Here are a few excerpts from a great article about values. (Personal Growth, Your Values, Your Life by by Jim Taylor Ph.D.)
One of the most powerful ways in which this “value” was impressed on you was in how you learned to define success. Popular culture typically defines success winning, wealth, status, physical appearance, and popularity—the more money and power you have and the more attractive and popular you are, the more successful you would be. Growing up with these definitions, success was largely unattainable for most people. At the same time, our culture made losing even more intolerable to contemplate—being poor, powerless, unattractive, and unpopular is simply unacceptable. With these restrictive definitions, you may have believed, like so many others, that you were caught in the untenable situation of having little opportunity for success and great chance for failure.
Blindly having accepted society’s narrow definitions of success and failure takes away your power to decide how you wish to define them. By buying into popular culture’s limiting definitions of success and failure rather than choosing definitions based on your own values, you can’t become truly successful and happy because you are forced down a path that is, for most people, impossible to attain and that is not truly yours. You may become successful in the eyes of society, but you probably won’t feel like a success yourself. And this path certainly won’t bring you meaning, happiness, or real success in your life.
By understanding where your values come from you are empowered to make your own values choices. You decide which value or set of values you want to employ in your life. The Mentors Books series was created to help you construct a set of values that you choose for your own life.
Success can be defined as accomplishing a desired goal or purpose, a straight forward and easily understood definition. How an individual defines personal success is a more complex issue. Successful people possess and employ character traits that lead them to achieve their goals or purposes, no matter what life throws at them.
Here are a few excerpts from a great article on where your values in life come from. (Personal Growth, Your Values, Your Life by by Jim Taylor Ph.D.)
Your values form the foundation of your life. They dictate the choices you make and determine the direction that your life takes. Your values will influence your decisions related to your relationships, career, and other activities you engage in. Despite this importance, few people choose their values. Instead, they simply adopt the values of their parents and the dominant values of society. In all likelihood, the values that you internalized as a child remain with you through adulthood (yes, in some cases, people reject the values of their upbringings). Unfortunately, these values may also have created a life that is carrying you down a path that is not the direction you want to go at this point in your life.
What were the values you were raised with? What values are you presently living in accordance with? Are they the same or different? Do your values bring you happiness? These are essential questions that you must ask if you are to find meaning, happiness, success, and connection in your life. Yet, finding the answers to these questions is a challenge and then changing them in a way that will lead to fulfillment is an even greater challenge.
The article goes on to talk about analyzing or de constructing your values and finally concludes with the concept of reconstructing your values.
At the end of each Mentors book there is a selection called the 5 Step Initiative. This is where the reader can choose their own personal value or character trait to work on. Below are the five steps contained in the initiative.
Step 1: Select two or three values from the Master Value List that you want to more fully implement in your life. Choose a single value to begin working on.
Step 2: Record this trait on Master Value Tracking Chart. Focus your attention on this single character trait for one week. Try to imagine what it will be like to have this character trait more fully integrated in your life.
Step 3: Rate your daily performance on the Master Value Tracking Chart on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) in these three areas: First, commitment. Were you truly committed to this trait today?Second, daily actions. Did you actually demonstrate this new trait during the day? Third, effort. What was your honest effort in implementing this trait today? Keep track of your scores so you can measure your progress over time.
Step 4: At the end of the week add up the totals in all three areas and divide that number by 105 to get your performance percentage for this character trait.
Step 5: After working on your first trait for a week, select another value from your list. Repeat Steps 1-4.
After completing your chosen list of two to three values, repeat the same steps using the first value. Be sure to use a new Master Value Tracking Chart. At the end of the week compare the current Master Value Tracking Chart to the previous one to view your progress. As you cycle through this process with each of your chosen values, you will notice positive changes occurring in your daily life.There are many “instant success” self-help systems available today. Long lasting change occurs with consistent practice over time. The change must come from the inside out, not the outside in. Changing our character or who we are is not easy. It takes time, effort, and perseverance.
To take on the initiative you will need discipline and persistence. It is not a sprint race to the end to get there in the shortest amount of time. It is more like a marathon, a race of endurance.
To know the value of a mentor we need to define what it is.
The dictionary states:
1 His political mentors: adviser, guide, guru, counselor, consultant; confidant(e).
2 Regular meetings between mentor and trainee: trainer, teacher, tutor, instructor.
From these definitions we can see that a mentor is really more than a teacher, guru, adviser or guide. A mentor is a combination of all of the character traits listed in the definition and more. A true mentor is focused on the the success or positive outcome for his follower. They want the best for those who are in their care or seek their advise.
The value of a great mentor really can not be quantified. The mentors value is only really fully understood by the person who puts the mentors teaching into practice. Then with the benefit of time and introspection by the pupil the mentors value is discovered.
The challenge for us is finding a great mentor who really cares about us and our success.