Values are way more important than you think. Values are the ones that guide you on the way you think, believe and act; it is the core of your life. Values help you to have meaning in every decision and action that you make. When you don’t live by your values, this creates an internal tension triggering destructive habits, regressive behavior, and unhappiness. Values are very personal and support & energize you when you are in alignment with what you do and have a direct impact on your relationships and work. When you are with people that go different from your values you tend to stay away from them, change jobs, ask for different positions, etc.
Value: A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. “they internalize their parents’ rules and values”.
Synonyms: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, code of behavior
“Society’s values are passed on to us as children”
Values are the guiding principles that direct you through life, they are your truths and your principles and the things you are willing to fight for. For me this is important because this will create your “whys” for everything you do, like the FREE Be Happier Challenge” and any goal you want to achieve. The reason why I encourage people to analyze their values is that sometimes we didn’t necessarily choose our core values, sometimes these values were instilled in us by the way our parents and community raise us and we are living by these values without knowing is really not ours. So let me ask you this? Are you truly living by your core values? Do you really believe in them? Do they really give a purpose in your life? Do they help you to achieve success? Do they make you happy? If you answer no to any of these questions you need to take a minute and adjust your values.
Where else do values come from?
Our values come from a variety of sources. Some of these include:
Peers (social influences)
Workplace (work ethics, job roles)
Educational institutions such as schools or TAFE
Significant life events (death, divorce, losing jobs, major accident and trauma, major health issues, significant financial losses, and so on)
Major historical events (world wars, economic depressions, etc)
Values can change as you go through life, either because you realize you were following someone else’s values and didn’t know. It can also be because you have grown professionally and personally by reading books and going thru life experiences. It is vital that you understand them and apply them when setting your priorities in life because just like there are values you should stay true to, there are also values that will only hurt you. Believe it or not, some values are negative and they only cause problems, loneliness, depression and won’t help to succeed and live a healthy and happy life. Some of them we don’t even realize and see that they have been keeping us from happiness and success. Need an example of those ugly values:
Eliminate thoughts like:
You don’t deserve good things or relationships in life.
Other people are fundamentally untrustworthy and unloving.
Life is meaningless.
Some things are not meant for you.
You can’t do things.
How to Identify Your Values?
You can identify your current values and see if they go with you or not. Grab a notebook or a paper and go to a place where you can be by yourself, be relaxed, you can think, and write without any interruptions. Now do the next exercise but keep in mind that you need to be completely honest with yourself, this is about you and not your parents, significant other, friends, or any other person. So get ready and let’s go.
Find your values exercise.
Want a printable worksheet? Click here: Finding Your Values Workbook
. Read the value list of values (down below0 and circle the words that you feel go with you.
. Close your eyes and think about a moment where you felt the happiest and answer these questions:
What were you doing?
Were you with other people? Who?
What other factors contributed to your happiness?
. Identify the times you were the proudest of. Answer these questions:
Why were you proud?
Did other people share your pride? Who?
What other factors contribute to your feelings of pride?
. Identify the times you were most fulfilled and satisfied. Answer these questions:
What needs or desires were fulfilled?
How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
What other factors were contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?
. Open your eyes and check the list, and analyze the ones that your circle and mark the ones that go with your visions. This step is probably the most difficult because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.
. Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
. Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
. Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.
. Analyze which ones look-alike search their meaning in the dictionary and see which one goes better with you until you end with three to five values.
. Check your top priorities and make sure they go with your life and your visions. Make sure they make you feel happy, comfortable, and proud of them and feel free and good to share them with others.