To achieve a better life for yourself, you must start with the right core values.
Your life's core values in the Philosophy for LYF are goodness, open-mindedness, gratefulness, respectfulness, and courageousness. Aligning and living your life with these values every day—as a matter of course—elevates the quality of your character and guides your way of life.
The previous post discussed goodness, the single all-encompassing foundational core value of LRN LAF LUV LIV for LYF. This post describes the four other supporting values that are requisites for fully creating true value from their four related deeds of goodness (LRN LAF LUV LIV).
Remember that goodness underpins and is embodied in each of these supporting values.
To fully implement the goodness deed of LRN, you must embrace the core value of open-mindedness. Open-mindedness means you are open to considering and analyzing new ideas and information, able to process and evaluate viewpoints from all sides, and are willing to change your mind in light of new evidence.
Open-mindedness allows you to be:
- open to admitting your weaknesses and identifying your real strengths,
- open to improving yourself,
- open to learning from your mistakes,
- open to learning from others,
- open to understanding multiple perspectives,
- open to exploring deeper and wider,
- open to new experiences that create true value,
- open to focusing on goodness in everything you do, and
- open to sharing your knowledge and empowering others.
Throughout history, great minds have understood the importance of this core value. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, for instance, wrote in his Meditations in 167 CE:
“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
You have probably witnessed the negative impact on a person who narrow-mindedly said, “I’ve always done it this way” or even “my way or the highway” without considering other options.
Remember that open-mindedness does not mean to open your mind mindlessly or to not think for yourself. One must still assess, make sound decisions, and know right from wrong. As Professor Walter Kotschnig urged an audience at Smith College in 1939:
“Let us keep our minds open by all means, as long as that means keeping our sense of perspective and seeking an understanding of the forces which mold the world. But don’t keep your minds so open that your brains fall out! There are still things in this world which are true and things which are false; acts which are right and acts which are wrong, even if there are statesmen who hide their designs under the cloak of high-sounding phrases.”
To fully implement the goodness deed of LAF, you must embrace the core value of gratefulness. Gratefulness means you are truly thankful and appreciative of the goodness that abounds.
Gratefulness allows you to be:
- grateful for what you have at the moment,
- grateful for opportunities that come your way,
- grateful for living,
- grateful for the beauty that surrounds you,
- grateful for the hope of a better future,
- grateful to be capable of providing goodness in everything you do, and
- grateful for the opportunities to uplift and spread joy to others.
Studies have shown that being grateful provides several benefits to the individual. This article in Greater Good Magazine lists benefits that are:
- physical (stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, sleep longer),
- psychological (higher levels of positive emotions, more joy and pleasure, more optimism), and
- social (more helpful and compassionate, more forgiving, feel less lonely and isolated).
To fully implement the goodness deed of LUV, you must embrace the core value of respectfulness. Respectfulness means being kind, courteous, considerate, fair, and just. It is reflected in treating yourself and other people with dignity and justice. You must be respectful to yourself and to others to elevate through love. Respectfulness allows you to be:
- respectful of your mind and your body,
- respectful of who you are and who you can become,
- respectful in dealing with every person you encounter, and
- respectful in showing love and in caring for others.
Some people feel that that others must earn their respect before they will show any respect. That view of respect and the core value of respectfulness are two different concepts. While the former may mean having deep admiration for another person, the latter means thinking and acting in a way that shows you care about the feelings and well-being of another person because you know everyone has goodness in them. You should always be respectful, even if you disagree with that person.
U Thant, the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, stressed the importance of this core value when he wrote in Portfolio for Peace in 1968:
“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves. This, as the sages of many lands have taught us, is a golden rule in individual and group, as well as international, relations.”
To fully implement the goodness deed of LIV, you must embrace the core value of courageousness. Courageousness is not the absence of fear, but the moving ahead despite the fears and uncertainties you have. Courageousness allows you to be:
- courageous in stretching out of your comfort zone,
- courageous (but not reckless) in taking risks for goodness,
- courageous in facing challenges in your life,
- courageous in giving your best,
- courageous in being honest with yourself,
- courageous in persevering and accomplishing your goals,
- courageous in leveraging your strengths and reaching further,
- courageous in acting on your core values when it may not seem in your best interest (but it always is), and
- courageous in leading by example to inspire others to goodness.
The great cellist Pablo Casals eloquently stated this view of courageousness in an interview published in The Saturday Review in 1959:
“Each man has inside him a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a man to listen to his own goodness and act on it. Do we dare to be ourselves? This is the question that counts—and not, must a man be helpless?”
Your life can only be truly valuable when you have the right values and when you live those values every day. Poor values will morally bankrupt your life, but these five core values––goodness, open-mindedness, gratefulness, respectfulness, and courageousness––will steer your life towards profit and prosperity.
The next post will discuss your life's strategy and the four deeds of goodness.
Embed the core value of Goodness within you | LRN LAF LUV LIV for LYF
[…] next post will discuss the four other supporting core values that are requisites for fully creating true value from the four related deeds of […]