Live and Die by Your Values

I’ve been to two thought provoking workshops around this, first as an attendee and then another as a keynote speaker, the topics couldn’t have been more different – and yet this definite theme ran through them both.

The first was called ‘Life doesn’t stop after 50’, how to enjoy a fulfilling third act, this was led by the inspirational couple Adrian and Judy Reith who are life coaches who have coined the phrase ‘Act 3’ to describe those years after the kids have left home, or retirement looms, those years when we can sometimes find ourselves searching for purpose and meaning, and a desire to ensure that we have left the legacy we had hoped we would. The second workshop was called ‘Business Breakthrough’ event for Wellness practitioners, I was speaking on the importance of recognising ‘You Are the Brand’ and encouraging therapists and coaches to get clarity on their message in order to attract more media attention and clients. There were other speakers too on ‘money mind-set’ and how to build your niche.

So, what did the talks have in common? Well, Judy and Adrian began by reminding us that we are all going to die, a cheery start, but an important one and they read the ‘Top 5 Regrets of The Dying’, as documented by a nurse working with terminally ill patients. The top regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”.

It seems many people felt their dreams had been unfulfilled, they hadn’t honoured even half of their dreams, and they died accepting that responsibility, knowing it was down to the choices they made.

In my presentation at the business event, I was speaking about the importance of getting clarity in your business, absolute clarity on what your USP is (I sometimes call this your YOU-nique brilliance), clarity on the ideal clients you want to work with, and clarity on the kind of business you want (no point in having a full client list and working 24/7 if that’s going to mean you don’t see your family).

How are these concepts linked? Well, Judy and Adrian spoke about the importance of identifying your values, they reminded us of the concept of a hot air balloon deflating, if you needed to throw out your values, what will be the last one you can let go of? If your life was in peril, what’s the one value you will cling to? They reminded us that goals not consistent with your values won’t bring happiness, we all know the old adage of the guy who strives all his life to ‘reach the top of the ladder’ only to find it had been against the wrong wall all along.

In my talk and in some of the other sessions at the business breakthrough event,  I also spoke about the importance of getting clarity on your values, on how you want your brand to be perceived, the kind of business you want, and who are the clients you want to work with?

If you have a partner or family it’s important to discuss your values with them, and find a way to accommodate theirs, if you have a business, make sure that you are attracting the kind of clients and community who would respect your values, if not necessarily share them.

Start with one of the many lists of values, (a few ideas below to get you started) add to the list if words are missing, circle the 20 most important ones for you, then reduce the list to 10, then to 5, mark them in priority order A-E – tricky, isn’t it?  But it’s critically important, if you discover that you aren’t living your life, (whether before or after 50) or running your business according to those values then you may need a re-think, if your number one value is ‘family’ and you haven’t been home in weeks, take a long hard look at that, if you are in a job you hate and are ‘putting off’ starting your business, or writing your book, ask yourself what you are waiting for? None of us know how long our ‘Act 3’ will last – you may not even make it to your ‘Act 3’! But if you are lucky enough to know your purpose, to have a desire to make a difference and know you need to share your work and your message with a wider audience, then there’s never a better time to start than right now…Remember one of my favourite phrases…” You don’t have to get it right, you DO have to get it going.”


Judy and Adrian are working with Inbound to fund and publish their book, you can get involved by pledging an amount (there are different levels and opportunities for coaching et al) and being part of this exciting project from the off, check out the video HERE>>

Janey Lee Grace offers coaching and workshops and is the author of ‘You Are the Brand’ (Filament Publishing) – available here>>