In today’s world there is a fast changing environment driven by innovation and creativity on a global scale. It is hard to keep the mind sharp at all times. What we learn today may not be relevant tomorrow. Nevertheless, there are basic principles that have stood the passing of time and remain universal. If we focus our learning on knowing the values that we can use in the future we will be making good use of our time.
Our thinking is based on criteria or values to guide our behavior. Human beings are free to choose the values they want to use. This process can be part of reflecting on what is important in our lives and what to live and fight for. Universal values can be found, among other sources, in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Once values are translated into concrete behavior they become the meaning of our lives.
At an organizational or collective level individuals can share and exchange values. A team works better together when the members share common values. In contracts and deals there is an exchange of values. An example of sharing AND exchanging values happens when an employee benefits from an exchange of values through the employment contract and at the same time shares the values of the organization.
The world of values is an infinite source of inspiration. Competition happens when there is a scarcity of values, like winning a prize or fighting for a limited resource. Again, competition and collaboration do not exclude each other if there are shared universal values, as it happens in the spirit of the Olympic Games.
The human capacity to live with dialectics or opposing ideas is a sign of a higher level of thinking which is necessary for survival in todays’ world.
Edward Marshall, PhD, Registered Psychotherapist at the Ottawa Institute of Logotherapy (www.ltea.ca), offers personal and executive coaching at his private practice in Kanata, ON (www.edwardmarshall.ca)