William Arthur: Define your values

Mark Manson, writer and public speaker. Photo: Maria Midoes / CC BY

Mark Manson, writer and public speaker. Photo: Maria Midoes / CC BY - Credit: Archant

I was inspired to write this by Mark Manson – writer and public speaker.

I often scroll down YouTube, overwhelmed by opinion overload.

Everyone wants to tell you what is right and wrong. People will make you feel like your values are not correct.

Many engross themselves in the latest uproars in media, craving novelty.

The media has potential, it has power, it gives us a voice – but it destroys our values.

Values make you, you and me, me. They hold capitals together and unite friends. They show others what you stand for - they define you.

Step 1 – Define your values:

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Three values I live by: Courage, honesty, humility.

Courage – intentional action towards what you want – accepting fear. Honesty – 100 per cent authenticity in my speech and action. Humility – understanding you are not the best, acceptance of your flaws.

Step 2 – Understand your ‘why’:

Mum once told me ‘Never lie!’ The imperative went unnoticed for many years. “Lying gets you so far, though,” I thought.

The truth is that lying is not the problem – the truth is nuanced. Lying fragments your integrity. Lying shatters your trust with others – it becomes a part of your identity.

This is true for all of our values. I rarely lie because I want to become a person who I can trust. I risk humiliation for self-respect. I don’t brag because I know my actions speak louder than my words.

Step 3 – Test your values:

Acting against your values is too easy – the alternative is hard. Before saying ‘no’ to dull invitations, my brain melts with ‘what ifs?’. Standing up for myself makes me sweat, my throat swells, my knees buckle like jelly. Asking a girl out is like receiving a sucker punch to the belly.

What defines your values is the pain you suffer for them.

I hate being rejected, but I respect my vulnerability; Being alone sucks but better than bad company.

If you don’t define your values, others will.