The Importance of Values
Written by Calvin Sun
Let’s discuss the importance of your mindset and values and how each one affects your performance both inside and outside of the gym. Stand by, because you’re about to get some inner Tony Robbins!
Your values, no matter what they are, are the compass that guide your journey through life.
Values help generate your path by guiding you to make certain decisions and take certain actions consistently. The problem most people encounter is that they have no idea what their mindset and values are or the difference between the two. They can tell you what they want: money, six-pack abs, a nice car, a happy relationship, etc.; but when you ask them who they want to be…
What’s a value?
If we value something, it means that we place some kind of importance on it. A typical response to the question, “What are your values?” may be “Love, money, health, security.” These are all great things, but they’re merely a means to another end.
Let’s take a closer look at money. Why would someone value money? Personally, I’d like to have a ton of money. But why? For me, having that money means having the freedom to travel and explore, peace of mind so I can focus my energies on more than just paying the bills, enabling me to give that money to worthy causes. In this case, money was the means, but the ends were freedom, peace of mind, and giving. What do you think gives you a greater sense of joy, amassing great wealth, or doing the things you originally intended to do with them – the means, or the ends?
Having a Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset when it Comes to Values
So, what does mindset have to do with it? A mindset can be thought of as your set of attitudes that you have established. Your mindset will dictate your responses and interpretations of situations. For example, some people have a fixed mindset where they believe that their basic qualities such as intelligence or talent are fixed. These people tend avoid challenges and give up easily. They tend to view their efforts as useless and ignore useful feedback. Fixed mindset individuals also have a tendency to feel threatened by the success of others. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that dedication and hard work can help them develop any ability they desire. They embrace challenges and persist despite setbacks. They seek out ways to continuously learn and improve themselves. Rather than feel threatened by the success of others, they find lessons and inspirations. Your mindset can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy. Fortunately, the choice is entirely yours. Choose your attitudes and beliefs wisely and you’ll be certain to find success in any goal you set.
Figuring Out Your Values
Many folks don’t really know why they’re doing the things they’re doing. They haven’t figured out what their values are, and/or they haven’t prioritized their values to set them up for success. Think about what drives you?
Below is a great example of what one of our coaches went through recently, let’s say he had this list of values (a personal list he drafted about 6 months back): Health/Vitality, Love/Warmth, Encouraging, Passion, Learning/Growing, Giving/Contributing Happiness
This is a great list, right? We thought so, but something wasn’t clicking, and you need a little background info to understand. Six months ago, he was coaching 4-6 hours a day, doing 3-5 hours of administrative work for the gym a day, taking organic chemistry (10 hours of lab and lecture a week, not to mention study and homework time), taking distant learning biology with a home lab kit, driving back and forth to take care of his dog every 4 hours, recovering from shoulder surgery, and trying to live the newlywed dream. In retrospect it wasn’t all that bad because no one was shooting at him (former Marine).
The big rub was that he placed Health and Vitality as his number one value. And to him, Health basically equates to exercising and staying fit. Believe it or not, working in a gym does not provide the great freedom to working out that you’d think it should – at least that’s what he thought. He was consistently living in conflict with his values and it was taking an emotional and physical toll on him.
So there’s more to it than just drafting a nice list of values. Values are necessary in order to identify the person you want to become, but then you also need to be willing to change your behaviors in order to work towards achieving those values.
Ranking Your Values
What is the end value that you’re seeking? Why do you compete? Are you searching to become the best version of yourself? Are you looking to impress your peers? Are you looking to possibly make a living of being a professional athlete?
We place a lot of importance on competition and how we perform, but is that what defines us? Ultimately our values are what define us and our true character comes from following up on doing what we say we are going to do.
It’s so important to make sure that your actions are in alignment with your goals. If your goal is to be the best version of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally, you know there are going to be sacrifices and things you have to be willing to give up. You probably also learned a good lesson about the importance of discipline – this is a value in itself that allows you to be consistent and almost assures you will achieve your goals.
At Invictus we pride ourselves in knowing that when we go into competition, all the hard work is done. We’ve put in the time and the effort to get us in a position to go out and show everyone what we’ve done but we don’t go into competition looking to win. We go into competition with the mindset that Full Effort is Full Victory. This means giving it everything we have and not worrying about what the scoreboard says. Ultimately if we give everything we have in competition we have nothing to regret!
Think about ranking your values in order of importance. Are you willing and able to make it a priority and modify your behaviors accordingly? Please share your thoughts, and if comfortable, some of your values with the most important people in your life and see what happens.