Live by Your Values
Great leaders throughout history have been driven by their core beliefs or values, and people who get the most out of yoga also have a strong set of clear values. There are so many decisions and questions along the way where people can be thrown off the path toward their goals, and values help keep people on their path. When you have a strong system of beliefs, you can turn to them when you’re confused. When you value honesty, you know that you need to be truthful with a boss, a spouse, or a friend, even though it’’difficult to do so. Values help you maintain consistent, positive behaviors, and they guide you as you put a yoga plan into action and try out unfamiliar behaviors.
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Other people tend to know whether you are a person who lives by his values. Remember that they witness your behaviors, so if you are talking the value and not walking the value, this discrepancy, perhaps hypocrisy, is noted. For example, we all know the politicians and religious leaders who judge others and are then exposed for doing a similar behavior. Usually this scenario occurs because their values are not deeply held and followed. For example, a politician may arrest citizens for criminal behavior. Often such a politician makes many enemies, so their behavior had better be squeaky-clean. But then amazingly, as we all have seen, the politician will get caught either doing the behavior he has judged and criticized, or break a law or other important rule.
The lesson here is that if you don’t truly live by your values, you can be sure that you will get caught in some way, like the politicians who stray from their beliefs. Therefore it is vital to truly talk and walk your values if they are going to mean anything over time.
It is really important for you to clarify your key values because they serve as a foundation for your life going forward. If honesty, charity, interpersonal respect, education, kindness, wealth, or wellness ring true for you, I invite you to make a list of all your key values in each sphere. You can write this exercise in your journal and set it up as in the following figure: