This is a good time to check in with you to see how things are going.
Have you tried to make any small improvements by working through Step 1; evaluating your core values, Step 2; become more aware of everything you think, say and do and Step 3; become a value contributor?
If not, I highly recommend you go back to step 1 and 2 and read “About Help Me – The Best Place to Start” and step 3 can be found by reading “How to Change My Life Forever – A Simple Plan”.
If you have started making small improvements in your day to day life, way to go!
I would also love to hear about them by either leaving a comment at the bottom of this article or by sending me a message through our Contact Form.
Today, let’s recap our simple life changing plan up to Step 3 of the process.
Core Values– How important are they or is it just nonsense?
If you understand the importance of your own personal values and spent some time thinking about what they are and how often you use them to guide your life actions, fantastic! You are miles ahead of most of the people on the planet.
If you skipped that step or you think it is a waste of time or you do not see how values can help your life, think about this for a moment.
If other people perceive or think you are dishonest, you rarely share ideas or feelings, you never follow through with what you say you will do or you are a procrastinator how does this help you at all?
Other people will start to ignore you or disassociate themselves from you.
Negative core values are equally powerful as positive core values and we all have them and use them on a daily basis.
“Braden that’s crazy, no one decides to have negative core values!”
I beg to differ.
If you listen intently to the words people use on a daily basis and observe their behaviors you can pick out their core values pretty easily.
For example, I know many people who value disappointment. They constantly look for disappointment in their lives.
“I am so disappointed in you.”
“I knew I was not going to get that job.”
“I knew you were not going to take the garbage out when I asked you to do it.”
This may just sound like someone being negative, but negativity comes in many forms and you need to find the source of the negativity before you can improve it.
Not many people would admit or even understand they value disappointment, but here it is in what we say and do every day.
In order to change your values you must first identify the problem (step 1). Once you identify it, you move to step 2 and start to catch yourself when you make disappointing comments. Replace those thoughts and statements with something more valuable (Step 3).
When you catch yourself making negative comments and using strong non-value added words become curious and ask yourself questions.
“Interesting, why did I just say I hate that?”
“Why did I just get mad at my kid?”
“Why am I feeling this way?”
“What can I try to do to feel differently?”
How about all the people out there that value bullying and either won’t admit it or don’t even understand they are a bully themselves.
How many people will you run into today that value disrespect?
I bet you have probably been disrespected or seen someone being disrespectful already today.
Values shape who we are and every one of us has the power to control them if we commit the time and effort to recognize their importance and make improvements.
Awareness – Become present in the here and now!
One of my biggest turn-offs in another person is when you are speaking to someone and it is very clear they are not listening to anything you are saying. They are looking in another direction, they are looking at their phone, and they can hardly muster any valuable responses other than “yah” or “right”.
These situations happen a lot and they are a complete waste of time for both people. Men and managers in my experience are the biggest culprits of not listening or paying attention to people.
Millennials and children growing up with devices are also at high risk of becoming poor listeners and engaging in the here and now.
At the same time, becoming present with people like they are the only other person in the World gives you an opportunity to make amazing first and lasting impressions.
By sincerely listening to what other people say and asking them questions and valuing respect above all else in your conversations will do the following:
- You will learn how to have great conversations with anyone about anything if you learn how to ask lots of questions. You could have long conversations with little or no knowledge of a topic and the other person will think you are marvelous.
- Why? You are sincerely interested in what they are saying, period.
- You have a purpose for every discussion; to learn something that can help you. Yes, I know, anterior motives. We are human, our survival instincts need to be addressed to sustain our behaviors, so we need to manipulate ourselves to overcome our selfishness in some cases.
- The more people you leave with a good impression of yourself the larger your influence grows and the more people you attract into your life that share your values. The more people in your life that are positive, open to opportunity and can reciprocate sincerity and respect the more powerful you become as a person.
Value Contributor – To be or not to be
The third step of the plan for making small improvements in your life is all about contributing value in everything you think, say and do.
Adding value is the easiest of the three steps provided you have put the effort into the first two. Adding value is a natural result that is a product of your core values, your heightened awareness and your interest in interacting with and learning from other people.
When you prepare yourself to look for value every day it is not hard to find opportunities to apply it.
You can become even more capable when you start to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.
For example, you shy away from conflict and situations where other people may disagree with you.
If you never try to work through these situations you will never get better at dealing with your fear. When you take this approach you limit your potential.
One of my first jobs was doing real estate research for a land development company. One day the boss asked me to cold call past customers to try to sell them lots in our inventory.
I was terrified of this idea. I did not want to do it at all, but I tried.
The first few calls my heart was racing and I could hardly speak when the phone was answered.
After a few more calls I stopped for the day. I thought to myself, “that’s good enough.”
Over the next few days I kept working on my list of names until one day I found someone that was interested. It was the greatest feeling that what I happen to say and offer was of interest to someone else.
This one conversation kept me motivated; I got better and better each day with my presentation and my confidence grew.
After a week or so I made it through the entire list and made a few other sales along the way.
To this day, I am so grateful for that opportunity as now I consider myself a pretty good salesperson and I can talk to anyone about anything without that devastating fear from my first few cold calls as a young adult.
The point is, if you have never put yourself in uncomfortable situations you will never improve your capabilities.
A challenge for you – will you accept it?
I challenge you to make a list of things you find uncomfortable and you try to avoid.
Pick one of them and make a goal by X date to deal with it. Give yourself time to prepare and think about how the conversation or the situation will look like. Write down all the things you think could go wrong and come up with answers or responses you could use in the situation.
If it involves a potential conflicting discussion with another person, try to visualize their point of view and how they might be feeling or might respond.
On the day comes to the day you are going to do it. Keep you emotions in check and explain that you want to have a respectful conversation to share something that is bothering you. Be open to criticism as you likely have contributed to the conflict or misunderstanding in some way.
Take responsibility for anything you said or did in the past that may have contributed to the conflict.
Confirm your mutual understanding of the issue and focus on solutions and how things will be between you moving forward. Don’t dwell on the things that happened in the past, learn from them and move on to the present and the future.
Like my cold calling example, try it, reflect on your experience afterwards and learn from it, try it again and again and eventually you will become much more capable and become excited about your new skill.
Feel free to message me through our contact form if you want my support or thoughts on your approach.
Wrapping Up the Recap
Hopefully by now, you are starting to see how the dots are connected between core values, being aware and adding value to your daily life. All three of these key ingredients need to be aligned with each other.
If you have a less than desirable core value and you are not aware of it how can you possibly add value to a situation or interaction with others in a sustainable way?
If you have positive, strong core values, but the surrounding people possess behavior that is disrespectful or dishonest you will live your life with internal and external conflict.
The best way forward is to build your personal foundation around what is important to you, your positive core values and becoming completely aware of how you think and the people in your life.
Once you become more capable with these skills it will become much more natural and easy to add value to everything.
Becoming good at these three steps alone will help you make tremendous positive changes in your life, but the learning and work is not over.
We need to keep building on our capabilities and creating a sustainable environment to attract positive energy, possibility and opportunity.
Over the next few weeks I will be adding a couple of different pillars to our foundation that are crucial to support us as we continue to build our strategic, life plan for change.
One pillar is getting organized. Having clean and organized spaces where you live and work saves you a lot of time hunting for things you need, overall makes you feel better and attracts positive feelings and impressions from other people.
Check out Step 4 of our continuous improvement plan – The #1 Declutter and Organize Solution for Home or Office – Kaizen Foam
The second pillar will be focused on our health.
These two pillars will add strength to all of our efforts as we progress into more challenging and comprehensive change and processes.
To our foundation,