Values Are Like Fingerprints

They are unique... like you.

“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” — Elvis Presley

Values are not assigned or chosen.

They are manifested through action alone. You can think about them. You can dream about them. You can even debate them. But only through each act do values become clear. Like fingerprints, they are identified by the marks you leave behind.

Values are an integral part of your identity.

Identity is not someone you choose to be. It may start that way, but identity is the culmination of many acts. Each act is a tally in favor of the person you are to be. Values are the motivating force behind each act.

The values you fancy are quite different from the ones that motivate you.

Ask every man, woman and child what their values are, and you can prove them wrong with every act. We want to be better, so perception often eclipses reality. Awareness of this gap is a positive force for change, while ignorance of it is a cruel deception.

Your set of values are unique, like you.

Hundreds, thousands or more exist. Each one is often represented as a bit to be flipped on or off. You either have this value or you do not. Instead, each value is its own spectrum from one extreme to another. Combined, they do indeed leave a fingerprint.

Some values are aligned while others compete.

One may overpower another. One may amplify another. One may weaken the influence of another. Values do no exist in harmony. They represent competing forces requiring trade-offs. You make these trade-offs in the blink of an eye with each act.

Values are not simple constructs like courage, honesty and kindness.

They are the complex, competing, ever shifting forces behind what you do. Awareness of this truth allows you to shape them in the space between every thought and act.


🤔 Food for Thought:

What values do you hold dear?

Are they reflected in your actions?


⚙️ One Small Step:

Recall a recent action where a value you hold dear did not fully manifest. What is the reason for the gap? Can you identify conflicting values? They may seem hidden at first. Aligning your thoughts on values with your actions requires awareness.