Values are not like Fashion


One nice thing about being in my third-third is that I was just sick for a few days and I stayed home… and in my pj’s.  It felt extravagant.  I felt a little guilty… briefly.  But, mostly, I got over that and was thankful that I could snuggle in and wait it out.


At this third of my life, no one was depending on me for food or transportation or other basic needs that my children needed me for when they were at home.  Since I work for myself, I knew what I needed to get done and was able to reschedule and communicate enough to be responsible.  I watched more television than I might like to admit, but I was discriminating and also got some reading in.

At some point, during my slight fever and general malaise event, I wrote down a phrase I heard.  No clue where it came from, but I have been mulling it over since:

Values are not like fashion.

As a Realtor, I often have clients who come to me with a list of things important to them in a finding a new home.  My job is to help them narrow that list down to the items they most value.  Basement, price, location, living area, square footage? You can rarely have it all, so defining what is most valued is key.

As a Coach, I try to get my clients to be introspective enough to define the values they hold most dear.  It is key to intentional living.   Choosing and ranking values is an important activity in my “Life on Purpose” workshop.

We need to know what is important to us. 

Values should be deep and sound.  They are guiding lights and solid anchors.


Honesty, family cohesion, courageous acts, financial freedom, fame, openness.  I have a list of thirty-two possible values and instruct people to choose ten… then to rank the ten in order of importance.  The goal is to recognize and choose the force that drives decisions.  Which job to accept?  Which relationships to pursue?  How to spend time?  What to read, what to listen to, what to purchase, where to vacation… a life based on identified and deeply held values gives satisfaction and purpose.

Fashion changes.  Leggings will go away (comfortable as they are), shoulder pads will return (sigh), skirt lengths will rise and fall, t-shirts will be long or short, jeans tight or baggy.  Changing fashion makes life fun, gives newness and color and creative expression.

Values, however should not be changing on a whim.  Values should be thought out and owned.  I once was told by someone who values “accumulation of wealth” that I took my value of “honesty” too seriously.  It was a pivotal discussion.  Life changing for me.  Clarifying as to where I should be investing my life and energy.

Values are not like fashion.  Fashion changes.  Values define.  Values solidify.  Values stay.




Bookmark the permalink.

One Comment

  1. This email was timely. I have been working on my core values for my business. Figuring out both my personal values as well as my key leaders personal values is essential in figuring this out. Would you be willing to share the list of 32 values you use? Really enjoyed this blog Debbie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>