The Power of Values-Based Decisions
Life is a series of decisions. Eating broccoli instead of pudding is a decision. So is hitting the snooze button, going to the gym, or stealing office supplies. Decisions are a dance with short-term benefit and long-term value.
You make decisions all day. The issue is values.
Values-based decisions include:
- Choosing an electric vehicle even when charging is slower than pumping gas.
- Giving money to non-profit organizations.
- Listening to a child’s story even when you want quiet.
- Serving people when it feels easier to exploit them.
Expedient decisions fulfill immediate needs. It’s expedient to live next to Joe’s Pizza if you love pizza. We live 20 minutes from the closest pizza shop because we value country living, not because it’s expedient.
The decision to tax gas guzzlers and subsidize solar panels reflects values-based decision-making by government.
Expedient decisions provide immediate benefit. Values-based decisions reflect long-term advantage. Fast food satisfies your need for speed, but you choose fresh salad and yogurt for long-term benefit.
Values empower you to prioritize and set boundaries.
Values-based decisions set us free even when they’re not expedient. You might choose to make less money to spend more time with your children, for example.
You can’t make good life decisions until you know who you are.
Values-based decisions reflect internal pull. Expedient decisions are responses to external pressures.
You choose what YOU want when you live by values, even when it makes life difficult. For example, when you value service you choose meaning over ease. Serving is seldom convenient. It’s a matter of the heart.
How are expediency and values driving decisions in your world?
Decision-Making for Leaders: Beyond Pros and Cons
Making Decisions When the Path is Uncertain and Confusing
Fascinating decision-making book: Think, Fast and Slow.
Your blog posts are all worthy of consideration for understanding personal importance, Dan; but this is another of your all-time best! Value-based decisions (choices) are critically important to each of us!
Great post! And, when I look at my decisions, I learn something about my REAL values, which can differ from what I say I value… That insight gives me impetus to make changes.
Another point to make about values-based decisions is that my values may differ from yours. And that is perfectly fine. I may value earning money more while you value having free time more.
My values may also change over time, which is also perfectly fine. I may value earning money more . . . until I have kids, when I now value having free time more. And when those kids grow up and move out, I may decide earning money is once again more important.
Your statement, “You choose what YOU want when you live by values, even when it makes life difficult,” hit home! I often times have to think to myself, is this making things easy or is it reflect/progress my goals. Admitting, I do sometimes choose the easy (expedient) option. BUT, I know the consequences (if there are any) when I choose expedient over value based.
I have been following your blog for quite a few years now! I serve on a board for a nonprofit organization that supports a public park that is also a historic district. Quite frankly its uniqueness is it branding, not sure all who are involved understand this. We are in the midst of raising funds to renovate the many outbuildings that help tell an Americana story of over a century of important cultural heritage from pioneer, John Brown, Kirby the inventor to 75 years a Girl Scout Camp. Currently, the land/buildings are being reused as a public park and so much more. Just want to thank you for making my life and leadership skills better. Your words of wisdom and your guests that you host have done that for myself and many others I presume! You must be aligned with the “stars of need” somehow. As a nonprofit we have a long way to go, but your words give me hope and strength that we can manage and support reaching the full potential of this important place. We are all volunteers and somehow managed to raise a half million dollars in about 5 years’ time. Hope I didn’t go over my word count! Ha! Thankful!
Love this! I see values are the guardrails that keep me on the path to following our purpose. Influence Growth
Thanks for the reminders. You know how much I value things e.g. a good “CC”!