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Where you find consistency between your values and your actions, there you will find personal fulfillment and happiness.


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From Values to Actions

Assigning Priorities

Building The Future





"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."

-- Karl W. Palachuk



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What Readers Say . . .



Relax, Focus, Succeed was written for me… well… for anyone “like” me who’s ever had more to do or fires to put out than hands to pull out your own hair with. And since we’ve all been there at some point; this book will speak to you. Karl’s book reveals an escape from the ‘powering thorough’ that we do every day to get through a multitude of life without ever really ‘living’.


Relax, Focus, Succeed takes the reader down to the core of what makes us who we are and walks us through figuring out what we really want in life, how to maintain our center and create a well-balanced, happy, successful life. Karl is motivational and inspiring.

Hannah Welch
Marysville, CA
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I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Karl Palachuk and found myself taking notes. His philosophy is that we need to slow down, take care of ourselves, and reprioritize our lives. I am guilty of being a workaholic and never feel like I'm accomplishing as much in a day as I should. But this is the first time I have ever given myself permission to take care of myself first--not to mention to enjoy my family and friends more.


And Karl was right, the work isn't going anywhere and the world won't stop spinning if I let it sit for awhile. This book is a true inspiration! I now schedule workouts into my schedule every day--something I never considered before. But I realized that I will be more productive in the long run if I'm taking care of myself. This is GREAT STUFF!

Stephanie Chandler
Sacramento, CA
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Karl has outdone himself in this book. I started reading this at a stop light and had to pull over and finish two chapters before halting my day and going home to finish the book. There are many practical and meaningful applications that are just helpful. I was pushing the limits of bad health and very bad overwork habits. This book has helped me tremendously. This book ranks with the quality of the E-myth.


You will pick this book up and have a hard time putting it down!

B. Vincent "Ben"
Auburn Hills, MI
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Hierarchy: From Values to Actions

by Karl W. Palachuk

In the article Value Setting: The Essential Task That Makes Goal Setting Worthwhile I mentioned that "just" setting goals is fine for newbies. But when you get serious about improving your life and being successful, you need to start with a base and rebuild your life from A to Z.

The process is very serious but not very complicated. It starts with a base of Values or Principles. From there you build a Vision or Mission for yourself. Next, you identify the Roles you play in your life. And, finally, you examine the Activities within those roles.

All the goal-setting and behavior changes take place at this "Activities" level. This is where we find the physical manifestation of what we say we believe. Your goals, and the actions you take to reach them, are at this level.


Let's look at these layers from the foundation "up."

Values / Principles

You rarely set your values or principles. It is more likely that you simply have them. You own them (or they own you). Whether you know it or not, there are principles that govern your life. There are values that affect every decision you make.

Most of us can rattle off a dozen values that we claim to hold. It's much more difficult to sit down and go through the process of thinking about the values and beliefs that are most important to us. But this emotionally-difficult process is worth going through.

At least once every five years, you should take some of your quiet time to think about the beliefs and values and principles that matter most to you. Write them down. Work on this one day a week (for 20 minutes of quiet time) for five weeks. That should allow you enough focused attention to list five values that you really take seriously and that you're willing to list as core values in your life.

Note: Be kind to yourself. Just because you list something does not mean that you are without fault in this area. You can value a healthy lifestyle and know that there are too many Twinkies in you life. You can value friendship and acknowledge that you're not very good at maintaining relationships with people.

Let's say you come up with the following five Values/Principles:


¨       Honesty, Integrity

¨       Fairness

¨       Good Personal Relationships

¨       Healthy Life/Long Life

¨       Helping Others


Note: Yours may be very different. These are just examples.

Mission / Vision

Once you have a set of Values or Principles, you get to work on the single most important sentence you'll ever write: Your personal mission statement.

Once again, this takes some time. This is where you look over your values and principles and try to figure out the whole purpose of your life. That sounds dramatic. But, really, this is very valuable work.

It's very sad, but many people spend so much of their lives chasing after "goals" without examining values and having a personal mission statement. In other words, they take visible action steps to achieve things that may not be related to the things that are important in their lives.

A personal mission statement is a simple, one sentence statement of what drives you in your life. It doesn't have to be particularly profound. You can change it any time. When you boil it down to the basics, what brings value to your life?

The important rule to remember here is: Make this your mission statement. Make this your vision for your life. Do not accept "the world's" vision about success. The last thing you want is to have lots of money, no friends, a family that can't stand you, and to have a shallow, meaningless life. But that's all that can come from following other people's goals.

Your mission might be to related to your family or friends, to serving people or the community. It might be related to a cause you believe in, or to your religion. It can be anything that matters to you.

From the values listed above, you might derive the following mission statement:


My vision is to inspire success through a balance of serving myself and serving others.

Notice that the mission does not have to be a perfect match. Your values will change over time as you evolve. Your mission should also flexible. Don't be afraid to revisit this from time to time.

There's more to cover on the subject of personal vision statements. But this is a great start.


The next bit of work for you is to think about the roles you play in your life. This should be much easier. Most of us play 3-5 roles. For example, I play the following roles in my life:





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Obviously, your roles will be different.

Note that Individual is separate from me as a spouse, me as a father, etc. This is just me. Don't forget to list your role as an individual. A great deal of unhappiness comes from pretending that we don't need to tend to ourselves or acknowledge what we need independent from all the other roles of our lives.

There are other, minor roles. Looking into my life from the outside, you might see other roles than I see. But as I divide up all the various aspects of my life, these are the divisions that make sense to me today.

You are likely to have roles for you as an individual, you at work, you in a relationship, and so forth. Play with it. Change it. Rethink it.

These roles then become the basic categories for your goals. So now, at long last, we're ready for visible, physical manifestations of what matters in your life. You've defined values and principles, you've got a mission statement, and you've identified the major activity areas of your life.


Activities -- the actions you take -- are derived from this hierarchy of values, vision, and roles. The secret to living a happy, stress-free life is to bring the Activities of your life into alignment with the values and vision of your life. Stress and unhappiness are a result of conflicts between how you see yourself and how you are.

Let's take one value as an example: Generosity. If you see yourself as a generous person, but know that your actions are not generous, that causes internal stress. Perhaps you don't have enough money to be financially generous. There's no crime in that. Look at the other roles in your life. Are you generous with your time, with your love, with your friendship?

Where you find consistency between your values and your actions, there you will find personal fulfillment and happiness.

Goals then become visible, physical actions that can be taken to bring your activities and daily life into alignment with your stated values and vision. You should examine your activities and goals for each role you play.

If you want to start moving toward greater happiness and personal fulfillment today, start identifying three goals for each role in your life. In my example, I would have three goals for me as an individual, three goals for me as a father, three goals for me as a husband, and so forth.

Concluding Comments

This is a serious and time-consuming process. But it should not be difficult. And the truth is, without this entire process, you will find yourself chasing the wrong rainbows. There is no happiness or fulfillment in following someone else's dream.

This takes time. But nothing in your life is more important than determining the most important things in your life!

If you follow this process -- if you take 15-30 minutes a day and work on values and vision, on defining roles and defining goals, you will automatically find yourself rethinking the actions you take every day.

You will realize that some things just don't matter. You may have been doing them for years. But now you realize they're not even on your radar. You've been working on, and stressing over things that just aren't important to you. Now you can walk away and it feels good.

You will also see where values and activities are not aligned. Perhaps you say your family is important, but you don't have time to spend with them. Writing down your values, vision, roles, and goals will put these contrasts right in front of you. Then your mind will begin doing the work of figuring out how to bring alignment to your life.

There are two options for re-aligning your life with your stated values. One is to change your behavior. No matter how difficult it may be, the process will result in greater happiness.

The other option is to rethink the values. Perhaps family just isn't as important as you thought. Perhaps "society" has made you feel guilty about not having family on the top of the list. So you put it there. Now you begin to see that it's just not your value.

Whatever you do, whatever you decide, the rewards for this work are tremendous. Take it seriously. But be kind to yourself, too. This is your life. Make the most of it.


### RFS ###

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Of Interest



This is one of the best books I have ever read, I have many on business motivation as well as many for your personal life and these seem to contradict each other. Karl shows you how to create the necessary balance in your life. I did not realize how much unnecessary stress I was causing myself until Karl pointed it out, this made an immediate impact in my life in all three areas Personal, Family and Business. I highly recommend this book especially for anyone trying to run their own business.

Bret Meche

Opelousas, LA
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The most important thing Karl's book did for me was to remind me of how important it is to relax in order to be successful. Too often we get so busy that we forget to take time to relax in order to focus our minds and thereby succeed. Karl's exercises throughout the book are very practical.

Sue Lynn Canfield
Roseville, CA
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I love the way Karl's book makes powerful and grounded statements. He is motivational, informative and hits the nail on the head. I recommend his book highly and I recommend it to my clients who are working toward more balance and relaxation in their lives.

Jenifer Novak Landers

Folsom, CA
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I will be rereading this book constantly until I get every habit fully ingrained in my head. I am off to buy a notebook for my "quite time".

Thank you Karl!

Brielle Beard
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I have read, and re-read this book from cover to cover. Its a fantastic book.
This book shows you how to do as the title says Relax, Focus and Succeed.


Brilliant book . . . highly recommended.

Chris Timm
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