For the last six weeks, we have discussed the five values that make up our core-value system. They are: do the right thing, tell the truth when it counts, accept responsibility for our actions, treat others as we want to be treated, and live within our means. These core-values are meant to work hand-in-hand with each other to help us focus on living the life we dream about.
More than just keeping us focused on living life more simply, the five core-values are the basis of who we are. They are the guiding force that defines how we evaluate and react to people and events in our lives. They are the basis of our belief structure on which all other beliefs or values are built. Working together, they form a strong core belief system that allows us to turn off the influence of unnecessary wants, simplify our lives, and find the real happiness we are looking for.
Let’s briefly look at each of the five core-values again and pull them together into a cohesive unit to see how they work together, complementing each other to form a strong core-value system. First, doing what is right in any situation allows us to never have to worry about the decisions we make or the consequences of our actions. In any situation, we are resolved to do the right thing, even if it negatively affects us. Doing the right thing allows us to make decisions more quickly and feel confident that the results of our decisions or actions are true to who we are. Doing the right thing helps us maintain a clear conscience and live our lives guilt free.
Second, telling the truth when it matters demonstrates the level and depth of our character to others. People respect people who tell the truth when honesty has measurable consequences, particularly when the truth negatively affects us. Telling the truth also keeps us from telling lies to cover other lies. We no longer have to maintain a list of lies so our stories remain consistent from one telling to the next.
Likewise, just as we should not lie to others, we should never lie to ourselves. If our conscience or the little man in our head is telling us something different from what we are expressing to others, we are lying to ourselves. Not only is it important to be honest with others, we must also be honest with ourselves. If we can’t be honest with ourselves, being honest with others will be difficult, if not impossible.
Third, accepting responsibility for our actions and enduring the consequences that result from them is not only the right thing to do, but an indispensable element of telling the truth. We all make mistakes. Errors in judgment are going to happen no matter how hard we try to eliminate them. We must not be tempted to blame someone else when this happens. We must acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them and accept responsibility and the consequences for our actions.
Fourth, we must always treat others as we want to be treated. If we want people to respect us, we must first respect them. If we want people to value us, we must first show others they have value. If we want people to treat us a certain way, we must first treat them in the way we want to be treated. We must model to others how we want to be treated.
Finally, living within our means is crucial to living a simple life. We must never put ourselves in a position that requires more resources than we have or have access to. We must evaluate and weigh every purchase to determine if it is within our financial means and supports our priorities.
Just as important as living within our financial means is to keeping focused on our priorities, we must also live within our time means. As financial means relates to how we spend our money, time means relates to how we budget and spend our time. How we spend our time affects every part of our lives. It is the most valuable resource in the world. Living within our financial and time means assures we focus our money and time – our limited resources – on the things that are most important to us.
All five core-values work hand-in-hand to develop a strong belief system. Using these core-values helps us stay committed to our real needs and helps us evaluate the distractions that bombard us on a daily basis competing for our resources. They keep our thinking, decisions, and actions in agreement with our beliefs and priorities. Best of all, applying these core-values to our lives allows us to live life more simply and find real happiness. It allows us to live a life that is a state of uncomplicated, straightforward, unpretentious living, unaffected by worldly desires, wants, or standards, where the focus of our lives is based on our priorities, and the value of our lives is measured by our quality of life, not quantity of life – the simple life.
Next week, we will begin to define the simple life you dream about and bring it down from a 10,000 foot overview into the weeds. When you complete this exercise, and if you follow the process, your life will have focus and direction like it has never had before. I hope you are as excited about your life’s new direction as I am. Until next week…
This blog series is based on the book Live The Simple Life You Dream About. Get your copy here.
Are you happy? Are you living the life you dream about? If you are like most people, you’re probably not overly excited about anything and don’t know why. You’re stuck in a rut drifting aimlessly through life.
How can this happen? It’s simple. We live life haphazardly. We never take the time or make the effort to define what happiness means to us. We try this or that hoping one day we land on the thing or things that will bring us happiness. However, true happiness is almost impossible to find through trial and error.
True happiness comes through a thoughtful evaluation of our lives and by incorporating the things that give us happiness and meaning into the way we live our lives. Clearly identifying our priorities and freeing up resources to be used on the things that are most important to us is essential to finding real happiness.
Live The Simple Life You Dream About leads us through the process of simplifying our lives. By refocusing our priorities and our limited resources on the people, activities, and things that give our lives meaning, we can find the happiness we are seeking. Get your copy here.
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May your life be filled with purpose, the tranquility of simple living, and the happiness and success you absolutely deserve!