What are your values? – Deciding what’s important in life

Discover the importance of identifying personal values to make informed decisions and lead a fulfilling life. Learn how aligning actions with core values can enhance happiness and satisfaction.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Principal Learnings

  • A fundamental aspect of what you are as a person and what you wish to become is shaped by your own values.
  • You may utilize these essential life elements as an outline to choose wisely in every circumstance if you increase your awareness of them.
  • Making choices in life sometimes comes down to figuring out what matters most to you. You can trust your beliefs to guide you when there are a lot of possibilities that look sensible.
  • Life is generally excellent when your values are aligned with your lifestyle. You may feel sad and that something is off when your life doesn’t match your particular values.

What do you consider your values definition to be?

You must first understand what values generally mean before you can respond to this topic.

Your beliefs about what matters to you in life and at your job/business are your values definition.

They (should) establish what’s important to you and, in all honesty, they’re likely the yardsticks by which you judge whether or not your life is going in the direction you had hoped.

A happy and contented existence is typically experienced when one’s actions and behavior align with their values. But something feels off when they don’t line up with your own principles. This might truly be a cause for sadness.

Because of this, it’s critical to consciously consider what your values definition is. That being said, we will examine how to determine your own values in this piece and the clip that follows.

How Values Can Benefit You

Whether you admit it or not, values are real. Acknowledging your values definition while creating decisions and actions that reflect them can make life much easier.

Will you experience conflict and internal tension if you regard your family yet your profession requires you to put in 70-hour weeks? If you are employed in an extremely competitive sales atmosphere and disregard the competition, how likely are you to be content with your work?

Knowing your values definition will be a huge assistance in these kinds of circumstances. Knowing your personal values will help you make judgments on how to spend your life and provide answers to problems such as these:

  • What career path should I take?
  • Shall I take this promotion?
  • Shall I launch a company of my own?
  • Shall I stick to my guns or make concessions?
  • Shall I venture along a new route or adhere to tradition?

So, invest some time in learning what your true priorities are, and you’ll then be prepared to decide what you want in life and what’s most important for you.

Tip

Although values lack rigid bounds or limits, they are typically quite stable. Furthermore, your values could evolve as you go through life.

When you first start your profession, for instance, achieving success as defined by status and money may be your main concern.

However, balancing work and life could become more important to you after having children.

Your own values definition will evolve along with your idea of success. Keeping your values in check is a continuous endeavor because of this. If you begin to feel off-balance and you’re not sure why, you should go back to this often.

Remember that values that were significant in the past might not be relevant today when you do the following activity.

Setting Your Values

What’s genuinely essential to you is shown when you identify your personal values. To begin with, it’s a good idea to reflect on your past and pinpoint those moments in your life when you were most content and assured of your decision-making.

Step 1: Determine your happiest moments

Look through your personal and professional experiences for examples. Ensuring equilibrium in your responses will be ensured by this.

  • How did you spend your time?
  • Did you have any companions? With whom?
  • What additional elements played a role in making you happy?

Step 2: Determine the moments you felt most proud of yourself

Include personal and professional examples.

  • For what reason did you feel proud?
  • Did those around you also feel proud? Whom?
  • What additional elements played a role in your sense of pride?

Step 3: Determine your most contented and fulfilled moments

Once more, include examples from your work and life.

  • What want or need was satisfied?
  • What meaning did the event bring to your life, and how?
  • What additional elements played a part in your contentment?

Step 4: Taking into account your feelings of contentment, satisfaction, and pride, identify your core values

Why is every encounter so meaningful and noteworthy? For the purpose of getting started, consider the list of prevalent personal values below; try to narrow your list down to around ten core values. (You could discover that several of these merge organically as you go along. Serving others could rank as among your core values, for example, if you cherish giving, community, and charity.)

Typical Core Personal Values

Accuracy

Accountability

Achievement

Altruism

Adventurousness

Assertiveness

Ambition

Balance

Belonging

Being the best

Boldness

Carefulness

Calmness

Challenge

Clear-mindedness

Cheerfulness

Community

Commitment

Competitiveness

Compassion

Contentment

Consistency

Continuous Improvement

Control

Contribution

Correctness

Cooperation

Creativity

Courtesy

Curiosity

Democratic-ness

Decisiveness

Determination

Dependability

Diligence

Devoutness

Discipline

Diversity

Discretion

Dynamism

Effectiveness

Economy

Elegance

Efficiency

Enjoyment

Empathy

Enthusiasm

Excellence

Equality

Expertise

Excitement

Expressiveness

Exploration

Faith

Fairness

Family-oriented-ness

Fitness

Fidelity

Focus

Fluency

Fun

Freedom

Generosity

Grace

Growth

Goodness

Happiness

Health

Hard work

Holiness

Helping society

Honor

Honesty

Humility

Ingenuity

Independence

Inquisitiveness

Inner harmony

Intelligence

Insightfulness

Intuition

Intellectual status

Justice

Joy

Legacy

Leadership

Loyalty

Love

Making a difference

Merit

Mastery

Obedience

Order

Openness

Originality

Perfection

Patriotism

Positivity

Piety

Preparedness

Practicality

Prudence

Professionalism

Quality-orientation

Resourcefulness

Reliability

Restraint

Rigor

Results-oriented

Security

Self-control

Self-actualization

Self-reliance

Selflessness

Serenity

Sensitivity

Service

Simplicity

Shrewdness

Speed

Soundness

Stability

Spontaneity

Strength

Structure

Strategic

Support

Success

Temperance

Teamwork

Thoroughness

Thankfulness

Timeliness

Thoughtfulness

Traditionalism

Tolerance

Truth-seeking

Trustworthiness

Understanding

Unity

Uniqueness

Usefulness

Vitality

Vision

Step 5: Set your highest priorities

Since you’ll need to examine yourself deeply, this step is most likely the hardest. This is the most crucial phase as well because you will have to select between options that may meet conflicting values as you make a selection. You need to be aware of which value seems more significant to you at this point.

  • Without any specific sequence, list your most significant values.
  • The question is, “If I were able to satisfy just one of them, which should I choose?” Check the initial two values. Envisioning a scenario where you would need to arrive at that decision could be beneficial. If you were to weigh the values of service and stability, for instance, you could have to choose between selling your home and moving abroad to perform important humanitarian work or staying put and volunteering to perform charitable work in your community.
  • Work your way around the list, comparing every value to the next, until the list appears in the proper sequence.

Tip

If you’re having trouble with this, you might want to think about doing a Paired Comparison Analysis. Using this strategy, you rank the two options according to importance, giving the more important option a higher score. Devoting time to this phase is well worth it, as determining and prioritizing your values is crucial.

Step 6: Reiterate your values

Verify that your highest priorities align with your daily goals and self-image.

  • Do you feel positive about yourself when you live by these values?
  • Which three values make you proud?
  • To those you admire and respect, would you feel confident and at ease sharing your values?
  • If you were to make a decision that made you a minority and wasn’t popular, would you still stand by these values?

Keeping your moral compass and doing what you believe to be fair at all times can ensure that you act with clarity and confidence when you take your principles into account. What’s best for your happiness and fulfillment now and in the future will also be evident to you.

Choosing decisions based on values isn’t always simple. Ultimately, though, it’s far easier to make the decision you know is correct.

Best Advice for Outlining Your Values Definition

By succinctly outlining on paper what your values mean to you, you may give them life. Embed their significance by putting into words what they represent and how they are important to you.

To ensure that you truly understand the values, keep them brief and express them in your own unique terms. When it’s time to make decisions, these values definition will serve as helpful reminders of what you are along with what is important to you.

Saying, “I respect creativity as it allows me to find solutions to issues and develop new, inventive concepts that bring me pleasure and an overwhelming feeling of fulfillment,” is an example of how you may articulate one of your fundamental values definition.

Common Questions Regarding Values

1. Values Definition: What Do They Mean?

What you consider to be essential ideas and beliefs for your daily life and professional endeavors are your values.

Your decisions, priorities, and behavior toward others should all be guided by them. Things normally work out well in life when your actions and behavior are consistent with your values definition.

2. What Makes Personal Values Crucial?

Being aware of your values definition will truly enhance your quality of life and ease your burdens.

This occurs as a result of using your values in reaching well-informed judgments regarding how you lead your life once you recognize them and make objectives and choices that are consistent with them.

Realizing what matters most in your existence will help you set meaningful goals and decide which path is best for you.

Important Points

A difficult but necessary activity is figuring out what your values are. Part of what you are and what you want to become is fundamentally shaped by your unique values. You may utilize these crucial aspects of your life like an outline to choose wisely in every circumstance if you increase your awareness of them.

Making choices in life sometimes comes down to figuring out what matters most to you. It can be consoling and beneficial to cling to what you believe in at times when a lot of options appear sensible. You can use your values definition as a powerful compass to steer yourself down the right route.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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