R.E.S.E.T your thinking

| March 31, 2021

We hear about them. We read about them. We see them on walls. On computer desktops. They’re mentioned and brought up in conversation and occasionally in meetings. During interviews. They’re handed down from generation to generation, from leader to leader. We model behaviours around them; But what are they?


Values determine how we act. What we think. Who we turn up as.  The decisions we make. The attitude we bring. We are always guided by our values both in our personal and professional life.

Most people don’t have clarity nor understanding around what their values are, what they look like. What they mean. Instead, they inherit idealistic values that have been handed down to them from others; their parents, leaders and as a result, these values don’t really hold much meaning. Much power. Is it any wonder then that we experience so much unhappiness in the workplace, in relationships, in life itself?

In fact, most people aren’t aware of what the values are in their home, their workplace, their culture. They ‘think’’ they know, rather, they know of them. They may have heard the ‘’words’’ been spoken, but what do the ‘’words’’ even mean? What do they do? How can you bring your values to life?

‘According to sociologists’ 

Value are “The ideals and customs of a group toward which the people have an effective regard.” Essentially, values are what we believe is important to us as an individual, a member of a team, family, workplace. Values are a group of words that are designed to help shape and drive us as individuals, teams, organisations, cultures, societies, and the like.

Values are like our compass in all aspects of life. They are what we believe is fundamental to our happiness and fulfilment.

Do you ever wonder why you…? 

  • Situations turn out the way they do.
  • Work where you work?
  • Are in the relationship you are in right now?
  • Drive the car you drive?
  • Dress how you dress?
  • Have your current beliefs around time?
  • Eat what you eat?
  • Speak to yourself the way you do?
  • Treat people how you do? Your children? Grandchildren? Pets? Your team members? Customers?
  • Makes decisions the way you do.
  • Do what you do for fun?
  • Love the way you do?
  • Always complain?
  • Are happy? Sad? Angry? Frustrated? Scared?
  • Deal with challenges and difficult situations the way you do?

Humanbeings, we tend to model behaviour. You know that old saying, ‘monkey see monkey do’’. We model other people’s values through behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, the decisions we make and as a result, these values determine what we experience. We behave based on them, even if we don’t agree with them. Values set the tone for the ‘how things are done around here’.

Ever feel stuck making a decision?  

Decisions are difficult to make because our values are not in alignment. When things don’t feel right that’s because we’re incongruent with what we consider important and what we believe we have to do…

Values, beliefs and decisions are the 3 things that define our blueprint. Like our fingerprint, our values are our blueprint.

Are you happy with what you do for work? If not, why are you there? For what purpose did you choose that job specifically? That organisation? For what purpose do you tolerate staying there right now? What keeps you there?

As you answer the above questions, notice how do you feel? Are you living congruently with whom you are and what you believe in?

Based on Dr. Clare W. Graves, values are based on 3 elements.

  1. The first one is the nervous system, in which the values are held
  2. Then, there’s the environment in which they are lived and then
  3. The above 2 will determine and affect the values content, which is what we normally think of as being values

I like to look at values as the essential building blocks of all relationships. We befriend and reject others, based on them. Values control our thoughts, our decisions, our actions and inactions, our emotions, our attitudes. Values are a learned behaviour, handed down and forced upon us by family, culture, environment, society, the workplace and as a result, we exhibit the behavior and the characteristics accordingly.

Many people have their values and beliefs arranged in a linear fashion. What’s wonderful about values is that they can be changed at any time. We’re always learning, growing and evolving as individuals and so too are our values. There are multiple ways we can create our own values.

Values must be defined on a logical level. Where most leaders, most companies go wrong is that they fail to give their people the criteria, the meaning of the workplace values and what happens when there is no meaning, there’s a lack of congruence and if there’s a lack of congruency, this then results in unhappy, dissatisfied, disengaged and disgruntled people.

R.E.S.E.T and design your values

So, how can you design values in a way that will help align your head with your heart?

Get curious – Ask great questions – brainstorm – Break it down and put criteria around it:

  • What core feelings, emotional state do I (we) need to feel on a consistent basis to be true to ourselves. To our team? To our clients? To our organsation? To the community?
  • What do I (we) need to do to feel fulfilled?

The answers to the above questions will give you an idea of what you value most and what’s important to you.

  • Recognise your vision

What kind of person do you ultimately want to become in your personal and professional life?

What are my current values, based on what I’m experiencing in my life right now?

What is my life demonstrating right now?

  • Evaluate current values

What do I fill my space with each day?

What environment am I creating?

What is it I most talk about?

What values do I need to eliminate to achieve my ultimate goal?

What values do I need to add to achieve my ultimate goal?

What do my highest values need to be to achieve my ultimate goal?

What order do these values need to be in, for me to be able to achieve my ultimate goal?

View your current list and ask: Are the values I have right now serving me?

Will they help me achieve my goal?


Re-write a fresh list of values that will serve and support you and move you toward achieving your ultimate goal.


Accept and become aware of your values and goals. Being able to accurately assess yourself in these areas is a vital start to change the way we behave/react/respond.


At the end of the day, the only responsibility we have is over our own actions and thoughts. Be a leader of your own life. Get clear on your own mission and values create your own path. Otherwise, you’ll end up following someone else’s path.

Example of some values to consider 









Never ending improvement






Say what you mean

Servant’s heart


Commitment to Customers

We value our values

Continuous learning




100% responsibility

Personal Accountability

Walk our talk

Constant, straight talking feedback

When we do things that are in alignment with our values and our core beliefs what happens is that we start to feel better, happier, more fulfilled and if we feel better, happier and more fulfilled, this then means that we are more likely to work harder and have more energy and enthusiasm, no matter what life throws our way.