Is it possible to have wonderful values and have them aligned to the rules you have set up for meeting them but still feel like you are not meeting them in the moment? If you are being truthful then you would answer yes. All of us at some point in our lives have let events control us instead of truly controlling our own states and decisions as to what those events mean.
At one time there was a young man who had achieved unbelievable success by the age of twenty seven. He was a bright young man and felt that he had control of his life.
One day he realised something, he wasn't really happy. Many people seemed to dislike him and percieved him as overbearing. He then felt that he was no longer in control of his life's direction and his ultimate destiny.
He decided then that he would take control of his life by setting a higher standard for himself and developing a strategy to achieve it. It was a system that meant he could measure it every day.
He began by selecting 12 virtues that he would live by on a daily basis. Next to the list was a grid and every time he felt he wasn't living by them he would put a block dot next to that virtue.
His ultimate goal was to have no black dots, then he would truly know he was living by his virtues. He was very proud of his idea and showed the system to his friend. The friend said "great but I think you should add humility to the list. Then Benjamin Franklin laughed and added the 13th virtue to his list.
So what's the message I am aiming to convey here? We need to have a system or a strategy for living by our virtues and values every day. Otherwise how do we know we are moving in the direction of our true life's purpose?
This is called your "personal code of conduct".
As I write this I am reminded of something a friend told me. He once went in to a Chinese restaurant during the day to get some lunch. It wasn't too busy at the time. He ordered and asked them if he could use the toilet.
The lady that was serving him said "sure, but you have to use the one out the back, the other one is being fixed". He walked out the back and opened the door to the toilet. To his utter disgust, there sat the chef of the restaurant doing his business on the porcelain throne and peeling a large steel bowl of prawns at the same time.
Do you think this man had a high standard for himself or his business? Could this man have benefited from having a personal code of conduct?
So it's great to have a list of values, those things that you are committed to living by and really treasure the most. The thing to realise is that you really need to ask yourself, if love for example, is one of your highest values, are you being loving right now? Are you contributing right now? Are you feeling like your growing right now?
We need to commit to at least 10 states that we will live by at least once a day. These states may be playfulness, love, certainty, power etc. If you are to live by these 10 states then you will be sure to live by your values every day.
Regardless of the environment or what is happening around you, if you can commit to your 10 states or virtues then you will have a way of measuring whether or not you are living by your highest possible standard.
We need to create a code of conduct. So what is your code of conduct? How will you live each day?
Here's an example:
John Wooden's seven point creed:
"Making the most of oneself"
1. Be true to yourself.
2. Make each day your masterpiece.
3. Help others.
4. Drink deeply from good books.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.
John ensures that he lives this code of conduct every day. What could you include in yours? How would you commit to living by it each day? Think carefully about what you value most in life and create your own code of conduct.
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