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Roy E. Disney (Walt’s brother and business manager) said, “It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” It’s true; when you base your life on principle (values), 99% of your decisions are already made. Your values define who you are.

Defining your values will give you purpose, it will help you make decisions, and it will give you confidence. It will simplify and clarify your life.

Our values are the answer to the question, “What is truly important to me?” and the next step is to prioritize them. Very few people have gone to the trouble of identifying and prioritizing their values, and the payoff is magnificent. To me, values are what drive your philosophy, and your philosophy drives your choices and actions.

At the age of 62, I know what my values are. The hardest thing for me was finding a group of people who share my values, since it is a lot easier to associate with people who feel the same way that you do about what is truly important in this life. I finally accomplished this last year, and I added a business model with the right people involved only this year. Finally!

To start with, choose your most important 16 values. Here are some suggestions that I got from “The Art of Manliness,” but you’re obviously welcome to add your own, like “responsibility,” for example:

Adventure
Balance
Confidence
Control
Creativity
Discipline
Education
Faith
Family
Financial Security
Friends
Freedom
Fulfilment
Forgiveness
Fun
God
Growth
Happiness
Health
Hope
Honesty
Humour
Independence
Integrity
Kindness
Knowledge
Marriage
Peace of mind
Power
Progress
Reason
Security
Self-reliance
Service
Spirituality
Strength
Success
Truth
Wisdom

Once you have chosen your top 16 values, it’s time to PRIORITIZE them – from most important all the way down to least important. Compare them: Say, for example, you chose Humour and Integrity, ask yourself, what is more important? Humour or Integrity? If you choose Integrity, you know it’s a higher priority. It is a fortunate person indeed who has clarified his “Values Hierarchy” and surrounded himself with others who share his values in life and business.

Living according to your values is so much easier and more rewarding than not doing so.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com

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