We all have things that are important to us but it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of everyday life and forget what’s important. We can either completely forget our values or, at the very least, end up making small compromises that end up getting us far off of our path. I struggle with this as well.
There are a number of great books, videos, etc. out there that talk about setting priorities, having values, staying focused, etc. To me, it seems that the key is that we need to boil our focus down to specific, core elements, and work to retain appropriate focus. We have to very clearly define what is valuable to us. EVERYTHING has to find its way back to that focus.
When our daughters were first born, my wife and I sat down and discussed what we desired for our daughters. This wasn’t about who they’d marry, what job they’d have, how they’d look, etc. It was about who they’d be, their character and the impact they’d have on the world around us. We focused on finishing the sentence of “I know your daughter, she’s…”, then we went on to fill in the blank. That fill is what we focused on and continue to focus on in our parenting. (Time will tell how successful we are at this.)
We do the same thing in our business. We look at what we want the business to be and do, then we focus on the actions that will accomplish those goals. EVERY action we take MUST answer back to those core, foundational values. For us, we focus on three core values of integrity, impact and growth. In the past, we had 5 – 10 different core values but found that it was too much to remember all of the time and, as we really spent time thinking about our values, we found that they all distilled down to the foundational values of integrity, impact and growth.
What are your core values? What’s most important to you? What are you doing, right now, to make sure that those core values are remaining your primary focus and that you aren’t getting caught up in things that are just pulling you away and distracting you from what really matters most?