Chapter 15: The Values of Life: Your Compass
“Only those who dare to believe
their inner self transcends all circumstances,
just achieved great results”-Bruce Barton
Courage, Determination, Perseverance, Sacrifice…
While Ross Perot presented his plan
to rescue the hostages in an atmosphere of great tension,
he noticed these virtues evident in the faces of his fellow hostages,
who he personally hand-picked
for a miraculous hostage rescue mission.
In the early days of 1979,
there was a wave of domestic unrest
and anti-American movement in Iran,
and just a few days ago,
two directors of Perot’s company in Tehran were arrested without reason.
The ransom offered is $13 million.
When high-level diplomatic negotiations failed,
Perot decided there was only one way to free his men:
he had to take action himself.
After enlisting the legendary expert
as Army Major Arthur “Bull” Simons to lead this daring raid,
he quickly assembled his brilliant unit of generals
to carry out his plan break the prison.
They were chosen
because they were people
who had lived in Tehran and had military experience.
He called them the “Eagles” implying that they were “ambitious people
who know how to take initiative, carry out tasks,
achieve results, and cannot make mistakes.
If they succeed,
they will be rewarded with great rewards,
but the risks are even greater:
the mission is completely unofficial,
they can fail, but most of all,
they can be killed.
What prompted Ross Perot to focus all his resources,
take risks, and ignore obstacles?
Clearly he is someone who lives his values.
Courage, loyalty, love, commitment,
and determination are values that have endowed him with a superhuman ability
to carry out tasks and a legendary strength of will.
It was these same values that were the strength that enabled him
to build his EDS company,
from an original investment of $1,000,
he rose to the top thanks to his ability
to judge and select the right people.
He chose them according to a strict standard of values
and he knew that when he had the right people,
people with high value standards,
he simply gave them the task and let them know,
they complete themselves.
Now he will put the final test of the people he has chosen
and he urges them to use their highest abilities
and rescue the members of the “family” of the company.
The story of their mission
and the challenges they faced is told in In the Field of Eagles.
We just need to know that,
overcoming unimaginable obstacles,
Perot’s heroic mission to rescue hostages was a success
and brought home his most precious capital: his people.
Values guide all of our decisions and therefore guide our destiny.
Those who understand their values
and live them faithfully become leaders of our society.
Once you know what’s most important to you,
making decisions becomes pretty simple.
Yet many people do not know clearly what is most important in their lives
and so make the decision an inner torment.
In contrast, for those who have clearly defined the highest principles of their life,
the decision is very easy.
Ross Perot knew immediately what to do.
His values were only drawn to him.
They were like his personal compass
to guide him in an extremely dangerous situation.
We always respect people who know our values, live them,
and take a firm stance on their beliefs,
no matter what we disagree with their ideas about is right or wrong.
What is value?
To consider something valuable means to assign importance to it;
If you value something, it can be called “value”.
In this chapter, we understand in particular the values of life,
the things that are most important to us in life.
For this type of value,
it is necessary to distinguish two types:
ends and means.
If I asked you,
“What do you consider most precious?”
you can answer,
“Love, family, money…” of these,
love is the value that you are pursuing;
in other words,
it is the emotional state you crave.
In contrast, family and money are only instrumental values.
They are means to help you reach the emotional state you truly desire.
If I asked you,
“What does your family give you?”
you can answer,
“Love, peace, happiness”.
The goal you pursue is love,
peace and happiness,
which are values.
Also, can I ask you,
“What does money really mean to you?
What does it give you?”
You might answer,
ability to contribute, sense of security”.
Here too, money is just a means for you
to achieve deeper values,
emotions that you wish to feel experience in life.
One challenge in life is that many people do not clearly distinguish
between values as means and values as ends,
and so they experience a lot of suffering.
Too often people are so caught up in the pursuit of means values
that they fail to achieve their true desires: end values.
Purpose values fill you,
enrich your life, and satisfy you.
Let’s take an example,
Suppose a woman’s highest values are taking care of her family
and dedication and she decided to become a lawyer
because she once met a lawyer who really impressed for her
by the fact that this person leads a noble life and helps others.
Then over time,
she was drawn into the whirlwind of activity in the legal profession
and she aspired to be a partner in her firm.
As she pursued this position,
her work took on an entirely different focus.
She started to own and run the company
and became a very successful woman,
but at the same time she felt unhappy
because she no longer had contact with customers.
Her status created a different relationship with her colleagues
and she devoted all her time to meetings and ceremonies.
She achieved her goal,
but lost her life’s ambition.
Have you ever fallen into the same trap,
pursuing the means thinking you were pursuing the end?
To be truly happy,
we must know the distinction
and make sure to pursue the goal itself.
Discover the values you are pursuing
Now start making a list of your own values that you are pursuing.
To find out these values,
you just need to answer the question.
“What is most important to me in life?”
Brainstorm your answers.
Peace of mind? Affect? Love?
Put your values in order,
from the most important to the least important.
Think for a moment and then act.
When I first compiled my list of values,
I saw the following values,
in the order they came to mind:
MY OLD LIST OF VALUES IN MY LIFE:
Looking at the list,
I immediately understood why I was doing what I was doing.
I am a passionate person;
I have a vibrant action style.
I admit it’s my passion.
My love for family and friends is evident.
I yearned for freedom
and I envisioned that if I could make others free and give it to them,
I would feel capable of anything.
I will grow and succeed
and finally be able to have fun,
be healthy and be creative.
Knowing my list of values helps me stay on track
and live in harmony with what I consider most important in life.
For many years, I felt that my life was very consistent.
But then I made another distinction
and it has changed the quality of my life thus far.
Changing your values will change your life
One day I thought to myself,
“The values I have are really helping me,”
but then I thought,
“Do I need any other values?”
I immediately noticed the lack of intelligence on my list.
Sure, I’m smart,
but I don’t consider intelligence a priority as passion.
In fact, in my passion,
I made some very stupid choices.
I began to understand that if I didn’t give intelligence a priority,
I would often make mistakes that lead to failure.
And I also found some other values to include in my list.
Then I asked myself a completely new question,
“What values must I remove from the list
in order to achieve my ultimate destiny?”
I began to realize that
because I was always paying attention to how to get free,
I was losing the freedom I had.
I realized that I couldn’t be more free than I am right now.
I might have a different feeling living in another country
where I don’t have many choices,
but I see no way to be more free than where I am today.
So I decided to cross out freedom from my list
and not take it too seriously.
Strangely, I felt free the very moment I crossed freedom off the list!
In the end I asked myself,
“In what order of priorities should
I prioritize my values in order to achieve my destiny?
I don’t ask,
“What is important to me? rather,
“What should my values be?”
And I developed a new list like this:
MY NEW LIST OF VALUES
* Health / Vitality
* Have fun/Happiness
* Make changes
* Being an excellent person
When my list is complete, I
feel a state of mind that I have never felt before:
peace of mind.
I have a sense of certainty that I never had,
because now I know my whole body is focused on my dreams.
I no longer have to fight with myself.
Because I no longer have to constantly seek freedom,
I can experience more intimacy and love.
I can experience more freedom.
I will succeed in happiness,
I will be healthy, energetic and intelligent.
By deciding to change my priorities in life,
I could immediately feel changes in my body.
“Give me the beauty of my soul; may I
the outer and inner man are fused”. – Socrates
How can you control this third element of your Core System, values?
Follow these two simple steps:
* STEP 1.
Find out what values you have
and rank them in order of importance.
This will make it clear
to you what you need to experience the most
and what you need to avoid most in life.
* STEP 2.
Ask yourself, “What must my values be
to achieve the destiny I desire and deserve?”
Think to write down a list of values.
Put them in order.
See what values you need to remove
or add from your list to create the quality of life you really want.
Your list of values can be a meaningless piece of paper
if you don’t stimulate yourself to use it
as a compass to guide your life.
On the contrary,
if you know how to use it,
it will become a solid basis for you
to make every decision in life.
So use this leverage to strengthen your resolve to live your new values.
If you ever yell at your children,
maybe someone who loves you passing by will remind you,
“Don’t you remember writing empathy as number one on your list?
Is it possible to have values
but not feel like you live them?
You can have huge value systems
to guide your life and still feel unhappy.
The reason why,
the following chapter will show you clearly.