Values in practice 

Then the exercise said, examine the list one more time for its realism. Do this by briefly grasping each value and thinking about the role that it would play in your day-to-day life.

Here’s my attempt.

1. Counting my blessings.  At dinner we do the “what am I thankful for” exercise.  Regularly, especially when challenged by life, I should do the exercise internally too.
2. Honesty.  I should remind myself of this value when talking with others.
3. Maturity.  This is really what I always wanted out of life:  to be grown-up and responsible for myself.  I should remind myself that it requires responsibility and courage.
4. Being a good husband.  This means keeping my wife’s needs and desires prominently in mind.
5. Being a good father.  This means enabling my kids to succeed and to be happy.
6. Wanting the best for my family.  This means vigilantly monitoring my decisions to avoid selfish behavior.
7. Protecting my family.  An example is summoning the courage to stand up to my mother, who has a history of criticizing my wife.
8. Meaningful relationships with my wife and kids.  This means being mentally and emotionally present, not just physically present.  It means focusing on them, and not being distracted by chores and similar compulsions.
9. Being active.  I love exercise and outdoor activity.  This also means looking for efficient ways to be active, such as focusing on intensity instead of quantity and being active with other people so that exercise does not distract from my commitments to family.
10. Being useful.  For now, I enjoy this luxury at work and at home.  I will thank God if I can continue having the time and opportunity to do work that is useful, for several more decades.
11. Lifelong learning.  This comes with my career and my wife.  In finding my next career, I need to remember this value.
12. Creating new ideas throughout life.  My job allows me to exercise some creativity.  Writing also helps.  I want to be sure my next job also allows me to be creative.
13. Improving the community or world.  I often look for ways to improve my neighborhood or community.
14. Living with integrity.  When faced with daily decisions or interactions, I must keep up my inner dialogue about honesty and courage.
15. Living with compassion.  When relating to other people, I must maintain my inner dialogue about being empathetic and not being judgmental.  There, but for the grace of God, go I.
16. Teaching.  My job allows me to teach.  I must find this in my next job too.
17. Quality work.  Daily, I should maintain an inner dialogue reminding myself that work can give me more than just money.  It can also give me pride, self-pride that I have to earn.
18. Competence.  Daily, I should maintain an inner dialogue reminding myself that work can give me more than just money.  It can also give me pride, self-pride that I have to earn.
19. Being dependable.  I can remind myself not to neglect commitments, and not to make too many commitments.
20. Humility.  I can remind myself that I am more content when I don’t get jealous, prideful, our self-righteous. Recalling life’s hardships during a meditative morning moment helps with this.
21. Loyalty.  This means reminding myself of my commitments to others, and of their loyalty to me.
22. Flexibility.  This is a key ingredient of healthy spontaneity.  When I feel compelled to clean, tidy, or do some task on my to-do list, I must remind myself that relationships are more important.
23. Selflessness. I must maintain an inner dialogue about the importance of supporting others.
24. Empathy.  This means trying to see things from my wife’s perspective.
25. Mindfulness.  This means living in the moment, particularly when talking to my wife or others, but also when experiencing daily life.
26. Being a good role model.  This means that when making decisions I should consider which course of action would provide the best example from my kids.
27. Independence.  When possible, I should at least consider doing things myself instead paying someone else or asking for help.
28. Financial freedom.  This begins with paying down debt and keeping expenses low.
29. Being trusted. This means telling my wife and others everything, including unpleasant truths.
30. Companionship.  This means not just having a companion, but also being a companion.  I need to think daily about giving my wife attention and support.
31. Appreciating nature.  Even as we age, every year I will aim to camp and ski with my family.  My wife and I will aim to live in a place with a good natural environment.
32. Leaving a legacy.  I want to help my children be successful.  I want to write a book.
33. Friendship.  This means not just having a friend, but also being a friend.   I need to think daily about giving my wife attention and support.
34. Forgiveness.  This means remembering that forgiving other people will free me from the burden of anger.  It also means remembering that nobody owes it to me to forgive me, but I should work to earn forgiveness regardless.
35. Realism.  This means remembering to be wide awake to risks and challenges.
36. Conservation.  This means finding practical ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
37. Open-mindedness.  This means remembering to not be judgmental.
38. Financial security.  This begins with paying down debt and keeping expenses low.  It also means that after this career I must have a new discussion with my wife about our financial goals and how to meet them.
39. Courage.  This means speaking up when I have something to say at work, to my birth family, or to others, instead of holding it in.
40. Balance.  This means looking at life each day and evaluating whether I am neglecting any aspect of it.

Neutral (could be good or bad, depending on your approach).  I think these values can be healthy if I interpret them and apply them wisely.  If I take them to extremes, pursue them for the wrong reasons, or fail to balance them with other values, they could become unhealthy, I think.

41.  Professionalism.  With the right approach, this means practicing integrity in my work and taking a healthy portion of pride in my work. With the wrong approach, this means putting time and energy into work at the expense of my family.
42. Responsibility.  With the right approach, this means fulfilling commitments and making good choices.  With the wrong approach, this means allowing my “to-do list” compulsions to control me instead of me controlling them.
43. Leadership.  With the right approach, this means behaving with courage, wisdom, and responsibility.  With the wrong approach, this means spending too much time and energy pursuing leadership opportunities and not enough on my family.
44.  Taking care of my health, taking pride in myself.  With the right approach, this means looking inside myself for esteem and happiness.  With the wrong approach, this means vanity and seeking validation from other people.
45. Freedom.  With the right approach, this means independence and maturity.  With the wrong approach, this means self-indulgence and lack of responsibility.
46. Excitement.  With the right approach, this means appreciating life.  With the wrong approach, this means taking inappropriate risks that unfairly threaten my family or others.
47. Adventure.  With the right approach, this means making the most of life.  With the wrong approach, this means self-indulgence at others’ expense.
48. Being loved.  With the right approach, this means appreciating positive feelings from others.  With the wrong approach, this means seeking external, not internal, validation.
49. Physical pleasure, including food, drink, sex, sports.  With the right approach, this means appreciating life in a healthy way.  With the wrong approach, this means getting out of balance and neglecting other paths to happiness.
50. Seeing the world.  With the right approach, this can help me appreciate life.  With the wrong approach, this could lead to imbalance and neglecting the needs of my family.
51. Masculinity.  With the right approach, this can help me feel self-esteem and to think about the role of responsibility and self-sacrifice in masculinity.  With the wrong approach, this could devolve into shallow, self-centered pursuit of external validation.
52. Being respected.  With the right approach, this could motivate me to make good choices.  With the wrong approach, this could devolve into shallow, self-centered pursuit of external validation.
53. Feeling needed and desired.  With the right approach, this could help me appreciate sincere supportive sentiments from others.  With the wrong approach, this could devolve into shallow, self-centered pursuit of external validation.
54. Happiness and contentment.  With the right approach, this could remind me to appreciate life.  With the wrong approach, this could lead to self-centered behavior.
55. Sense of accomplishment. With the right approach, this could help me find self-esteem.  With the wrong approach, this could crowd out time and energy I should devote to my family.
56. Physical health, strength, beauty.  With the right approach, this could help me develop self-esteem, and physical health directly promotes mental health.  With the wrong approach, this could devolve into shallow, self-centered pursuit of external validation.
57. Order.  Order directly gives me comfort and helps me with self-control.  The danger is that I  might become a slave to my “to do list” and “neat freak” compulsions, thus losing self-control and failing to give necessary time and energy to my family.  I must constantly seek balance with regard to my desire for order.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s