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Values Check—Getting the Most from Life

Take a moment to stop and reassess.

Everyone of us is challenged with getting the most out of life. For years I’ve used a series of beliefs and values in coaching as they’re helpful in both recognizing and using our talents to the best of our abilities. It’s important to start at the beginning and determine what’s really important to you. I get it, most everyone assumes they already know what’s important, but allow yourself to reflect on this for a moment.

It’s been my observation that most people spend more time planning their vacations than planning their lives. Let’s all stop for a moment and reassess. Our mental energy and the actions that follow provide us with an MRI-equivalent of our beliefs and values.

Coming up with a list of your own beliefs and values from scratch can be challenging, so I thought I’d share some examples. This list of 10 is simply designed as a starting point—I encourage you to think through this for yourself and modify the list as you wish:

  • Physical – being healthy and fit
  • Moral – being honest and fair
  • Economic – being financially secure
  • Spiritual – living a pious life
  • Intellectual – pursuing knowledge
  • Professional – achieving your full business potential
  • Nature / Environment – appreciating nature and protecting the environment
  • Sentimental – loving and being loved; accepting and being accepted
  • Political – promoting justice, peace and freedom

Your challenge now is to select the top three values for your life. You might already be adhering to these values, but looking to strengthen them, or maybe these are values you’d like to embody, but have yet to pursue. Either way, write out your responses to the following questions/statements for each of the three values you listed:

  1. Why have you selected this value?
  2. If you were to spend a weekend acting on this value, what would you do?
  3. How much time do you spend on this value in a month?
  4. What have you done to promote this value to others?
  5. Do you have a plan to further develop or implement this value?
  6. Do you continually expand your knowledge base regarding this value?

After taking the time to work through the above, it’s time to take a breath and reflect on where you are now—personally, professionally and spiritually. Life is a journey for all of us, and although there are many things outside of our control, our mission, if we dare to accept it, is to make the most out of our journey.

Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent

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