The Anchor Advantage


When the weather is warm, my husband and I have a favorite Saturday morning routine: sleeping in, (that’s typically 6:00am for him and 7:30ish for me!) brewing coffee, and then heading out to the lake for breakfast. As boat club members, we have a reputation for barely using any gas when taking a boat out. For us, anchoring in a peaceful cove and savoring breakfast while catching up is the most amazing way to start a Saturday.  From there our lake time might be spent reading books, brainstorming, or dreaming. Sometimes we even hold our weekly business meeting out there.

Those pleasant lake moments that I love are only possible when we anchor the boat. With an anchor in place, we can relax knowing that the boat will remain in place. Without the anchor, the boat will drift into shallow water where plants and debris can damage the prop and result in expensive boat repairs.

Anchors also provide peace and safety in the midst of storms as well, especially in larger bodies of water than our nearby lake. Some even recommend diving down and inspecting your anchor to be certain it’s secure. Many don’t realize that anchoring is not just tossing an anchor overboard. Anchoring is an art! And there’s nothing worse than having an inadequate anchor for your boat and the possible storms. The dragging that results from wimpy anchors leads to anxiety in even the most experienced boaters.

Having an anchor on board is not what provides peace and safety. What provides peace and safety is using the anchor when needed.

When it comes to you, values are your anchor. They keep you from drifting into danger so that you can experience fulfillment and joy. Your values will enable you to be more decisive, motivated, and focused both personally and professionally.

While you may not realize it, you have values. Maybe you have not clearly defined them, but you have them. Your values are unique to you. Even if you and another person have similar values, you may not walk them out in the same way. It is common knowledge that every snowflake is unique. The same is true for values. It is these differences in values, and the interpretation of them, that is at the root of many of your frustrations and conflicts.

Being clear on what your values are is just the beginning; like having an anchor on board. Knowing how to correctly use them, will prevent you from drifting into danger, increase your effectiveness, and allow you to experience peace.

Understanding the values of those you interact with closely will help you to appreciate where they are coming from and what’s important to them so that you can relate more effectively. That’s the “anchor advantage!”

Discovering your personal values is where it all starts! Here’s how you do that:

1. Ask!

Ask people around you; people who know you well. What do they notice being wildly important to you?

And most importantly, ask God to reveal your values to you. To make them stand out to you in ways you can’t miss them!

2. Brainstorm

Take time to notice what upsets you, thrills you, or drives you. Odds are one of your values is involved. For example, one of my values is health. My routine, habits, and choices are deeply affected by this value. It dictates when I go to bed, how I start my day (with exercise – except on Saturdays of course!), the food I indulge in, and much more.

Then make a list of the possibilities. Include on that list potential candidates as you consider the following:

  • What in your life is incredibly important to you?
  • What in your life frustrates you or excites you?
  • What are you willing to fight for? Die for? Work like crazy for?
  • What are you passionate about?

3. Review

With your list in hand, search for evidence in your life to support the possible values you’ve come up with. Cross off any of the options on your list lacking evidence. Sometimes we wish for certain values, but if they are not actively being lived out you have to question whether or not it’s truly a value.

4. Eliminate

Now narrow your list down until you have five values. Yes, five! That’s tough! I confess even I have a sixth; a runner up. You might too. The goal here is to zero in on the values that are ultimately going to anchor you.

5. Evaluate

Is your life in alignment with your values? Often the areas of your life that aren’t working are also areas that conflict with your values. The same is true of relationships. As you consider your values, how do they play out in these eight areas: Finances, Health/Physical Well Being, Work/Career, Emotions, Growth/Intellect, Fun/Relaxation, Spiritual Life, and Relationships.

Once you are clear on your own values, consider clarifying your family, team, or organization values. Keep in mind that your personal values will reflect you, while the values for a family, team, or organization will reflect the group or organization. The process alone can be an eye opening experience and allow you to get to know each other better and determine together what you all will agree is most important. Just like landing on your own values is a process, when other people are involved, it is even more of a process to anticipate that this won’t happen overnight. It takes patience, great questions, understanding, and a desire to all collaborate towards a common goal.

Struggling to determine your values personally or as a team? Unsure what to do once you’ve identified them? Let’s partner together so you can experience the anchor advantage too!

How would the “Anchor Advantage” make a difference for you personally and/or professionally?

–> For a FREE Values Exercise contact me! I want you to THRIVE personally and professionally!

NOTE: This post that was originally posted on 1/15/2014. It’s been updated & revised! May it encourage you to settle on your values & anchor your life & work with them!

© Can Stock Photo / anton_novik

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. April on January 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for yet another excellent analogy! I remember a time my hubby urged me to take such an evaluation of my values. We had taken a fifth child into our homeschooling family and he had attention problems which translated into my feeling overwhelmed by the schooling process. My husband asked me if the value I put on home education had changed or just my ability to cope– because the value needed to be the constant (there’s your “anchor”) and my energies put into how to make it work instead of rehashing the value itself. I’m not sure I articulated that very well, but it was a turning point for me. Currently, I’m giving myself the same reminders when it comes to ministry. If I value the souls of my unsaved neighbors, spending time with them takes priority over my schedule. Hard for me when checking off my to-do list is a more tangible product. :-(.

    • Marvae on January 15, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      What perfect examples of how values operate as an anchor in your life! Thanks for sharing them with others!

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