When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.
—ROY E. DISNEY
Before we explore the next two secrets, we need to first understand and clarify our core values (Figure 7.1) and beliefs. Philosopher and poet Dr. James Kavanaugh once said, “At the root of all our actions and opinions lie our belief systems, most of which we well may have inherited. If they remain frozen beyond change or examination, personal development remains stagnant.”
Our beliefs often have a direct connection to our reactions. If we grew up in a troubled household, where perhaps one or both of our parents was difficult, insensitive, angry, manipulative, controlling, and so on, we may recognize these attributes when they are exhibited by our subordinates, boss, customers, or professional colleagues, and therefore those same attributes may trigger reactions like those of our childhood. This is a typical Pavlov's dog reaction.
If one or more of our parents drank heavily, or even if their parents were alcoholics or addicts, their unacceptable behaviors might have been prevalent or passed down through generations. Thus, we may have developed perfectly acceptable defense mechanisms to deal with these behaviors that served us well as children. However, those “traditions” that we developed years or even decades ago ...