Has anyone ever asked you what your values are?
The first time someone asked me, I was dumbfounded. What do values have to do with achieving results, excelling in your work, inspiring others, and leading great teams?
I maintained this way of thinking until I hit a major roadblock.
Several years ago, I was tackling great projects in an exciting job with amazing people. I was supposed to be at the top of my game but I could barely get out of bed in the morning. “Is this all there is?” the voice in my head nagged as I began to feel more and more empty.
I realized it was time to re-evaluate my life and as I did, the question resurfaced: What ARE my values? These five core values emerged:
2. Empowering Others
5. Fun and Adventure
When I compared my life to my values, it became clear that my focus was on external validation instead of what really mattered to me internally.
When I decided to pay attention to my internal motivators and live according to my values, I noticed a change immediately. Now I am lucky enough to develop and share my passion with others. Work is like play. I am energized to the core as my values drive everything I do. When I wake in the morning, I have a smile on my face and I’m eager to start the day. When I make a decision, it is informed by my core values and I have an unwavering certainty that it is the right choice.
A friend of mine was going through a similar transition. A nurse who is choosing a new career path, she scoffed when I asked her what her values are. “Oh please,” she said. “Nurses are discouraged from ever discussing personal values.”
Nursing is arguably the most value-driven of all professions. Our nurses spend their days and nights caring for other people but when it comes to taking care of themselves and ensuring that their own lives are balanced and in tune with their true being, values and believes, they are discouraged from going there.
Taking the time to explore your personal values and to care about them provides fuel for an untapped creative resource. Imagine what would happen if nurses had the opportunity to align their personal values with organizational values. I suspect there would be an influx of creative and compassionate initiatives. What if you did?
Imagine the possibilities if we all lived according to our values.