In a world that is hungry for authenticity are we losing our sincerity as people and as business owners? The age of the internet has brought about so many incredible things. We are more open and have fewer walls now more than ever. Yet still there is still a lack of truthfulness.
If you have been on social media you have likely noticed a trend called “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as “an attempt to show other people that you are a good person, for example by expressing opinions that will be acceptable to them, especially on social media: Virtue signalling is the popular modern habit of indicating that one has virtue merely by expressing disgust or favor for certain political ideas or cultural happenings.” Certainly as business owners and as people it is understandable to want those who follow you to understand your particular stance on an issue, or your personal/professional values. However, the question we must ask ourselves is have we gotten in the habit of feeling virtuous by merely communicating a stance versus actually taking virtuous action? Or to simplify, are we truly living the values we are proclaiming? Though these questions can be uncomfortable to ask ourselves it is imperative! We have to start living our values. When we don’t, those we interact with suffer.
If you haven’t given much thought to your values or taken time to define them then beware! Mahatma Gandhi warned about how just the thoughts you have can define your values and change your destiny. He said “Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.” As explained by Gandhi defining and embracing your values will influence your destiny.
There are many values with which one can align themselves. You can even find inspiration outside of your own worldview. For example, consider the values presented in the principles of Taoism;
- Humility: a modest opinion of one’s own importance.
- Compassion: the depth of your care for others.
- Moderation: the balance of highs and lows to create harmony.
These values can be applied to anyone in any position but can be especially beneficial when adopted by leadership. The values require a balanced use of both the brain and the heart.
Ultimately, there will not always be an easy answer for how our values should interact with the situations we face each moment and each day. We certainly won’t always get it right. But if we define our values, proclaim them and then strive to live by them in every situation our efforts are sure to be seen and felt.