I am sitting on a grassy shore at Herrick Lake watching a dozen canoes filled with teenagers splashing through the sparkling water. The sun catches the water droplets just as they fall on a group of girls and their shrieks of joy and laughter fill the air. This is beautiful, this is what I value.

You see, my number one value is beauty and that value is the key to my best thinking. Sounds a little shallow, doesn’t it? Wrong! Beauty to me, is appreciation for nature, color, harmony, and savoring the moment. It is the deep satisfaction that makes me say, “aahh…” as it fills my soul, calms my spirit, and makes me bubble with happiness. With that contentment my mind is clear to do great work.

Outstanding work happens when we are living in congruence with our values. As an executive life coach my best work is to bring creative visioning with wise application to my clients. Providing innovative questions and strategies that help clients think outside-the-box and see their own life and business situations clearly is my best work – and it all starts here next to a lake with red canoes.

What are your personal values? What is important to you? What gives you a sense of wellbeing or purpose? I’ve posted a list of VALUES WORDS on the 45 Degrees Coaching website to jump-start your thinking. Values serve as a compass for making choices. An awareness of your values can help you determine your direction to solve a problem, tackle a project, or make a decision that is uniquely right for you. Values are natural drivers to motivate us to accomplish things – both at work and at home. This is living comfortably in your own skin, filled with integrity, and authentically doing what is right for you.

It’s easy to say, “I don’t have time to honor my values.” That kind of thinking would have me in my office at a computer trying to hammer out this article. That’s the thinking that leaves us in a rut, frustrated with our lives, and “managing stress” rather than on fire with positive energy and enthusiasm to give the very best to our work, our relationships, and our healthy selves. You may not be craving beauty to do your work – that’s MY value. But you will find motivation and satisfaction when you identify what values hold power for you – and choose to make time for them.

What’s the coaching action step here? Look again at that list of VALUES. Choose three or four that are meaningful to you. Tell someone about them. Put one into your schedule today.

Find out more about coaching with Diane or a presentation for your staff at www.45degrees.org.