In life as well as business, there will be good times and there will be bad times. Without one, we could not recognize the other. If you find yourself in a position where there are more bad times than good, maybe some major changes need to be made. If your mindset and heart aren’t in it for the right reasons, there is a good chance your business venture won’t be successful. Are you working only to have the newest car and the biggest house? Those material things are nice, but are they really what is important to you? What are your core values? If you can’t name some values without hesitation, maybe it is time to take stock of what is important to you in your life and begin working for those reasons.
Identifying What Is No Longer Serving You
Taking stock of your values is easier said than done. It can take some deep digging and potentially even having to face some uncomfortable truths. Sometimes, though, the most valuable you work you do is the work within yourself, and that work is hard. Admitting your faults and hypocrisies is uncomfortable in the best of times, but keep in mind that this is the most important work of your life and will lead down a road to more meaningful work and happiness. The first step to recovery of any kind is admitting that there is a problem. So, before you can point out what is important to you, let’s focus on identifying the faults. Take the time to sit down and create some lists of honest pros and cons, both in business and in your personal life. What do you see that overlaps? What do you see that needs to be changed? This a great starting point to find out where improvements can be made. This exercise is meant to identify what is no longer working for you. By identifying these points beforehand, you can then get down to the details of what you truly want to work for and why.
Turning Values Into Meaningful Work
Now that the work of identifying the pros and cons has been done, you can have a clearer picture of what needs to be tended to. What do you see on this list? Do you see your core values being implemented in your work? Do you feel like the hustle and bustle of business has drowned out some of your core values? There are no right or wrong answers, just starting points. Now it is time to take stock of what your personal core values are. Our guest this week, David Meltzer, had to do this to change his life’s trajectory. He did this work and identified his innate desire to empower others to empower others to find happiness, a pay-it-forward chain of happiness. David’s goal in life is to empower a billion people in his lifetime to find their happiness. This is a wonderful example of someone putting in the work, making major life changes, and using their position to implement their core values. How can you use this example as a guide to your own journey?
Examples of Implementation
Let’s give a few examples of different values and how they can be implemented in meaningful work. For the first example, let’s say an important value to you is family first: perhaps your company could offer daycare services or offer an extra benefit of paying a percentage of childcare for employees with children. Beyond childcare, there could be more family days in the office or offer a company-funded family outing event. For the next example, let’s say an important value to you is giving back to the community: perhaps you could offer your employees the option to volunteer out in the community once a week while on the clock. That could be done in a number of ways, like cleaning up litter in the parks, working a shift in a homeless shelter, volunteering at a women’s shelter, or offering vocational training to underserved parts of your community. There are so many ways to give back. For the last example, let’s say an important value to you is being mindful: perhaps you could offer a time for your employees to reflect, whether that be through company-funded yoga classes, guided meditation sessions in the office, or even an office outing to a local park or botanical garden. These are just three examples of how you can implement your core values in your business and company culture. When you feel like you are doing meaningful work, you are more motivated to succeed.
Taking the Time
Getting to this point of implementing values in your work will take some time and some changes; this is no overnight fix. There will be bumps along the road, but don’t get discouraged; this is important and necessary work. You may realize you have to break it all down to get to the starting point of rebuilding. There is not just one path to getting where you want to be. It may take many tries along the way, but once you get there, you will know and will be so glad you put in the work. Do some soul searching, do some research, look at companies that you respect, do some networking, and read some books. Don’t get discouraged when pointing out the faults and weak points; this is all about moving forward and progressing. David knew that a core value of his was finding happiness, so he found a way to share his core values with the world. For the past twenty years, he has been travelling the world and presenting his story. These are free trainings that not only help those physically in attendance but also continue to help others beyond that. David shares tools with attendees so they can, in turn, get out there and spread the message even further. David seems truly happy and fulfilled with his life’s path, and we hope this inspires you to get out there and work for what is important to you.