“Love is my religion.” ~Ziggy Marley
By: Martin Grunburg
The big idea of VALUES appears to me to be inescapable these days.
One day I’m discussing the topic with one of my best buds over a beer, encouraging and at the same time challenging him to figure out his values. The next day I’m interviewing a great friend on the “Habits 2 Goals” podcast and the interview is targeted largely upon her “values-based marketing agency.” (The world’s first!)
Then, the following day I’m helping/advising a company about an important exercise in their early formation/reformation and the importance of identifying their core values before they develop their mission statement.
That’s three for three in just one week, and now as I write this I recall that the prior week (my editor can confirm this), while in Yellowstone with the family, we reviewed the G.R.U.N.B.U.R.G.* (acronym) values.
All this talk about VALUES and I have found myself reassessing my personal values list — what is and what is NOT on it. Technically, I guess, the value of “love” is on the list; however, I’m not sure I’ve regarded it quite this way…
Since it’s widely understood that values direct our behavior, I decided upon another fun, personal behavior experiment. This time, I’d challenge myself to practice mindfulness directed toward and around LOVE as a primary value to drive and direct my decision matrix; LOVE, then, is the first routing point. And I’m trying to incorporate that exercise into all decisions.
What would happen if I focused upon love as that primary filter/router? Does this _____ or ______ more reflect coming from a place of love?
Would I be able to do this? Would it be difficult? (the early results have been very interesting and I’m keeping a log).
Recall: “All life is an experiment and the more experiments you make the better.” ~Emerson
The “funny” thing is, I’m sure some people already have this ingrained as a habit. For me, I’m not so sure, although it hasn’t been too difficult as of yet; again, the outcomes, insights and consequences of these behaviors and decisions have been interesting.
So, the purpose of this post is to encourage YOU to take on two exercises of your own!
- Create your values list if you haven’t already.
- Prioritize them!
- If you already have your list, perhaps it’s been a while? Reassess it. Values should evolve over time, just like the person.
- Now, for “FUN” consider LOVE as a highest value, and then consider applying the very same experiment so that the idea of LOVE becomes your primary filter/drives your decisions and immediate behaviors and watch how events unfold in your life.
BTW: If you need a good values exercise email me via the website (to the right, a little lower where it says, “connect w/ Martin”) –> And I will send you something. Please title the email: VALUES!
Oh! the Irony
For me the irony is pretty thick since I’m often doing just this — writing and talking about the significance of values — yet, truth be told, the very first time I did this “stuff” myself (20 years ago), it was not for me but for my company!
Then, about 5 years after that (I must be slow) I recognized the profound effect the exercise had on my company, our service levels, comradeship and culture.
I then recognized that this was an exercise I had to do myself.
It’s crazy to think that sports teams, organizations and business are often “run” far better than we will operate ourselves.
Think about it: Great teams and organizations set goals, define values, and create mission and vision statements.
Ask yourself, “Where are these for the most important organization/organism “ME” Inc.?
Here’s just a few examples:
NAVY: Values: Honor | Courage | Committment
NIKE: Performance | Authenticity | Innovation | Sustainability.
APPLE: (both Apple and Google include longer sentences to support their values intention/meaning
ARMY: Loyalty | Duty | Respect | Selfless Service | Honor | Integrity | Personal Courage
UCLA: Integrity | Excellence | Accountability | Respect | Service
Finally, back to this idea of love driving your decisions. The thought occurred to me, “What if LOVE was a religion?” What if love were the primary driver for millions who follow one religion or another? Would there ever be war? Then, I Googled “Love is My Religion” and found Ziggy’s song below! ; )
Until next week,
*P.S.: Recommend this as a fun challenge/exercise: Use your last name or, I guess, your first name as an acronym of values for yourself and/or your family!
Example: G – grateful, R – responsible, U – unique, N – nice, B – brave, U – united, R – resourceful, G – generous