Making Choices in Line with Our Values

From the Harmony Habit Tip Archives (Mar 2011):

“Your belief has become your thoughts,
your thoughts have become your words,
your words have become your actions,
your actions have become your habits,
your habits have become your values,
your values have become your destiny.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Reflection:

Most of us are fairly quick to identify “harmony” as one of our top values. We say it’s important to us and often claim that it’s right up there with our other core values, like “family”, “friendship” and “love”. Yet, if we could all become the proverbial fly on each others’ walls, we might not know that from our actions. Why is that?

Watering Red FlowerBecause in the stress and complexity of our lives, we often forget to align our actions with our values. We can get so caught up in our fast-paced, day-today lives – and all the things that just have to get done – that we don’t remember what matters most. Our values then take a back seat to other, more pressing issues. We wind up saying one thing and doing another.

Essentially, if we keep this up, over time, we wind up becoming the person we don’t want to be!

My 23 year old daughter, Shannon, is fond of saying, “Water the plant you want to grow.”

If you want more harmony in your life you have to “water that plant”; you have to cultivate it.

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This week’s practice:

Set aside time this week to think about what matters most to you. Identify your top values. Ask yourself: Who do I want to be? Am I someone who truly values harmony? Then simply observe the quality of your thoughts and feelings and your interactions with others. When you’re challenged by someone else’s behavior, how do you respond? Does your reaction – your words, tone of voice and body language – lend itself to creating harmony or discord? No judgment, just notice.

At the end of each day, note what you did that day to become the person you say you want to be. Did you do what it takes to become that person? If you value harmony, are you doing what it takes to cultivate harmony?

Most importantly, ask yourself everyday: Did I align my actions with my values today? Did I water the plant I want to grow?

By monitoring your behavior, you will automatically begin to modify it. If you truly value harmony, you will be more likely to create it.

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Conflict Resolution Program
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