In his book the Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly reinforces that “everything is a choice”. We choose our jobs, relationships and how we spend our time. I believe this to be true and then further believe that our values are what guide these choices. What you believe to be important in your life and work are your values.
An early manager in my career noticed that I was taking work home and suggested to me that my decisions should be guided by “God, family, work”, in that order. Work was overwhelming at times but this simple phrase guided me to some balance. My need for personal productivity (the value of achievement) continues in me today. The good news is that I can identify with other values which when taken as a whole help me understand myself and choices in a more complete context.
Some values are explicit to us and others are more subtle or even sub-conscious. They become ingrained in us early in life through family, friends, faith and experiences.
Work values and life values should be consistent. When work values are inconsistent for us we experience stress and less-than-potential performance; when aligned, we experience passion and energy.
My proposition is that we should make our decisions consciously with awareness. Give some thought to your top values. Take a look at this list and try to narrow it to ten. Monitor some of your decisions to see if your values are truly guiding you toward your purpose and goals.