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Core Values Keep you from Walking in Circles

Updated: Jan 27

The Ethical Lexicon #9: focus on ultimate goals; shut out false attractions

Are you traveling in circles? It certainly feels that way sometimes. And there may be a very good reason why. Because our brains are wired that way.

Yogi Berra said, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.

The truth is, it’s even worse than that.

According to research by scientist Jan Souman, if we don’t know where we’re going, we will almost inevitably end up back where we started.

It’s not clear why that is. What is clear is that we can do something about it.

It may be connected with the reason that depression and suicide have been on the rise over the last two decades. When we don’t have a feeling of purpose, we have no sense of destination. When that happens, we might as well be traveling in circles.

Perhaps we can't clearly see where we're headed. Or maybe we’re so distracted by possibilities that we can’t stay focused on any goal long enough to achieve it.

The root of the problem might be that we haven’t identified or defined the core values. Ultimately, nothing else will provide us with the sense of direction that leads us forward with confidence and conviction.

On the one hand, we need to live in the real world. On the other hand, we need aspirational goals and vision guided by higher ideals. Reflecting on and articulating our core values is the key to traveling in the right direction and staying on course.

Have you given enough thought to your core values?

Enjoy this column in Fast Company.

Photo by Wendy Corniquet via Pixabay

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