Most of us have a set of common Values. We value Health, Love, Family, Success at Work, Respect, Hard Work, Discipline, Money, Passion, Excellence, Power and Commitment. The more evolved among us value Spiritual Growth, Empathy and World Peace. These, and any other Values we believe in, reflect what we believe is good for us, and what we want out of life.
Virtues, on the other hand, reflect stark reality. Our Virtues are the result of us living our Values day in and day out. Of converting our Values into living reality. Values reflect our hopes about ourselves and what we would like to be, while Virtues reflect what we are and what other people perceive about us.
Our life is closer to ideal when our Values are reflected in our Virtues.
- If we value Health, are we close to our ideal body weight, is our diet healthy and do we have a regular and sustained exercise routine ?
- If we value Empathy, do we have excellent listening skills, and do we intend to understand others ?
- If we value Hard Work, do we stop watching the clock and give 110% to each activity we choose to undertake ?
- If we value Family, do we spend adequate time with them and are we fully present for our family members with our smartphones put away ?
- If we value Excellence, do we have a rage for Perfection and a zero tolerance approach towards sloppy work ?
- If we value Money, are we spending less than we earn, do we have a smart and consistent saving and investment plan, and are we upgrading our skills so that our ability to earn more in the future is strengthened ?
- If we value Discipline, do we always do what needs to be done when it needs to be done how it needs to be done, regardless of whether we feel like it or not ?
Mark Divine, in his book “The Way of the SEAL” (in my opinion, one of the Top Ten Personal Development books of all time) describes a Virtue as a “Value that you have habituated till it becomes a character trait”.
So, the question for you, is, “Do your Habits reflect the Values that you stand by so that they will manifest as your Virtues ?”
Also published on Medium.