The Truth About Family Values

One of the ongoing discussions we hear is that of family values. There are some who try to identify them; others say there are no established family values.

The reason people have been unable to isolate and identify family values, in my opinion, is very simple: There are no “family” values because the values that make for a strong family are exactly the same values that make for a good student, good employer/employee, military person or, for that matter, scientist.

The fact is that honesty, character, integrity, discipline, responsibility, hard work, kindness, affection, concern, consideration and thoughtfulness are all valuable qualities, regardless of what your chosen profession might be. Try as we might, we cannot separate our personal life from our family, business and/or social lives. The kind of person you are affects your performance, whether it’s at home or on the job. This was reflected in a study reported in USA Today that showed that the No. 1 cause of a productivity decline in America was marital difficulties at home. No. 2 was alcohol, and No. 3 was drug abuse.

Many people will tell you that they “leave their problems at home” when they go to work, but that simply isn’t possible. There will be thoughts throughout the day about healing any type of broken relationship or “What can I do about that relationship?” If your child seems listless when you drop him or her off at school, your mind questions that child’s well-being several times during the course of the day. Every phone call might be the school nurse calling with the news you have been dreading. Even happy problems can distract you from work. Wedding plans, baby showers, golf tournaments, anniversaries, upcoming vacations and just about anything you can think of can suddenly take center court in your mind, even as you try to will the thoughts away. Yes, we take our “problems” to work with us, even in minute ways.

By the same token, what happens on the job has a bearing on the way we treat our family when we get home. If you get a raise, there will be a celebration of sorts when you arrive home with the good news. If your superior reprimands you for delivering a less-than-satisfactory job, gloom and doom are likely to be the dominant mood you’ll import into your living room that evening. In short, a synergism exists between your personal, family and business lives, and what you do in one affects the other two. That’s the reason values are so important. The qualities that will make you successful in one area influence your success in the other areas.

Once you identify the qualities you need to live a happy, successful and fulfilling life, you then must zero in on the specific skills you will need and make a plan to develop those skills. So many jobs are specialized these days that I believe that anyone who gives his or her future any consideration at all can study what he or she needs to know in order to find work that’s truly enjoyable. The automobile mechanic needs to know how to repair automobiles. The computer technician obviously needs to know how computers function. The physician must be trained in that profession. The list goes on.

The basic point is that you’ve got to be before you can do, and do before you can have. You’ve got to be the right kind of person and do the right thing in order to have balanced success in all areas of life. Once we’ve reestablished the fact that good foundational qualities are the successful beginning of all careers, all professions, or all occupations, then we will not only have identified values, but success values in any field of endeavor.

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at: www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through: [email protected].

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