Thursday, September 28, 2000


Last month I wrote about Needs, that getting something you wanted often depended on getting a need met first. Needs are emotional or physical hungers that drive us and often create behavior that is not in our best interest. When our needs are not met, we can become very confused about what it is we really want.

This month I’d like to talk about Values. Values are the things in our lives that create pure delight. Once we have identified our needs and developed a structure to get them fully met in healthy ways, the fun comes in identifying our values and reorienting our lives around them.

Unmet needs trip us up; unmet values pull us forward. Your values define “who” you are. When you get to the “who,” your goals, the “what,” and your strategies, the “how,” are no-brainers. When you are confronted with an activity, compare it to your values. If you can't immediately find the value that supports the activity, let it go.

For instance, one of my values is simplicity. If it's simple or I can make it simple, you can count me in! If it's not, I generally don't play. Another one of my values is adventure. If an activity is both simple and adventurous, I'm in heaven. I know that no matter what the activity is, it fits two of my core values and is worth my time and energy.

Each of us has 5 to 10 core values that make us feel most alive. When you know what your values are, you naturally set goals that are you and, therefore, easier to reach. You'll also reject goals that you thought you might have wanted. Knowing they don't fit your values will make it obvious these goals were set based on a need or an outside influence.

Getting your needs met will change you, living your values will evolve you. You can transform fantasies into realities by remaining true to your values.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You never find yourself until you face the truth.” ~Pearl Bailey

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” ~Margaret Young

“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.” ~Shakti Gawain

“We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples’ models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.” ~Shakti Gawain

What I want for you is to be ruthless about centering your life around your values and enjoying the process. Yes, work on getting your needs met if you haven't yet, but don't wait to identify your values. It's just too much fun!

Just For Fun
The Top 10 Enduring Principles of Crazy Wisdom
For coaches, people, and pets weary of straightline thinking.
1. Never trust absolute statements.
2. To be or not to be! That's the answer…So what's the question?
3. Leave a legacy for mankind. Know nothing for 60 seconds.
4. If grace has touched you with the capacity to utter 3 useful things in sequence, perhaps it is time to take a break.
5. Be careful in not taking moderation to extremes.
6. If you find yourself on the road to enlightenment…STOP. You've gone too far.
7. At final auction, your personality will sell for far less than you've paid for it.
8. When you discover a Master who points the Way…don’t just do something. Stand there.
9. Whatever it is, - it will pass.
10. The validity of the above principles expires at the end of this sentence.

This piece was originally submitted to the CoachU Knowledge Base by William Sebrans, Executive, Business, and Personal Coach who can be reached at

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