Stop to Find Your Why: How Values Can Set Your Life on Fire

values

Why does Apple make standout products that so many people want?

Why do people tattoo Harley-Davidson tattoos on their bodies?

How did Southwest Airlines create the most profitable airline in the United states?

Some companies get it. They’re able to have fun, make money, inspire those around them and help the planet at the same time.

We know what these companies do and how they do it but Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, digs into the ‘why’ behind these companies.

“By Why I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? Why does you company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

Sinek talks about Apple frequently in his book because we all are familiar with their company and products. Apple doesn’t say, “we make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.”

Instead, they start with their why: “Everything we do , we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

“Apple starts with WHY, a purpose, cause or belief that has nothing to do with WHAT they do” Sinek writes. “It’s worth repeating; people don’t buy what they do, they buy WHY they do it.”

Same reason people are so passionate about Harley Davidson. In Start With Why, a former US marine and general manager of a Harley-Davidson store proudly sports a Harley tattoo on his left arm. “It symbolizes who I am,” he says, “Mostly, it says I’m an American.”

“The meaning of Harley-Davidson has value in people’s lives because, for those who believe in Harley’s WHY, it help them express the meaning of their own lives.” Sinek writes.

Southwest Airlines has a similar story. In the 1970’s, Southwest began as a champion for the common man – to make flying accessible to all. “Those who could relate to Southwest, those who saw themselves as average Joes, now had an alternative to the big airlines.” Southwests’s ability to stay true to their cause, and more importantly embrace their “Why” is what has made them the most profitable airline in the United States.

What does this have to do with you?  

People, like you and I, also have our “why’s” in life but we never pay much attention to them.

Do you want to know your purpose?

Do you want to know why you exist?

Do you want the Gods to reveal to you the very reason for your being?

Unfortunately, you’ve probably looked in all the wrong places all this time.

Your reason for being isn’t locked up in some secret cave or hidden from you by some spiritual master.

You have the ability and tools you need to discover your why.

Know exactly why you were put on this earth.

How?

As the Godfather of personal development, Tony Robbins, points out, “values guide our every decision and therefore, our destiny.”

“If (you) want the deepest level of life fulfillment, you can achieve it only one way, and that is doing what these two men have done: by deciding upon what we value most in life, what our highest values are and the committing to live by them every single day,” writes Robbins in his classic book, Awaken the Giant Within.

“Too often, people have no clear idea of what’s important to them. They waffle on any issue; the world is a mass of gray to them; they never take a stand for anything or anyone.”

You have a different set of values than I do. So does each person you know.

Your values and your values alone will make you happy, bring you immense pleasure, joy, bliss, fulfillment and find in a drunken state of excitement.

On the other hand, if you’re not living your values, you likely despise your life, hate your job, want to strangle everyone you see every day.

If you feel unfulfilled, directionless and purposeless, you’re most likely  not living your “Why”. You’re not living your values.

Live in alignment with your values and decisions will become easy. Choices will become black and white.

What action you take next or what you do with your life will seem like no-brainers.

But having values-confusion and or just not knowing what your values are will cause a lot of unwanted frustration, pain and misery.

Tim Brownson, life coach extrodainaire, my personal life coach and teacher of life coaches says it best: in his online best-seller, Aligning With Your Core Values,  “When you see the core of values of an individual, you are effectively viewing his or her identity, and you are almost getting a window into his or her soul.”

Find your values.

Before you can live your values and enjoy life to the fullest, you have to discover what your values are.

Values exist within you. It’s shaped by a lifetime of living, your beliefs, your understanding of the world, your perspective on life, your family background, your politics and religion.

Your values get to the very core of who you are.

It’s for this reason that Tim not only discusses values at length on his site but in his excellent life coaching course for coaches, which I had the benefit of taking, Tim delves deep into values and discusses how to elicit values from clients.

(On a side note, Tim’s course is an excellent crash-course for up and coming life coaches. Tim not only packs in a ton of information in practical terms based on his personal coaching experience with hundreds of clients, but teaches the nuts and bolts of coaching, marketing and helping clients achieve results in the quickest possible time.  p.s. Tim – send a check made out to me at…)

Tim provides a structure to find our values within. First, being aware of the many values that are out there and then asking you to reflect on your life to determine your most important values are.

For example, Tim provided us a list of the common values that people base their life on: peace, freedom, integrity, love, passion, loyalty, adventure, and dozens of other sample values.

Once you recognize your values, Tim advises prioritizing them and ranking them from your most important value to your least important.

Finally, he encourages life coaches to help clients get clarity with each value, understanding what that particular value means to each person.

Values like freedom, peace, humor, fun or adventure have different meaning to different people so Tim encourages you to get as specific as possible with your what a value means to you.

Live your values.

Once you’ve acknowledged your values, it’s time to see if you’re living your values. Time to look at the way you’re living your life, the work that you do, the relationships that you have and what you’re doing on a day to day basis.

If there’s frustration, if you’re feeling unfulfilled or resistant towards certain tasks or people or goals, you’re more than likely experiencing a life conflict or values conflict. Your are not living your life according to the values you’ve created your life around.

Conflicts can be internal and external.  For example, if you value freedom, fun and humor, you’re more than like going to hate your job as a computer programmer.

If you’re a peaceful, justice-loving spiritual hippie of a person, your badge and job as a police officer  isn’t going to cut it.

The power of values.

Are you ready to change your life?

Ready to examine, understand, analyze and live your values?

How are 3 ways to discover your values so you can start living

1)   Hire a life coach to help you see if your life is in alignment with your values.

2)   Pick up Tim’s book, the more advanced version for life coaches will give you plenty of insights and expertise to not only discover your life values but help others understand theirs.

3)   Go through the list of values from a list like this and note your top 8 values. Rank them and prioritize them by values of importance. Then, examine your job, relationships, and life and see if your life fits those values.

Success, fortune, weekend getaways to the Cannes Film festival, notoriety and fame await those of you who are living in tune with your  values.

You’d be unstoppable if your life values are in symmetry with your life.

If they’re not, you’ve now been let in on the mighty little secret to life fulfillment and satisfaction.

Is it time to figure out your ‘why’ in life? Are you living your values or is it time for a values tune-up?