Amy Rees Anderson

It’s Not Hard To Make Decisions When You Know What Your Values Are

“It`s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.’ – Roy Disney

 It’s amazing how much pressure and stress it takes off your shoulders when, in advance, you have laid out the values you will adhere to in your life. If done in advance, then when faced with difficult decisions or choices to make, you will find that these hard decisions are already made for you…

I was reminded of that fact recently as I sat listening to someone describe the values they passionately wanted to be known for.  It was clear that this person was absolutely sincere in their desire to want to stand for those values, yet they couldn’t seem to recognize that the message their choices were reflecting to so many people around them, was that they don’t value those things at all.

While it made me feel sad for the person, it also served as a great reminder to me on why making my own decisions should not be difficult. I know exactly what my values are, so if a decision entails anything that would require me to go along with something that in any way contradicts those values, then it’s clearly not the right decision.  Because doing what is right has to matter more than any consequence…

My Father was in the FBI, and he dedicated his life to defending truth and honesty and living with absolute integrity. His example taught me that nothing was more important than my integrity – that no amount of money or fame or power or title or recognition or praise would ever live up to the import of being honest and living my life with integrity. He taught me to have the courage to stand up for what I know is right, and to never look the other way or stay silent when I see things being done wrong.  I’m so grateful for that upbringing and the courage it has given me.

All of us can get sucked into justifying a wrong decision for what we have convinced ourselves is the right reason – our fears, our worries, our desires, etc will always look for ways to rationalize and muddy the waters between right and wrong. But if we take those emotions out of the equation, and only allow ourselves to ask the question, “Is what I’m deciding here a reflection of the values I say I stand for?” we’ll find that the waters clear and the decision is no longer hard.

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )


  • Gonzalo says:

    I’ve found that professing living a value is a lot easier than actually living it. I admire those who live their values and become an example for others to follow. Thanks for writing this post.
    All the best,


  • Donna says:

    Thank you for reminding me about how to handle a family situation…..not to remain silent for the sake of harmony when I see that a very valued family member is not being treated with the compassion and respect that she deserves.
    I read your messages almost daily and appreciate each and every word of wisdom. Thank you.

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