Far too often we don't realize that the path we're on is at odds with our values. We seem to be achieving our goals. We're making headway in one area, such as our career; but to do that, we may have been spending almost all of our time working on that part of our lives. If we have, what have we been ignoring? Most likely our family, our faith, our leisure and just about everything else.
Unless you're a total narcissist and self-centered jerk, this probably violates your values. We want to be successful, but we don't want to kill our marriage or alienate our spouse and children while we're at it. We don't want to violate our morals or do anything unethical. However, when we take an attitude of "Success at any cost" we often don't realize the true cost of that attitude.
All success has a cost. Sometimes this is a small cost, but sometimes it's a much bigger cost. Gurus say you have to determine the cost of your success and determine to pay it if we want to be successful. That's true, but the same success can have many different prices. The different prices are based on the methods and amount of time it takes to achieve that success. The faster, most expedient way to success usually has the highest cost, because it often ignores and violates our values.
When we believe one thing is true and yet behave in a different way, our consciences will bother us. If we believe in fidelity in marriage, then even a momentary infidelity will cause us anguish and guilt. This is going to be true for all of our values. The more important the value to us, the greater our guilt will be when acting contrarily to it. This is often the source of self-sabotage too. When things seem to be going well, and all of sudden we do something stupid to wreck it; it's likely because our success somehow violates a value. That might be that we aren't worthy of success or our methods were not in accord with our values.
I said we sometimes think we aren't worthy and that this is a value. You may not believe this, but it really is true. This sort of self-image can be so deeply held that we'll do anything to make sure we don't mess it up. Haven't you seen others do that? Have you ever done it yourself? This is why I say that how well we live out our values determines our success. If we value what is good and true in ourselves and others and live that out, we can't help but be successful. If we believe we're not worthy or don't deserve success and live that out, we'll not have the kind of success we could have.
Choose the right values that will support you and live them out. That's one of the best kept secrets of success