Often there is confusion on what are values – and the difference between goals and values. Buying a house/car; getting a dream job; getting married; getting rich and famous…these are goals NOT values. Why? Because they are things that you can achieve – cross off a list. Even if you state: ‘I want to feel confident; or I want to feel happy…’ these too are goals, not values; because a feeling of confidence or happiness can be achieved (or not). Here’s a good check to distinguish a value from a goal? Ask yourself: Is this something that can be achieved or completed? If yes, it’s likely to be a goal and not a value.
Values can’t be ‘achieved’ because they are not tasks; they’re how we want to be, what we want to stand for and how we want to relate to the world around us. A value is a direction that we desire to keep moving in. Unlike a goal (which is a desired outcome that can be achieved or completed) a value is an ongoing process that never reaches an end. The other aspect of values is that they relate to how you would like to be and what you’d like to contribute to a relationship – it’s only about what you can do! Because all you can control is the way you behave.
Since our lives revolve around relationships – with ourselves, others and everything else around us – the more our actions are in line with our values, the better is the quality of these relationships, and therefore the more rewarding life is. More than just a goals-focused life, a values-focused life is more fulfilling because of the focus on enjoying the journey as one moves towards the goal. Furthermore, the chances of achieving goals are higher if they are in line with your values because motivation is higher to achieve goals that are aligned to one’s values.
So, what are your values? What sort of a person would you like to be in your relationships? How do you want to relate to those around you? What do you want to contribute?
Check out details of our ICF accredited 125 hour ACTP Executive Coach training program being held in October and December in Bangalore, on this website’s ACTP/ACSTH page. Why not use this as an opportunity to visit India / Bangalore?
Reference: The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Dr Russ Harris