How to Find – and Live – Your Values

The latest Danger & Play podcast is a short one, as the real work is something you’ll have to put in on your time. The podcast’s subject matter seems a little obtuse at first, but things start making sense after a couple of minutes.

In fact, at first it sounds sort of nonsensical. By the time we get to the end, however, everything will seem so obvious. (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to understand why this is something so obvious and yet it’s never taught in schools.)

Click play, or download it at SoundCloud:

How can you discover your values as a man?

  • Does a person who rejects religion and conventional morality have an ethical core?
  • What are values?
  • What society doesn’t teach you about values.
  • How do your values become your standards?
  • How can Warren Buffett help you discover your core values?
  • Why you should look left, right, up and down to learn how to live.
  • What happens to men like Jordan Belfort who have no values?

What are your core values?

Post your suggestions and questions below. Want to hear a new podcast? Let us know what you want to hear.

UPDATE: Listener/read CP provided these helpful show notes:

Thanks for another excellent podcast Mike. I took some notes while listening and thought others may glean something from the rough, unedited outline. Here it is:

A man needs a value set. It is his moral compass. No values equal no standards. You basically live the life of an animal.

How to find your values:

Look at three types of people and that is how you find your values:

1. Peers.

2. Scumbags.

3. Aspirational people.

Warren buffet: look at your peers and ask yourself who would I invest in. Who’s stock would I short? Why? No integrity? Over promise and under deliver? Shifty.

This is Aristotle’s virtue ethics methodology.

We have intuition and we are able to see their ethics and values.

Who was in mikes peer group: a professor at a military academy. He was always the guy who would pick you up at the airport.

Who wasn’t successful. Lied to professors. Wouldn’t own actions. Living mediocre life because he had no accountability or integrity.

Think about two or three people who are going to do well in life. From your peers that is.

Successful people who you look up to. Look at what they do. Eg trial lawyers who get up at 0500. Or large vocabulary presence in successful people. This means you get out of your comfort zone and work to read, write and talk to people who make you uncomfortable. This compliments brain research as well.

Society doesn’t teach these things because it is not in their interest. Being your own man vastly different than being someone else’s slave.

Finally look at the slothful slime bags below you. What do they do? What are they doing to other people. What values do they hold? What values are they holding that are particularly dispicable.

Write down one or two things about these people. Get a list of fifteen or twenty values. Think about them as a philosopher would. Which ones matter the most, make the biggest difference? Which values might you be drawn to because you have been sold somebody’s or society’s brainless values – consumerism, celebrity worship, big house in Hamptons. What values make you Happy and stir less at night? These are the values that are important. Happiness is paramount.

Don’t agonize in drafting this list. Act. Power is in doing. Don’t let great be the enemy of good. Start today.

 

  • James d’Anconia

    Great podcast!

    I wrote out my values before but never made the connection that values become standards.

    My values would be very general, as I considered them as needing to be applicable to my entire life rather than certain areas. This made them much harder to focus on and overwhelming, trying to apply values like happiness/adventure/concentration/persistence broadly to everywhere in my life.

    I’m excited to reflect on the different values I can adopt in all the areas of my life that I want to improve and then start living them and tweaking them as I grow.

    Thanks!

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Yep. If you don’t live your values, then they aren’t really values…They are more like empty promises you make.

      When you hold yourself accountable, then your values become your standards.

      Higher values = higher standards = higher achievement.

      That’s why it’s important to “look up” at those aspirational people. Write out the values they live.

      Then start living those values and watch what happens!

  • C.P.

    Thanks for another excellent podcast Mike. I took some notes while listening and thought others may glean something from the rough, unedited outline. Here it is:

    A man needs a value set. It is his moral compass. No values equal no standards. You basically live the life of an animal.

    How to find your values:

    Look at three types of people and that is how you find your values:

    1. Peers.

    2. Scumbags.

    3. Aspirational people.

    Warren buffet: look at your peers and ask yourself who would I invest in. Who’s stock would I short? Why? No integrity? Over promise and under deliver? Shifty.

    This is Aristotle’s virtue ethics methodology.

    We have intuition and we are able to see their ethics and values.

    Who was in mikes peer group: a professor at a military academy. He was always the guy who would pick you up at the airport.

    Who wasn’t successful. Lied to professors. Wouldn’t own actions. Living mediocre life because he had no accountability or integrity.

    Think about two or three people who are going to do well in life. From your peers that is.

    Successful people who you look up to. Look at what they do. Eg trial lawyers who get up at 0500. Or large vocabulary presence in successful people. This means you get out of your comfort zone and work to read, write and talk to people who make you uncomfortable. This compliments brain research as well.

    Society doesn’t teach these things because it is not in their interest. Being your own man vastly different than being someone else’s slave.

    Finally look at the slothful slime bags below you. What do they do? What are they doing to other people. What values do they hold? What values are they holding that are particularly dispicable.

    Write down one or two things about these people. Get a list of fifteen or twenty values. Think about them as a philosopher would. Which ones matter the most, make the biggest difference? Which values might you be drawn to because you have been sold somebody’s or society’s brainless values – consumerism, celebrity worship, big house in Hamptons. What values make you Happy and stir less at night? These are the values that are important. Happiness is paramount.

    Don’t agonize in drafting this list. Act. Power is in doing. Don’t let great be the enemy of good. Start today.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Well this is awesome. Thank you!

      • C.P.

        No. Thank you!

    • Andrew

      As I was listening to this while driving (a common occurrence) I was thinking I should ask Mike to post notes from his podcasts. Finish the drive, scroll to the c-section… Thank you C.P. Appreciated

      • Danger & Play Blog

        Every podcast is in the process of being transcribed.

        The State Control transcription went out to newsletter subscribers last week.

        I’ll be sending out the podcast transcription of choice to newsletter subscribers as a thank you to them once the transcriptions are all completed.

      • C.P.

        No worries Andrew! I get a hell of a lot more out of podcasts when I use a note taking app to jot down key points as I am listening to them. Having took some notes, I figured why not share them in the spirit of community.

  • Jose L Romero

    Mike,

    This was a very good podcast!

    I believe that the types of value a person adopts is how a person live their life just like you said! When i was at the bottom i looked to those who were higher on the totem pole and adopted a few of the values they had. Values like: Working hard, Love, responsibility, motivation and ambition. Those were the values those people above me had!

    I quickly began to use them at first it was a hard thing for me to do as it meant that i had to change my whole view of the world. Growing up in an environment where negativity was the norm things like people doing nothing with their lives, going in and out of jail things like that. I even had been picked on at school for having those goals. But as time went by it became easier and easier for me to change my values to those i said earlier in the post!

    Once i changed my values from negative to positive my life began to change. I had more rewards come into my life. I felt the weight of the world lift up from me!

    Now years later i continue to check my values as continue to look up at those who have what i want to have! People like yourself who write great posts and podcasts i want to get to your level as well and become a writer whose posts inspire people! So i will add some of your values ad adopt them as my own!

    Looking down i remind myself how those people i left behind are still down there doing nothing with their lot in life. Instead of bettering themselves they are stagnating and complaining!

    When i look out of the window of my apartment and see my car, nice furniture, lovely wife and kids, Good job, college educated and the like i become happy as i followed my values to the tee and it has changed my life.

    Again Mike fantastic podcast bro!

  • Hollentunder

    Short and sweet (informative). Just as i like it. Hate long podcasts with a lot of unnecessary stuff in it.

  • Harkness

    Loved the podcast, just finished my list. Actually really surprised, you sound different to what I had pictured.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Yep. My voice isn’t as deep as people would think. I also have a slight lisp that I had to take speech therapy class for as a kid. It lingers if I’m not really careful.

      I don’t have a great voice for radio.

      Does that stop me from speaking or having a podcast? Hell no.

      Why then do guys come to me with excuses about why they can’t do something? I’m too short, I’m too shy, I’m too fat, I’m too this…I don’t care!

      I set the standard I expect others to follow. Don’t come to me with bogus excuses about why you can’t do things.

      Danger & Play is for men who WILL themselves to overcome whatever “natural disabilities” they might have.

      • Harkness

        Awesome response, and insightful at the same time.
        I still need to sort out mine, can’t seem to get the hang of th sounds without focusing on it.

  • anon1

    i did not make the link between values and standards until now. very interesting. i have values but i dont think that i consciously thought about them. this is good, acts as a kind of honing mechanism. I also did not make the link of using practical examples of people in my life to inform my standards.

    i’ve always been quite internal, in that i develop a methodology, or a way of thinking, rules or heuristics [usually from reading work of those that are cleverer than me or have done more of what i want in life, and then trying to adapt what fits with me to me, and discarding the rest] and then tried to view, react and adapt to the world with that principled lens in place.

    But there are weaknesses with that kind of lens, i can be blind to things, hyperreactive to certain things and other things i hone in on well that others cant see.

    Now this idea of using three types of examples as a way to inform what you want and don’t want in life is very interesting, as i believe that we attract the kind of personalities we don’t want when we do not represent ourselves fully.

    For example the weak attract the exploitative, which are another higher form of weak.
    This is why you’ll see the chris browns and rihanna’s of the world. Messed up attracts messed up. It’s not even about good or bad.

    When a person does not represent themselves, their standards and values fully, they leave themselves open to collecting a lot of chaff in the form of people who may not really be the same as what they’re about, they’re just kind of there for the ride.

    So for example it would be like having a few old friends who were losers and negative or whatever and keeping them in one’s friendship circle when your value system is directly at odds with theirs. There is only so much letting sleeping dogs lie that works before the differences erupt.

    Much healthier to have the people who see you and ally with you as you really are, then selling an appearance to fakers.

    I say this to myself first but can see it a lot in my past interactions with women. Saying what i think they want to hear [not so much beta in the words, i read far too much to know intellectually how to play the game but my weakness was in subcommunication and underlying intentions. if you truly give too much of a shit, it is very disingenous to pretend to not give a shit. it doesn't come through right and doesn't work. similarly, being a heart on sleeve guy is seen as too full on as well.] rather than what i want to say.

    Hell i rarely if ever call people on their shit, i pity them, but unfortunately this silence in the face of something dislikeable gives people the impression i consent to the decisions and preferences they make. It’s a mistake i’ve made in that many people are my friends and i’m easily likeable, but i think very few people think and know what i stand for, and what i do not stand for.

    this has been a bit of a stream of thought comment, but wanted to say this gave me a lot to think about.

  • Fortis

    I like that I am pleasantly surprised when you make a post; I can never quite predict what you’ll do next.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Aggression is a good one. Most men are so wussified by modern society that they think it’s “whining” when I call people out for stealing my blog concepts or calling out men for not having the integrity and strength of character to have the back of those who have their backs.

      That’s the world we live in….Boys who keep their heads down like good little slaves.

      • Fortis

        Seriously. We’ve all been trained to “turn the other cheek” and “take it.” I wish to do neither anymore.

  • Robert

    Loyalty, discipline, perseverance. Those are my big three.

    Seems like a lot of your values do mirror traditional morality. You follow the golden rule, I believe. You’re loyal. Maybe your values just don’t reflect modern morality.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Re-read what you wrote and then ask if it’s “maybe.” How many men in modern society follow those values?

  • liam

    There was always something that irked me from a young age, and it was when people would express there opinion on a subject in private but would go quiet and ” sit on the fence ” when they saw a moral injustice.

    When called upon for there backing on said subject they would always try remain neutral. Out of fear of offending.

    Reading dantes inferno lately and this passage summed up my opinions on it.

    ” the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain neutrility in times of moral crisis “

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Yep. And people are so pathetic and so unused to taking a stand that when someone does stand up for himself, they say he’s “whining.” Or they won’t say anything at all.

      Cowards.

      Fortunately those people aren’t allowed at Danger & Play.

      • liam

        Cowards indeed. Or no backbone as we like to say in the UK.

  • C.B.

    I just finished my list this morning (I know the podcast is from April). It’s somewhat liberating being able to see who’s who once it’s on paper. Get’s things out of your head and onto something tangible for reflection. Anyways, thanks for the podcast, Mike.

  • anon1

    Not sure if the right post but hey mike when are you going to tell the limousine liberal gerry Spence story?