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Values, Part 1: Soup for the Soul

December 5, 2017

 
 

This article has little to do with soup. The extent of soup is this: Driven by purpose and principles, Campbell Soup recently parted from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and joined the Plant Based Foods Association.They are the first major food company to join the nation’s only trade group representing the plant-based foods sector.


Supplementary to that statement, I LOVE what was said by President & CEO of Campbell Soup, Denise Morrison:


“One of the problems with having principles is you have to live by them.”



I reflect on life by means of food analogies.
Quite serious. The overlap of the food world to the occurrences of my life are freakish. Obsession [with all-things-food] may also explain it. In any case, Campbell’s bold move comes timely and relevant to a point in my life where values, character, principles, and integrity cloud my thinking.


To be honest, I never really understood their difference. I once thought these terms synonymous, but in acknowledging their difference, have found clarity – and consequentially, a very pretty outline of sequential steps toward (fingers-crossed) happiness.


I thought this metaphorical light-bulb-moment was worth sharing. Further, there’s an exercise in case you want to incorporate this into your personal and professional life… and for the businesses out there, your company culture.


 

 



I have this working-hypothesis:

Values are the keystone to happiness. Values change over time. Therefore, what makes one happy is going to change over time.



To better explain -

1. Determining what you deem important establishes values. 

 

2. What you value, is reflected in your character (how you are described). 

 

3. When you operate by a set of principles (formed by your values & character), and hold true to those principles consistently, you’ve accomplished integrity. 

 

4. An alignment in what is said and what is practiced, stemming from what one deems most important (aka integrity) – that leads to happiness.

As a hypothesis, you can test it. Call it experimenting.


Test 1. Put the personality tests down, and figure out what you value.
Of course, there’s an assessment for this. For me, it was in the form of a deck of tangible, paper cards. 50 cards, each labeled with an individual value and its definition. The assessment is a process of elimination that whittles down to a mere 5 cards (ideally, your most important values).
Check it out here.


Test 2. Harness some self-awareness and identify your character.
Convert the identified values from their noun form to their adjective form. Basically, whatever your value is, add “-oriented” to it. Whatever one truly* values, will be reflected in their character and how they are described by others.

In example:

Test 3. Identify your system of belief, meaning your principles.
Based off what you value, what are your fundamental beliefs (the non-negotiables to how you operate)?

In example:

 

 
Test 4. Have some integrity and live in alignment.
If what you value is adventure, your character should reflect that (that is, if adventure is how you actually live your life, versus how you ideally live your life... more on this in a future article!). Further to your character, your actions should reflect that. Maybe valuing adventure and being adventurous means you prioritize an exploratory vacation at some point in your year, you opt for a job absent of monotonous responsibilities, and/or you embrace risk on a daily basis.


Form a conclusion.
For me, I believe a life in alignment between what is said and what is consistently practiced is key to happiness. Better explained, identifying what one actually values, and implementing that value into life consistently will yield happiness. It works like this: