Discovering Your Personal Set of Values

Things we value imageOne way to truly know yourself is to get in touch with your own set of values. It’s easy to get distracted by others’ ideals, and claim that they’re your own because of certain pressures. However, it’s vital that you have your own set of principles and morals so you can stand firm in your beliefs.

Your values are simply the things that are most important to you at the core. It’s the unwavering belief in what you stand for. When you know your values, you can live a happier life doing what’s most important to you.

In What Matters Most, bestselling author Hyrum W. Smith explains that many people feel something is missing from their lives because of conflicts between actions and personal values. A well defined set of values will help you prevent these conflicts, and will help you to live a life is in harmony with your values.

 Identify Your Values

 An effective method of identifying your values is to imagine your future. Take the time to reflect on different areas of your life. Where do you see yourself as you get older? What are the things that are most important to you? What do you hope to accomplish in life?

 Answering these questions will help you discover your values. For instance, if you picture yourself growing old close to your family, and spending valuable time with your grandkids, then a strong sense of family is one of your core values.

 You can have many values in life; you just need to discover which ones are your highest priorities. That way, at the end of each day, you can feel confident that you’re nurturing the most important parts of your life.

 Popular Values

There are certain values that most people feel are important. You might find that they’re significant to you too, as part of your core beliefs.

 These values may help guide you in determining your own personal values:

  1. Spirituality. If you align with a certain religion, then the beliefs of that practice are likely dear to your heart. You may find greater fulfillment by spending your time with your God, and practicing your religion.

  1. Relationships. Valuing relationships includes finding all relationships important, in addition to your romantic ones. This means that you hold your interactions with your loved ones to be one of the most important things in life. In order to foster this value, spend plenty of quality time and effort on strengthening your relationships.

  1. Adventure. Are you a thrill-seeker? If things seem to get too stale, do you eventually feel bored? If so, you have adventure close to your heart and you’d be happiest with trying new experiences and new ways of doing everyday things.

  1. Creativity. Creative thinking helps the world in many ways, but it’s not a core value for everyone. If you enjoy discovering and creating new things, perhaps it is one of your values. Try thinking outside the box while you’re doing things that you enjoy, such as poetry, music, or even your career.

  1. Making a mark on the world. Most people will say that, in the end, they just want others to warmly remember them. There are many ways that you can make your mark on the world, if that’s one of your core values. You can help others through volunteer work, you can create something new to help the world at large, or you can be a positive influence on others, and much more.

All you really need to do in order to discover your values is find what makes you truly happy. Then ask yourself why those things bring you joy. The answers will lead you to your core values.

If you feel like your life has taken a wrong turn, you can figure it out by thinking about your future. Are you helping your future by walking down your current path? If the answer is no, perhaps it’s time to think about taking a new path based on your core values. When you do, that path will likely lead you to happiness!

Comment below and let us know about your core values. What are they and how did you discover them? 

Photo Credit: Hellobo

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  • Chad Daniels

    Great blog Steve! Defining your values is one of the most important exercises in creating a path to happiness. One of my favorite philosophers, Aristotle, was the father of virtue ethics, which is essentially the same thing; stating your values and then practicing them. My friend and co-founder of Chris just wrote a great blog about defining your values and the terms for your happiness. I hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you think!

    • sespring

      Charlie, thanks for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed my blog.