Values Motivate Us

A Frank tale of wartime persecution………

Values Motivate usAnne was born in Germany in 1929 and as a little girl life was good. Her father, Otto Frank, moved the whole family to Holland and started a successful business. At this time Holland was an ideal and safe place for young Anne to run and play free.

However, in the 1940s dark clouds fell over Holland as the Jewish population experienced ever increasingly repressive measures by the Nazi’s during World War II. It was not long before Otto and his family were forced into hiding in makeshift quarters in an empty space at the back of Otto’s company building called the Secret Annex.  Conditions were cramped as they were also accompanied by the family of Otto’s business partner. They spent 2 years in hiding and never once stepped outside.  Here Anne spent much time writing about her experiences and wishes in a diary.

Despite these extreme circumstances, Otto’s deep family values shone through in his daughter’s diary that told of the difficulties of hiding in such a confined space. Anne wrote, “I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free, and yet I can’t let it show”.

Values are powerful as they motivate us to take action.  When Otto’s family values determined that Hitler’s values were fundamentally wrong, he decided to risk everything and today Anne Frank’s book “A Diary of a Young Girl” tells the human story behind one of the worst nightmares in human history, the Holocaust.

Values Motivate Us.

According to Dr. Wyatt Woodsmall, Organisational Development and Management Consultant, (behavioural and learning technologies), “Values are the things that motivate us and beliefs are the rules we have so that we know our values are fulfilled.”   A number of beliefs are often clustered around any one value.   Therefore if you successfully change a particular belief you will discover that another similar belief, from within that very cluster, will pop up and surface shortly afterwards.  You may have often found yourself saying “Hey, I thought I dealt with that belief” and you may well have done, however, you then find you are confronted with the next belief within that cluster.  So, when you change a value you actually change a range of beliefs.

True Values.

True values are abstract terms that are packed with sematic meaning such as “Purpose”, “Happiness”, “Love” and “Oneness”. The value has the effect of unlocking neural networks and drives behaviour.    So when you want to know someone’s true values it’s worth noting where they invest time and how it affects them.  For example, if ‘family’ is a value but you find that work is drawing on your energy and time, you will soon discover that stress starts to build. This stress will then begin to impact and affect your work.  Although you may feel able to override the ’family’ value for a period of time, if this value is not fulfilled at some basic level then your unconscious mind will intervene and send you messages to do something about it.  When you align yourself closely to your values you will find that life just seems to flow naturally.

Values are held at an unconscious level.

Beliefs are in effect your rules and these are constantly updated on a regular basis.  However, values are held much deeper within the unconscious mind and consequently they take longer to update and are not always readily accessible.

When working to determine the values for an individual, it often becomes necessary to push them quite hard and to dig deep into their unconscious mind to find their true values.  When I demonstrate how to do this on our NLP Training courses students will often initially identify just 7 values (which I call surface values).  They then often claim they cannot think of any more, however, when I start to press for more we invariably access another 3 or 4.  Now, at this point the student will often say “that’s it, I just can’t think of anymore” and so I begin to push really hard.  Despite some gentle kicking and screaming we eventually make it to about 20 to 25 values in total.  Although the group may feel uncomfortable with this demonstration, there is a key point to note here.  An individual’s ‘top 3’ values may be hidden amongst that much broader range and we should consider, if you are unaware of those top values that motivate you, how are you going to live by them?

Change your values change your life.

Values may change slowly over a period of time unless there is a significant event or dramatic situation in your life, e.g. getting married, having children, losing your job, suffering from an illness or ……if you decide to change your values.

The question then becomes ‘why would you change your values?’  You may never need to; however, an example may be if you decide to setup your own business. In this scenario, you may discover that your top 3 values are ‘making a difference’, ‘helping others’ and ‘happiness’ and that the value of ‘money’ is way down at number 24 on your list.  Now you can begin to see how this would impact on the success of running your business when you find that although you can really help and make a difference to your clients ………you can’t pay your rent and survive!  It then becomes necessary to move ‘money’ up the list of values – not necessarily to number 1 but maybe within the top 5.

……a poignant tale that affects us all.

Anne wrote in December 24, 1943, “Just imagine what would happen if all eight of us were to feel sorry for ourselves or walk around with the discontent clearly visible on our faces. Where would that get us?”    Wow, what a moving statement!

So in that one powerful story you can see how the Frank values can influence and give context to our own lives.   Although I have a pile of work to do, I’m off now to take my 5 year old daughter out for a bike ride.

Can you begin to consider now……..what values drive your life?

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About John Cassidy-Rice

NLP Master Trainer

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