Some time back we had a guest lecture by a guy from Saatchi & Saatchi on culture and values in Indian advertising. One of the remarks he made really got my attention. He said," Values are something you are willing to pay a price for" And then he proceeded on to say "Scribble down some values that youa re willing to pay a price for."
The next two minutes were probably one of the most baffling moments I have ever come across. (The 1st place was taken by TP Ghosh for his mid term paper on International Corporate Finance). I thought and thought hard. Have I ever been willing to pay a price for anything in times of crisis, adversity, etc. Even if I had, my mind was not allowing me to remember it. And so at the end of it, I scribbled something that had been true with 80-85% accuracy levels. And that was true with all the things I thought were my values. It was with some accuracy level. Still I wasn't satisfied because I didn't find anything I thought strongly about.
On the negative side, it may sound too rigid to stand by something 100% of the time. All situations are a result of the actions of humans; and most of the time there are a reflection of others actions (exception is if you live in isolation!). Hence the need for flexibility. For eg. If being on time is something you are willing to pay a price for. There will be situations when others will be late. At such times are you willing to pay a price by losing the person or are you willing to be flexible and get on with life?
Great insight to have nonetheless. BTW do you have something you are willing to pay a price for? ;-)