Values Game

I came across a free eBook from Tony Robbins. In the book, Tony asks the reader to rank pleasure values. His suggested list: love, success, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, power, passion, comfort, health.

I took the bait and ranked things:

  • Freedom
  • Success
  • Adventure
  • Health
  • Love
  • Power
  • Passion
  • Security
  • Intimacy
  • Comfort

Tony then shared that we will do a lot more to avoid pain than to attract pleasure. So he asked the reader to rank aversions to: rejection, anger, frustration, loneliness, depression, failure, humiliation, and guilt.

Once again I mapped it out:

  • Failure
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Rejection
  • Humiliation
  • Guilt
  • Loneliness

In the book, he gave examples on how values conflicts can set up misery. For example, do we know our spouse’s rankings? Do our (more powerful) aversions operate to sabotage our desires. For example, see Success vs Failure in my lists.

Having done the work to rank my pleasure/pain values, Tony recommended writing down the rules associated with our top drivers. I didn’t think too hard and wrote quickly…

  • Freedom – when I control my day and have space in my schedule
  • Success – I am already successful
  • Adventure – when I have new experiences
  • Health – vanity, use my body for adventure
  • Failure – when my kids don’t behave or yell at me
  • Anger – when my kids don’t behave or yell at me
  • Frustration – when my kids don’t behave or yell at me
  • Depression – when my kids don’t behave or yell at me

Pretty clear how my rules are creating periods of parental misery! As well, my rules are completely impractical for living with young kids.

When my oldest was young, she could quickly bring me to tears by crying. I got past that pain by borrowing my mother-in-law’s rule that “babies need to cry.”

I also created my own rule, “when they’re crying, they are alive.” My rule addressing my fear that my kids might die (!) if I didn’t cater to their every whim.

Some mantras:

  • I am free when I breathe through the energy of strong emotions
  • I am successful when I let my actions be the lesson
  • The randomness of life is an adventure in itself
  • Let go of outcome, be the brand

All of the above are lessons that I taught myself in athletics and need to relearn inside my house!

I had a wry smile when I realized that I was closed to Tony’s teaching because of his happiness!