“Successful people know their values which in turn define their criteria. This makes it easy to make any decision. Key decisions are like deciding to drive somewhere. The subsequent decisions are the act of steering along the way. Just because you made a grand decision to go somewhere doesn’t mean you can let go of the steering wheel.”
Values are not something you learn. They are already part of who you are, and they have been since before you were born.
Your values are what make you long for goodness and connection, for thriving and being full of life. They are an inherent system that guides you away from danger and towards survival.
No matter what you think you value, even superficially, you can trace it down to this fundamental system.
Money, the dream house, relationships, the cool car, travel, laziness, vanity, altruism, and even greed are based on one deepest fundamental purpose:
In the end, when distilled all the way down to the why of the why of the why, the reason for any anything is survival of your species, which is ensured by maintaining the chain of life through procreation. Even if you decide not to procreate because you believe that humans are the blight of the planet, that decision is still based on the value to sustain and perpetuate the best of what is Life.
Altruism is easy to understand as a means to this end. Do good things to help people have and be their best as the mass of humanity (of which each individual is a part) persists on this planet.
It is other aspects like prejudice and greed that are harder to understand as being driven by the same force as the kind-hearted.
In our deepest heart of hearts we want the food and shelter and love that ensure we will make it through the day and be here tomorrow to procreate and ensure the survival of our children so they can procreate and sustain the chain of human life.
All species, plant or animal, have the same fundamental programming, but with the development of the self-conscious mind, we humans are the only ones who self-obsess about the ways of nature, looking in the mirror, observing, evaluating, deducing and planning in an effort to optimize patterns to ensure our existence in perpetuity. In some ways this has helped us and in many ways it has confused us and turned us against ourselves, for all humans, whether you like it or not, the murderers and thieves as well as the children and saints, are all part of the same humanity that our inherent programming is designed to protect and promote.
Because of the dark side of humanity, your original values become obscured by the ugliness, hatred and greed of others and it is your pain and anger that reveal that your values still exist intact – they are just buried beneath the rubble.
Knowing this, even when feeling defeated and hopeless, is like hearing a distant voice coming from beneath a building that has collapsed. That distant voice is your own soul calling out to you, to give you hope and the faith and courage needed to come to rescue it. Even those born into a world beneath the rubble can hear the voice and it is only time and persistence that stands between you and reconnecting with the voice.
That voice is your values, the ones life gave you, not the ones people taught you.
When you are connected to that voice, it will not only show you how to get the house and the money and the love, but it will take the anguish out of your struggles and make your efforts as exciting as a beautiful hike to a mountain top because the voice will make it clear to you why you even want any of that – or if there is something even better, more worthwhile to set as your objective.