder and president of this wonderful 100% volunteer run charity
**Blisters for Bread: In revisiting this I was blown away by the fact that this year is the 50th anniversary of this walk along the Sea Point promenade and the 60 Rand entrance fee will enable 20 children to be supplied with 2 meals a day.