“Try not to become men of success, rather become men of value”
– Albert Einstein
“Back of every life there are principles that have fashioned it”
– George Lorimer

I love quotes a lot. They kind of inspire me and keep me motivated to go on. One of my favorite in recent times has been this quite by Einstein. How true it is. We tend to pursue success sometimes at the expense of our values. However, real success happens when we live our lives based a the right values.

Values are the foundation of every great life. I am yet to find a truly successful person who did not ride on the back of certain basic values. This is because values make success natural. Life gets easy and many of the things we struggle just flows.

Harold Smith wrote that the real measure of a man’s worth is how much he will be worth if he lost his money. Truth is money does not define worth. Value does. When you are a person of value you become more valuable, you earn respect and command attention in every place.

Let’s define what values really are. Values are the principles that guide the way we live our lives. They are the standards by which we judge things and operate.

Values are the moral code or ethics by which we choose to do life. It’s revealed by what we hold in high esteem.

Until we choose our values our choices cannot be valuable. Where there are no values then vices will take root.

Values benefit us in a number of ways:

1. They act as an anchor to hold and keep us steady in tough and challenging times. Circumstances of life can’t force you to do what is wrong. It’s your values that define how you react or respond to what’s against you.

2. Our values act as a compass to guide us in the direction we should go. Without we will be lost and living like wanderers rather Jan being the wander we were designed to be.

3. When we live by the right values, we make decisions easily and quickly. This is because we immediately know what we can or cannot do. For example a person who values family will not pick a job even a high paying one that will keep him away from home for a long time. If you are a person who values integrity, you won’t think money first in dealing with others.

4. Values define how we relate to other people. Loving people is dependent our value systems. A person of positive values will treat others in the way he desires to be treated. That’s what we call the golden rule right? Do to others as you would have them do to you.

5. Values determine how we do our work. Excellent people are just driven by the desire to give their best always. Their value keeps them on track even when the situation does not promote excellence. It does not matter what’s going on, they deliver excellent result because that’s what they value.

6. Values shape the way we live our life. You either live by design or by default. That will be determined by the your values or lack of it.

To live a life of values

1. Make a decision to be a person of value. That’s the beginning. Your decision immediately sets you up for higher standards.

2. Articulate the values that will guide your life. You may thrive by uncertainty but you can’t if your not clear. Clarity make things work better. So be clear about the values you want for yourself. Choose your set of values (and if I may add) based on Godly standards.

3. Internalize these values. This is how you make them personal. By internalizing the chosen values, we are able to run with them daily. They become a part of us.

4. Create an accountability system to help you. Sometimes we drop the ball especially if not one is watching. Be accountable to someone who can help check you. And if fall remember what my friend John Maxwell told me – if you are struggling it means you are still in the game. Just stay in the game.