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Personal values at the cross section of business and life

I was there, angry, standing in front of him.

He was only two years old.

I didn’t scream or hit him. But I was angry at him.

I took a deep breath.

In moments like these, a deep breath always helps.

How did I get here?

I felt guilty, just for feeling like that.

“Angry and guilty,” I said to myself “that doesn’t help, does it?”

I asked my wife to stay with my 2.y.o. son.

I had to go out.

“What’s going on?” I kept asking myself.

The truth is, I had been working really hard the last months…

“Months,” I thought to myself and laughed…

“It’s years Dimitris, years, time passes.”

Family and business, business and family. A tricky thing isn’t it?

But it couldn’t go on like that.

I was walking fast, crossing the main street, outside one of my favorite parks of Lisbon, full of colorful vegetables planted by the community.

My thoughts were blurry, so blurry, that I didn’t notice a motorcycle coming fast toward my direction.

At the last moment, the driver saw me and pushed the breaks.

He stopped a mere centimeter in front of me.

I was shocked. He smiled.

“What just happened?”, I said out loud.

“You are alive”, he responded, smiled, and left.

Two things struck my mind.

First, the man laughed, even though that was a near death experience (at least for one of us).

But the second realization struck me harder:

The real reason I was alive was… friction.

The friction between the wheels and the street.

And suddenly everything became clear:

The reason of my anger, was friction too;

friction between two of my values.

Let me explain.

We all, knowingly or not, live according to some values, like family, professional growth, independence, honesty, peace, contribution.

The moments we live according to our values, we are happy.

Sometimes though, we are faced by a situation that makes our values “collide”

That’s what happened: I value professional growth, but I also value family.

And the last years, there was a constant friction between those two.

There were many moments I couldn’t be with the family because I was working.

Also, there were moments where I could not work because I was with the family.

There was friction between my values.

And that friction made me feel guilty, sometimes angry.

That realization changed everything.

Since that moment, I worked hard to identify my values.

Now, every time I feel guilty, angry or uncomfortable, I just go back to my list of values, and I ask myself:

“Which values are colliding?”

The clarity this question gives is amazing.

You manage to dissociate yourself from the feelings and let each moment of tension help you re-discover yourself.

Now, I would like to ask you something:

Have you ever noticed your values colliding while working for your business? Which were the values that were crashing? To turn this into a real conversation between real people, once you comment, I will share with you Nisandeh’s take on values and how to define them to live a happier life while running your business. Also, I want to ask you one more thing. Today, every time you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself: which values are colliding now? Use this as your tool of self-discovery.

P.S. Last week I shared with you how asking certain questions every single day can help you grow your business. Do you feel the question “which values are colliding now?” should be one of them?


Which choice will bring better problems?

Dimitris Bronowski

CEO Open Circles Academy