The Power of Shared Values
“The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.” ~ Dale Carnegie
One of the great truths of life is simply this: If you want to live a meaningful life, you must know what gives you meaning.
To know what is truly important to you and what is not.
This sounds obvious on the surface, but is a major problem for the vast majority of the population.
People think they know what they want… what they value.
People think they know what’s most important to them, individually and as a couple, but when confronted, they are truly clueless.
How do we know this?
With hundreds of millions of data points, we know — with absolute certainty — that this personal deception causes people to run in circles, never realizing that the faster they run, they get further and further away from that which will actually make them happy.
Values confusion and conflict is a major driver of marital discourse.
Think about it. If you and your partner only suspect what you value, you will spend a lot of wasted time in things that have little or no value to you — individually and as a couple. Life is nothing more than a guessing game where the prize is getting what you don’t want.
But, if you both know exactly what you want — WOW — your life becomes an action adventure worth living!
This is a real opportunity for you to come alive…
The Values Chapter inside Marriage With Purpose is the critical first step towards truly understanding what actually drives all your choices and actions. We highly recommend that you and your partner reduce the list of some 400 potential values down to 40 that you respond to… then down to 20 that really turn you on… with a final reduction to your TOP 10 PERSONAL VALUES you are willing to die for.
But as important as this is, you can’t stop there!
Once you have your list of 10, the real choices are to decide which is more important than something else. In other words, you must prioritize your list by what is most important down to what is important, but not quite as important to you as the words preceding.
This takes time but is worth the effort, as shared-values, is the glue that transforms an average marriage into a great marriage.
For example, my top 10 personal values, prioritized by what is truly important to me are as follow:
Freedom, Beauty, Curiosity/Complexity, Love, Loyalty, Giving/Teaching, Spirituality, Wealth, Power, and Luxury.
These words might have little or no meaning to YOU, but they mean everything to me. These words guide everything I will ever be, do or have in life.
My wonderful wife, Jan’s values are totally different:
Competition, Family, Adventure, Challenge, Learning, Faith, Compassion, Camaraderie, Service, and Resolve/Resilience.
Understanding this, my job is to help her live her values as she helps me live mine.
The result is the happily ever after we signed up for 25 years ago.
We are free to adventure to beautiful places and live the life we are destined to live.
To live our innermost values is to look into the soul of the future and declare it ours.
There is nothing more important to your long term health and happiness than to actually confront, test and consider what gives your life meaning.
This applies equally to your partner.
If you both try to second guess your way through life, you might hit the target some of the time, but will miss it most of the time.
As the author of Marriage With Purpose, I will make this simple for you. Order the book, skip every Chapter and just do the Values Exercise.
Even if your spouse doesn’t do it, at least you will have challenged your most deeply held assumptions about life and will arrive at the conclusion as to how you want to live.
With this information in hand, you can go on to looking at the value in all your Someday Dreams… and choose only those that will produce the happiness you so richly deserve.