Image Source: Tobias Lundgren, with gratitude.
In simple terms, values try to answer the question:
What do people find to be the most important in their lives?
Hayes et al define values as “verbally constructed globally desired life consequences.”
Thus, truth is a value. So are honesty, integrity, trust, kindness, compassion, love, conscientiousness, and empathy.
Often, our behavior is inconsistent with our values.
For example, our values may include being caring toward our loved ones. Yet, how often do we stay late and work beyond the office hours? By the time we reach home, our loved ones are asleep. What happens to our values?
The first step in minimizing the inconsistency is to recognize the inconsistency, to be aware of it, and make a conscious effort to mitigate the effects of the inconsistency.
Lundgren et al have developed a tool called the Bull’s Eye Values Survey (BEVS; 2012).
What does the BEVS try to achieve?
- Identify and measure personal values.
- Attaining the desired values.
- Persisting in the face of obstacles.
The Bull’s Eye has four dimensions or quadrants:
- Education and Work (Vocation).
- Relationships with colleagues.
- Relationships with family and friends.
- Personal well-being.
The first step is to identify where we are on the four dimensions.
The Bull’s Eye can represent a score of 10. As we move outward, we can lower the scores by 2 with each circle.
The next step is: Where do we want to be? The obvious answer may be The Bull’s Eye. Is this always possible?
How do we reduce the gaps? For example, if you have never been to college and wish you had the benefit of college education, you may consider one of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). You may consider platforms such as Udemy and Coursera. You may enroll for an on-line or hybrid program. In a knowledge-driven and information-rich world, reducing the education gap is probably the easiest among the four.
The final step is to reflect at regular intervals and examine whether we are moving towards the Bull’s Eye or not.
- List your values along the four dimensions.
- Plot where you are along each one of them, relative to the ideal (The Bull’s Eye).
- Draw up an action plan to reduce the gaps.
- Follow up and act decisively.
- Reflect and measure.
- Is your score increasing? Great. Keep improving.
- Is your score stagnant or decreasing? Revisit your values. Maybe you need to revise your priorities.
Commit to a values-based life.
Feel the exhilaration that springs from achievement.
Find for yourself that the softest pillow is a clear conscience.
You may not hit the Bull’s Eye on all dimensions.
You will not miss the target altogether either.
Isn’t that wonderful to start with?
Dilshad and Krishna