Your values are what is most important to you in life – personally and professionally. Values are what you calibrate towards and are the focal point in determining your priorities, goals, attitudes, and behavior. In other words, your values are a compass for your actions in life. It is important that what you do, matches the values that you set for yourself.
I go as far as to say that your values in many respects determines your identity. It answers the question who you are, which is why it is so important to define and clarify what they are. I have seen many people unhappy in life, and much of it comes from the “ideal” and the “real.”
If your actions and behavior match your values, you are more content and fulfilled in life. Whenever they are not, either your values a wrong, your behavior wrong, which leads to being unfulfilled and unhappiness. This is why you should constant be making an effort to properly define and identify your values.
For example, I was helping a high-level executive who felt that he was in a hamster wheel, getting no where in life and unhappy with his progress. I had him go through an exercise of writing down his top values, the most important things in his life.
His first was spending time with family. I then asked him to map out his week by hour and assign what he did during those hours. He was working 60 hours a week, playing golf 3, playing poker with his friends another 3 hours, and spending less than 2 hours a week with his family. No wonder he was unhappy! His number one value was at the bottom of his behavior and actions!
Once realizing this he immediately cut back on his hours on work and play, and started to spend more time with his family. Instantly not only he, but his family was happier. When you understand your values, it can help you make tough decisions on how to live your life, and close the gap between the “ideal” and the “real”.
As you mature, become more experienced, and become more self-aware of yourself, these values may change. That is ok if for the right reasons. Here are some tips that can help you identify them.
- What are things that energize you and you are passionate about?
- When are you the happiest?
- When do you have pride in your actions?
- What is your S.H.A.P.E.? How does it play a role in your life?
- Spiritual Gifts
Examples of Personal Values
|Being with People||Being Married||Having a Special Partner|
|Being Loved and Valued||Having Close Friends and Companions||Helping and Taking Care of Others|
|Loving People||Having a Close Family||Having Fun|
|Being Liked and Popular||Getting Other’s Approval||Being Appreciated and Acknowledged|
|Being Significant||Being Treated Fairly and Justly||Being Admired and Respected|
|Being Courageous||Being Independent and Free||Being in Control|
|Being Emotionally Stable||Being Financially Independent||Making a Difference in the World|
|Having Pride and Dignity||Being Well-Organized||Being SMART, Competent, and Wise|
|Learning and Knowing a lot||Being a High Achiever||Being Productive|
|Having Meaningful and Enjoyable Work||Having an Important Position||Making Money and High Income|
|Fighting Injustice||Living Ethically||Being a Good Parent (or Child)|
|Faith and Relationship with God||Being a Spiritual Person||Being Healthy and Fit|
|Having Peace and Quiet||Making a Home||Preserving Your Heritage|
|Being Financially Independent||Appreciating What You Have||Being Physically Safe|
|Not Getting Taken Advantage Of||Making Things Easy and Simple||Being Comfortable|
|Avoiding Boredom||Avoiding Loneliness||Looking Good|
|Having Prized Possessions||Being Creative||Being Deep|
|Growing as a Person||Living a Full and Abundant Life||Having a Purpose and Mission|
Examples of Professional and Workplace Values
|Making a Difference with your Job||Being in a Job that you Love||Having a Good Boss|
|Being a Good Boss||Being a Good Peer and Team Player||Helping Others Succeed|
|Focusing on Details||Delivering High Quality||Being Reliable|
|Being Liked, Popular, and Respected||Getting Other’s Approval||Being Appreciated and Acknowledged|
|Having a High Position||Meeting Deadlines||Being Admired and Respected|
|Making Good Money||Being Independent to Do What You Want||Being in Control|
|Building a Strong Brand||Delivering Great Service||Being Honest and Transparent|
|Showing Respect for Others||Respecting Company Policies||Generating Profit|
|Continually Growing||Creating Value||Beating the Competition|