Core Values

Jim:    Welcome aboard!  Welcome aboard the good ship Lollipop as we all often would say.  However, this ship has a destination.  This ship is the ship of Fishing Without Bait.  This is the ship of a lifetime without definitive expectations.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my first mate, my good friend and co-producer of this program, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, are you familiar with Shakespeare?

Mike:    First, ahoy Captain Jim.  And, yes, I’m very familiar with Shakespeare.

Jim:    Are you really?  Good.  Thank you.  Are you familiar with the play Hamlet?

Mike:    I do recall.  Let’s see Horatio, I knew him well, and the skull and everything, right?

Jim:    Indeed.  What we’re talking about in there is, are you familiar with the admonition to thine own self be true?

Mike:    Not well enough apparently.

Jim:    Many people may not realize that that comes from a soliloquy in Hamlet by Polonius who was Hamlet’s murdered father’s advisor to his son Laertes.  To thine own self be true.  Maybe you’ve heard the soliloquy that starts off Neither a borrower nor a lender be.  So, his admonition to Laertes to thine own self be true.  However, our quest today – our focus, our purpose today is to thine own self be true.  What does that mean to you, Mike?

Mike:    Don’t lie to yourself.

Jim:    And, to thine own self be true.  So, if we’re being true to yourself, that means that we’re going to be following values.  You’re going to be true to your values.  So, what do values mean to you, Mike?  

Mike:    That means the stuff that I stand for.  That means morals.  That means what I think is right – being brave enough to defend them.

Jim:    Sure.  Values are things that you believe in, Mike.  Values are things that are important in your life – the way that you work and live.  They’re kind of a road map.  They’re the philosophy of your life.  These are the things that are important to you.  How often in the past have we continuously refocused our audience, refocused our own lives, on what’s important.  Those are the things.  Tell me what some of your values are, Mike.

Mike:    For me, my values include fairness.  I never want anybody to feel like they’ve been slighted in a situation – equal.  And work ethic.  

Jim:    Which important, just as we speak about the importance of labeling and describing thoughts and feelings so we have some type of control over them – so we have some idea about them, so we have some power over them – it’s just as important for individuals to sit down and label and identify their values.  What’s important to them.  So, one of the ways that we feel good about ourselves is when our behaviors match our values.  However, sometimes our behaviors do not match our values.

Mike:    I see that.  Because I’ve had some rough patches, even recently, where I just kind of sat back and did something, and reacted to something, and said this isn’t the kind of person I want to be.

Jim:    This is not the kind of person I want to be – so there’s a disconnect.

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    There’s a disconnect between our values and our behaviors.

Mike:    I feel like there are some things that are an emotional reaction that I feel like I’m losing control of, right?  That some stuff has been built up.  And, I know that’s not the way I want to do that.  That’s not the way that I should be doing that.  That’s not the way I want to conduct myself in business or whatever the case may be.

Jim:    Sure.  Keep in mind that values can be fluctuating throughout your life.  And, they can be flexible.  However, what we certainly want to do is to define core values.  Core values are something that do not change.  Core values are choices that you made in your life and how you desire to live your life.  How you wish to have others perceive you.  Do you have a desire to have others view you as trustworthy?

Mike:    I do.

Jim:    Do you have a wish to have others perceive you as loyal?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Do you have others wish to perceive you as dependable?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Absolutely.  Do you have others to have their perception of you as compassionate and kind?

Mike:    I hope so.

Jim:    Well, the idea is is how do we make those?  In order to have others have those perceptions of us be real, we have to live them, don’t we?

Mike:    Indeed.

Jim:    There’s a huge difference between walking the walk and talking the talk.  

Mike:    And, that’s something I think about every day.  For me, I have a very Christian upbringing.  And, while I don’t go to church that’s still the things that I learned are in the back of my head day to day in how I respond with things.

Jim:    So the idea is that if I spout these values, however I do not incorporate them in my life and live them – practice these principles in all my affairs, what is that person termed?  What’s the term for a person like that?  A hypocrite.  So, have you met many hypocrites in your life, Mike?

Mike:    Certainly.  

Jim:    So, what that’s called is disingenuous.  Are you leading a disingenuous life?  That’s my challenge out there to everyone today – my challenge out there to everyone today is to define your core values.  What’s something that you would not be ashamed to have somebody find out about you.  Are there things about you, Mike – and you don’t have to answer this – that you’d be ashamed to have people find out?  Everyone has them.

Mike:    Everybody does.

Jim:    Are those things that you might want to examine?

Mike:    Perhaps.

Jim:    Right.  We can use these core values to move ahead and get beyond and pass those things can we not? 

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    And, again, that involves the choices.  And, what it involves is there’s a huge difference, Mike, between giving directions and having a direction.  You give people directions on how to do different type of technical things, right?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    Okay, so then there’s a difference between providing a direction.  That means follow me.  Follow my direction.  And, I know  you do that often in your life.  And, again what that means is modeling behavior.  And, I want you to step back – and here’s where the full-impact mindfulness comes in – is how is your behavior impacting others?  That’s my challenge to everyone out there.  I really want you to step back and look and find out how is my behavior impacting others?  How am I impacting people’s lives?  Let’s say today.  Were you proud of the way you impacted a life today, Mike?

Mike:    I think so.  And, especially with the recent environments.  I hope that I’m leading a positive message, for instance.  It’s something I very consciously try to do instead of getting into some of the rhetoric.  

Jim:    So, the behavior that you exhibited today, the way that you’ve impacted people’s life, would you be ashamed to have people view that as let’s say a movie?

Mike:    No.  I don’t think so.

Jim:    So, the idea about full-impact mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to your core values and how you impact other people’s life.  What type of direction that you’re giving other people.  This is real important, and again it goes back to what’s important to you.  What is important?  And, this is where the full-impact mindfulness comes in – to fully participate in your life, to be active.  To be actively participating in your life.  What does actively participating in life mean to you, Mike?

Mike:    Consciously making choices instead of just letting things happen.

Jim:    Making conscious choices rather than waiting for things to happen.  And, isn’t this one of the true purposes?  One of the focuses that we talk about in Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness – is creating a reaction rather than waiting for one.  Isn’t that true?

Mike:    It’s making things happen, and making things happen in your vision.

Jim:    In your life.  And, this is one of the things that differentiate full-impact mindfulness from traditional mindfulness methods.  We’re not sitting on satin pillows going, “Hmmm,” all day surrounding ourselves with ten thousand candles being content and happy and mindful about the way that we are in our life.  Our challenge is to know we’re getting off the pillow. Okay.  And, we’re like that butterfly – our logo for full-impact mindfulness.  We’re to let in that chrysalis, and we’ve expanded our wings and we’re impacting in the life.  

Mike:    We talked before about kind of working on the emotional muscle in our brain.  When you’re exercising, you don’t get anywhere just thinking about exercising and studying exercising.  You get going by getting moving.  And, for us, as you say – get moving off that pillow and participate and exercise.

Jim:    And, once again, we refer back to our message of it’s very difficult to think our way into different type of behaviors.  What we do is we act our way into it.  And, that’s fully participating in your life.  My challenge for everybody is to get out there and not be afraid to fail.  Are you afraid to fail, Mike?

Mike:    Every day.  

Jim:    Every day.  Sure.  But, however, do you continue to move through life every day?

Mike:    I decide, and make a point to not let it control my actions.

Jim:    Right.  So, when we consider failure as defeat – then we are defeated.  When we consider failure as just that, then that’s all it is.  It’s failure.  Yes, yes, I failed.  Does that mean that you’re defeated?  Does that mean that the war is over?  Does that mean that the battle is done?  Of course not.

Mike:    There’s always something new for you to fail at.  

Jim:    There’s always something new.  

Mike:    And, maybe you won’t fail this time.

Jim:    No. No. No.  And, again, these become challenge podcasts, okay?  These become challenge podcasts where I ask you to examine your core values – what’s important to you, and how you directly impact others’ lives.  How do we impact others’ lives?  We impact them through our values.  And, again, I’m going to ask you once again, you need to define who your heroes are.  Who’s a hero of yours, Mike?  Who’s a person, place, thing, or situation that values match your own?  Someone that you admire that you would like to emulate?  Quite often when I’m dealing with people in group situations, one of the questions that I do ask – if you could pick out anyone throughout history or time, and it doesn’t have to be a famous person or someone that’s a celebrity or well known, who would you interview?  What type of questions would you ask them?  And, the reason for your choice.  And, what this does is help define who you are and what your values are.  That tells me a great deal about an individual as to who they pick, the reasons that they pick them, and the questions that they would ask them.  That tells me a whole lot about that individual.  And it would tell you a whole lot about yourself also.  

Mike:    I am fascinated by Steve Jobs.  Of course, we’ve talked about him.  

Jim:    Indeed we have.

Mike:    He has been labeled a visionary.  I should just rewatch part of the of the newest movie about him with Michael Fassbender, which is just a fascinating moving because of the creativity that he expounded.  A little bit of the business sense I’m curious about.  But, I’m not as interested – I guess I’m interested in that creativity and how that turns into a business sense, right?  I know he’s not the nicest person.  And, I hope to learn from what he got wrong in being such a coarse person as well.  But, again, he’s somebody that knew what he wanted and knew how to get there, or was discovering how to get there and decided on that path.  And, I think it’s a mind I would love to pick at.

Jim:    Let me ask you this.  When we think back to earlier in this podcast when we talked about the phrase to thine own self be true, do you think Steve Jobs was true to his own self?

Mike:    No.  Absolutely not.  And, that’s what I think would be fascinating – is that juxtaposition of the creativity and everything in creating something beautiful, but being such a nasty person, right?  It’s all that counts, right?  I know somebody who’s met him in person – in a passing, so she had nothing bad to say about him.  And, plus it was on his nicer years, I think.  And, again, I think it’s a we can learn by the good he did and the mistakes he made.  I think anybody on that level, you know, I’ve been interested recently in Allen Turing, the Turing machine that helped win World War II.  I recently watched that movie on that.  Of course there are other issues around that as well, but another kind of mind that was interesting, and very single-minded on his work.  Maybe not the greatest balance of things, but there are other things going on too.  The most lauded people like that are interesting because of how flawed they are.  And, I think we can learn from their mistakes as much as how much they accomplished.

Jim:    And, when we discuss or talk about people whose behaviors do match their values, one of the individuals who come to mind is Abraham Lincoln.  

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    Who said what he did and did what he said, okay?  And, what it boils down to as a value is is it the right thing to do?  Do you believe Abraham Lincoln believed what he did was the right thing to do?

Mike:    By all accounts, I think so.

Jim:    Well, of course.  Absolutely.  In the face of incredible adversity.  Is keeping someone in slavery every right?  And, he was willing to sacrifice everything so people could be free.  

Mike:    Completely.

Jim:    Absolutely.  And, he had the courage of his convictions.  So, my challenge is out there, when you have a conviction do you have the courage to follow it?  What are your core values?  One of his core values was that people have an inalienable right to be free.  And remember, not only did the Emancipation Proclamation – and indeed that’s what it was, a proclamation, that all people would be free.  However, that could be overturned in the future.  So, he spent what – unfortunately was the remainder of his life, to make sure that that became part of an amendment to the United States Constitution, that it guarantees that people would be free.  People owe so much to him, and some of the people that are in our lives that we overlook because we are more star-struck by celebrity.  Are you familiar with Jonah Sulk?  I bet you know who Madonna is.  I bet you know who Taylor Swift is.  And, I’ll bet you know who Ben Roethlisberger is.  Jonah Sulk invented the polio vaccine.  He cured polio.  He saved generations from a crippling disease.  He saved people’s lives.  Where’s the statute to Jonah Sulk?  The man’s a giant.  Do we know who is?  No.  No, we don’t.  So, my challenge out there to everyone is find people whose behavior matches their values.  My question to everyone out there today is does your behavior match your values?  And, if it does not, then we might want to bring it into line.  We might want to make your values and behaviors congruent with each other, to be on the same page, to be on the same highway.  Sometimes we need help.  We need help to know how to do that.  We need help.  Remember, Mike, when we were on the bus, and whose hands are on the steering wheel?  And what passengers were on that bus?  And, how were they influencing the driver, which is us?  And, when we lose control of our own life, our behaviors do not match our values.  You still have your values.  However, your behavior is being influenced by others.  And, this is where full-impact mindfulness comes in.  To be able to label and identify those passengers – those people, places, things, situations that are influencing your behavior which is incongruent with your values.  So, how do we get them back into line?  Okay, how do we do that?  How would you suggest someone do that, Mike?

Mike:    Label and describe.

Jim:    Label and describe.  Absolutely.  To be able to step back and become the observer behind this thinker.  Who is influencing you?  That’s my challenge to everyone out there today.  Is your behavior congruent with your values?  Can you go to bed tonight and say okay, I have no regrets about today?  When we talk about self-evaluation, which we’ve talked about many times in the past, we evaluate at night.  Okay.  Do I have regrets about today?  And, if you do, let’s not beat ourselves up about it.  Let’s see how we can correct it.  How can we realign things?  And, that’s what we’re going to be talking about in our next podcast.  We’re going to talk about realignment.  Realigning the stars in the sky.  We’re going to realign your life.  We’re going to realign your values and your behaviors.  And, until then, please listen to our most recent blog podcast, and please do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another. Forgive yourself.  Forgive another.  Namaste.   


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