Owen Shaw: You know, when I was young, my brother always used to say, "Every man has to have a code." Mine: Precision. …
Dominic Toretto: At least when I go, I’ll know what it [the code] is for.
In Fast and Furious 6, Dominic is the good guy and Owen, the bad guy. But they have one thing in common: They both live by a code. They both stand for something—a personality trait, a way of doing things, family honor, or a cause they believe in.
The code Dominic and Owen refer to is the set of personal values that they live by.
What are Personal Values?
Personal values form the essence of who you are. They are the principles, beliefs, and attitudes that color your perceptions about the world around you and the people in it, influence your judgement, and steer your responses and actions. They are the standards and qualities that you hold in high regard and want to imbibe because you believe they will enhance your persona and improve the way you live and work.
Personal values are shaped by the thoughts, experiences, events, and people we come across in our lives. What we learn in school and what we see on the television or read on the internet too shape our value systems.
Personal values may change over time. As we mature, glean new insights, and go through myriad experiences, we may change our views about the world around us or how we should function in our lives. As a result, our personal values too change. But it is critical that you are always aware of your values or the code that is running the show (your life) from behind the scenes.
Why You Should Connect With Your Personal Values?
Connecting with your personal values is being true to yourself. It is being YOU and living an authentic life that resonates with your soul. But there are other reasons as well why you should connect with your personal values.
1. To be more present
Sometimes it may be quite stressful to live solely for goals and deadlines. You are always anxious wondering if you can make it to your destination on time. This future-focused mindset makes pursuing your goals a tedious and stressful process, almost a chore.
Concentrating on your values, instead, lets you be present and focus on the here and the now. Instead of worrying about reaching somewhere or bagging something, you focus on staying true to your beliefs and embodying your values. So, if like Owen Shaw, your personal value is precision, you focus only on doing your work accurately. You don’t wonder if completing the task will bring you accolades or get you the corner office.
Connecting with your values and living by them lets you be in the present, so you can stop and smell the roses while working towards your goals.
2. To prioritize tasks and relationships
Connecting with and living by your personal values give you clarity on what you want to do in life and how you want to go about it. These insights, in turn, let you prioritize your To-Do list, so you don’t scatter valuable energy doing work that does not align with your values or give you joy and a sense of purpose. You can prioritize your relationships, so you don’t waste precious mental energy networking with people who do not match your ideals or try to wean you away from what you believe in and deem valuable.
Living by your personal values is one of the greatest time-saving habits you can introduce in your daily life.
3. To establish credibility as a person
When you are aware of your personal values and live by them, consistently, you establish yourself as a person of integrity and character.
When excellence is your code, you strive to deliver excellence in every project you work on. When honesty is your code, you speak the truth always. When fairness is your code, you strive to be just and considerate every time you deal with people or lead your team.
When people around you see you responding in a particular way in similar situations, they come to regard you as a person who can be trusted. You are seen as someone who cannot be tempted, bribed, coaxed, or intimidated to do what does not feel right to him. You gain admiration and respect for your work and attract friends, followers, supporters, and collaborators who want to partner with you.
4. To make ethical decisions
Living by your personal values lets you make ethical decisions. When you base your life’s decisions on truth, honesty, integrity, and sincerity—the ideals you want to live for—you are never tempted to go down the wrong path. When you will yourself to live by your personal values, decision-making becomes easy because there is only one thing to choose—that which aligns with your credo.
5. To live a life that serves your highest good
Connecting with and living by your personal values ultimately help you become your best version and create the life of your dreams.
When you live by your personal values, you are more passionate in everything you do. You find meaning and purpose in your life, so you are enthusiastic and optimistic. Your passion and enthusiasm show in the work you do and get you noticed. Your positive vibes, integrity, and character also draw into your fold people who are encouraged to collaborate with you.
Connecting with and living by your personal values eventually help you create a rich, meaningful, and engaged life that fills you with joy, peace, and contentment.
How Guided Meditation Will Help You Connect With Your Personal Values?
You need to first discover the values you want to live by and then tweak your thought patterns and behavioural responses, so they align with your value system. This calls for a mental transformation. Meditation helps you work on your mind and lets you identify, focus, and connect with your personal values. Here’s how:
By creating a calm, mental space where you can shut out external chatter and tune into yourself
The very first step of identifying your personal values is to move away from the external noise that drowns out the tiny little voice inside you that is trying to speak to you.
Societal expectations. Peer pressure. The unreasonable demands of your loved ones. Images flashed on the media. The conversations taking place on the internet. There is a lot of noise out there that clouds your priorities and keeps you from realizing what YOU truly desire.
Societal expectations mask your dreams. The images and ideas flashed by the media distract you from what your heart wants and make you believe that you should do what other people are doing. Peer pressure compels you to follow the herd instead of marching to your own tunes.
Meditation creates the space for you to shut out the external noise and dive into the inner recesses of your mind.
By teaching you to analyze your actions objectively
Meditation teaches you to slow down, pause, and look around you or within yourself non-judgmentally. You need this non-judgmental outlook to be able to analyze your thoughts and actions without fears, regrets, and biases. You need this objectivity to examine your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. You need the ability to see reality for what it is when you examine how you are living and working and try to decipher your motives and drives.
By letting you reflect on deep questions about your motives and identity
Who do I want to be?
What do I want to do for the rest of my life?
Is he right for me?
Should I quit my job yet?
These are profound questions, and the answers you arrive at could change your life forever. The insights you glean from probing yourself so minutely will help you identify your personal values. The answers will make you to re-examine the way you are living and working right now; you might even be compelled to make drastic changes to bring your life in sync with your values.
Reflection is not a frivolous pursuit that you can indulge in while watching TV or browsing Facebook. You need the quiet space that meditation creates to ponder these questions. You need to drown out the external noise to listen to your soul’s calling and hear what your heart says.
Sometimes the answers you arrive at may not be pleasant, such as when you realize that you are working at a soul-sucking job just because you want to impress your peers or that you are staying in an abusive relationship because you are afraid to be single. You should be able to process these answers without beating yourself up. You should be able to dwell on these insights and be comfortable owning up to your shortcomings, fears, and flaws. Acceptance will empower you to make the changes that will take you closer to living a life that aligns with your personal values.
Meditation teaches you to analyze the answers you come up with, non-judgmentally.
By helping you visualize living a life true to your values
Meditating to discover your personal values increases self-awareness. You now know who you want to be, what drives you, and how do you want to shape your life. With increased self-awareness, you can harness the power of visualization to strengthen your values and cement them in your psyche.
Use the calm space that meditation creates to focus on mental images of you living a life according to your personal values. See yourself embodying excellence at work. See yourself standing up to the bullies in your neighborhood. See yourself being a pillar of strength for your loved ones. See yourself conquering your fear of the unknown to travel the world solo. As you go through these visualization exercises repeatedly, acting out your values in reality will become second nature.
Meditating on your personal values every morning gives you a roadmap for the day. You can use this time and space to mentally play out the situations where you might be challenged to stick to your values. Mentally acting out how you want to respond in these situations will help you speak and act true to your values when the events do take place in reality.
Meditating in the evenings gives you the opportunity to analyze the day that went by and find out if you were able to respond and act in sync with your personal values, and if not, why. The time you spend reflecting on the day and your actions will make you more determined to stick to your personal values in future.
Now of course, meditating does not mean you have to sit and stare at vacuum and try to empty your mind of all thoughts and feelings. The Meditable app lets you design your meditation session around the values you want to embody. The customized meditation sessions will cut straight to the chase and guide you through meaningful exercises to help you uncover your personal values and steel yourself to stick to them.