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Chapter 5. Block 2—Understanding Purpose > More Thoughts on Value Clarification

More Thoughts on Value Clarification

  1. Values are crucial to personal excellence

    Personal effectiveness and balance require us to hold a set of clear personal values. Without such bone-deep beliefs, we are much more likely to gallop off in different directions according to whim. Without values, self-management becomes little more than choosing from an array of equally worthy (or unworthy) activities. Without values, we become subject to “the tyranny of the immediate,” and react to events rather than doing that which is most meaningful to us.

  2. It isn’t easy to sort out our values

    If value clarification were an easy process, more people would do it. But it isn’t and they don’t. One reason for the difficulty of the task is that values often present conflicts between two desirable goods.

    For example, a worker may feel a need to maintain friendships by socializing with coworkers, but this could conflict with the need to get away from others and finish a task. Another difficult choice may be the question of allowing children (or inexperienced workers) the freedom to make personal choices, which can result in the high cost of their mistakes due to inexperience.

    Once values are clear, people reduce the need to make uncomfortable choices. Their behavior is spontaneously “right”—consistent with their values.

  3. Value clarification must be put to work

    Careful value planning takes time. This book will get you started, but the greatest benefit will come to those who spend hours on the process of value shaping.

    One systematic way to do this is to set up a notebook [4] or planner that provides a place to write your core values and related activities.

    [4] The Plan-It Life organizer provides forms for applying the material in the book. To order a planner, see page 52.



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