Day 332: Values Clarification

November 29th, 2010

“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” ~Albert Einstein

The true test of our life is whether we go to bed at the close of each day and know that we have done as much good as possible and that we have followed our instincts towards our sense of self respect instead of self interest. This seems like it should be a clearly demarcated path, but these instincts are easy to confuse. Driven by needs- whether emotional or material, can rationalize many behaviors, that if pressed we would find impossible to justify to our own hearts. Just read a few pages of the newspaper and this is the story line that dominates not just how many businesses drive themselves into the ground, but even the stalemates that we call governing of late.

Abraham Lincoln said his religion was based on this:”When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.” It seems almost too arcane to build a life around, but valuing our moral compass is not all that old fashioned after all. This begs the question of whether character can be trained as we train our intellect. I believe, as Emerson did that “Character is higher than intellect” and that like intellect it can be cultivated throughout life.

Things at Good Clean Love are clarifying my values in ways that I wouldn’t have anticipated. I guess that is what happens when they are tested. I began with a mission of increasing the awareness and experience of love in the world without much clarity about what that meant or looked like. Over the years, our natural and organic intimacy products have helped many people feel the love in their life. Our products are great, the best ever, but what makes them love products is how you choose to use them. This emphasis on the love is what really makes our products different from the rest.

I have been told that this is not a viable mission. The new proposed mission should be separate from the mission of love I was told. The products are great regardless of what or how you choose to use them. Adding the love part made it too inaccessible for too many… here was the essential disagreement over the brand that created a split too large to bridge.

I used to teach a career workshop where I would go through many exercises with clients to help them identify their values. I was often surprised at how few and far between were our tested values and for most people they were the same. Family, friends, self respect- these were the things over and over again that people said they would risk their lives over. Loving relationships in the last breath of life is what we are here for, and today I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that Good Clean Love exists to make love more accessible to as many people as possible. Yes, we sell love products for intimacy, but why not choose making love over having sex? It is what we really want anyway.

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