Values Audit

The purpose of our beliefs is to guide us in areas where we do not know reality. That is why beliefs have such a profound influence on our perceptions and visions of the future. To reach our outcomes and manifest our values, we must believe that it is possible for something to occur even though we are not certain that it will happen.

The Values Audit is a tool which applies linguistic connectives to help define and establish key beliefs related to establishing and manifesting core values. The values "auditing" process uses verbal prompts and key words to help you make sure you have fully explored the supporting system of beliefs necessary to bring values into action.

We build and strengthen our beliefs and values based on the cognitive maps, reference experiences, relational support and tools that we have available to us. These form the 'reasons' why we believe something in the first place. In order to bolster our own beliefs with respect to our values and goals, or to influence the beliefs of others, we must identify 'good reasons' why someone should believe in those values and goals. The more reasons that we have to believe in something, the more likely it is that we will believe in it. This involves finding and supplying the answers to several important "why" questions, such as:

a) Is something desirable? Why is it desirable?

b) Is it possible to achieve it? Why is it possible?

c) What is the path that must be followed to achieve it? Why is this the appropriate path?

d) Am I (Are we) capable of completing the path? Why am I (are we) capable?

e) Do I (we) deserve to complete the path and get what we want? Why do I (we) deserve it?

According to Aristotle, answering these types of questions would involve finding the underlying 'causes' related to the various issues. In other words, we must discover:

a) What causes it to be desirable.

b) What causes it to be possible.

c) What causes this to be the appropriate path.

d) What makes me/us capable.

e) What makes me/us deserving.

Linguistically, Aristotle's different types of causes are reflected in certain key words known as 'connectives'. Connectives are words or phrases that link one idea to another; such as:

because while in the same way that before after whenever so that if although therefore

Connectives

We relate ideas together, and values to experiences, through these types of'connective' words. For instance, if we were to make a value statement such as, "learning is important," and follow it with the word "because," we would be lead to identify some 'cause' which brought us to our conclusion. As an example, we might say, "Learning is important because it helps us to grow and survive." In this case, an important link has been made to a consequence (or 'final cause') related to learning.

Different connective words can be used as a means to explore or 'audif the various 'causes' related to a particular value or criterion. One simple method is to choose a particular value and systematically go through each of the connectives to find any other related supporting associations or assumptions.

For example, if a person wanted to strengthen his or her belief in and commitment to the value of "health," the process would start with the statement of that particular value: "Health is important and desirable." Holding this value statement constant, the individual would then go through each connective to explore all of the supporting reasons.

In this case it would be important to begin each new sentence prompted by the connective with the word "I". This helps to insure that the individual remains associated in the experience and avoids merely making 'rationalizations'. Thus, the series of new statements would be created in the following manner:

Health is important and desirable, because I__

Health is important and desirable, therefore I__

Health is important and desirable, whenever I_

Health is important and desirable, so that I__

Health is important and desirable,

Health is important and desirable,

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