There is truth to find. Just because the path isn’t straight doesn’t mean there is no destination. Truth is hidden in plain sight. Finding is still an act we do.
In a nutshell, personal values are traits or qualities that you hold true and believe whole heartedly. They are what define your character. They say who you are and how you would like to be indentified or represented.
Personal values are instilled and influenced through a variety of different factors, including your parents, religion and life experiences. But while one may think they know what their values are, if you are truly not in-tune with them and do not practice them on a daily basis, it can have negative effects on your ultimate success in your personal and professional life. It may even affect the outcome of your friend’s and loved ones lives as well — influence is a very powerful tool.
In short, your values affect decisions you make in your everyday life and thus can affect where you end up. Thus it’s important that you learn how to live in congruence with your personal values. In order to learn how to do this, continue reading below.
Step 1: Define Personal Values
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are aware of your personal values. Sometimes it’s better to reconnect with values that are important to you if you visually see them written down on a piece of paper. So on a loose leaf piece of paper (or in a journal) jot down all of your personal values. Values are generally scattered across the board and will vary among individuals, but to help you get started consider these following topics and see which ones are most important to you.
You can either make a T-chart and make a list for values that are not/are important to you, or rank their importance from a scale of 1 to 10: love; dependability; ambition; equality; wealth; family; faith; honesty; generosity; loyalty; courage; competency; adventure; individuality; integrity. This list can go on and on, but the point of the exercise is for you to identify the values that are important to you. Try to come up with at least 10 good values. With that said, truly be honest with yourself. Don’t write down values that you “think” you are supposed to have because someone else in your life has them. These are YOUR personal values.
Step 2: Reflection
After writing down your personal values, the next thing you need to do is reflect on why you have these values in the first place — Did a certain traumatic experience occur, for example? Remembering why you think this way in the first place will help solidify who you are. Or it might even make you want to change your values — You may have a set of values that may or may not be allowing you to achieve your true goals at this moment in time. And that’s ok, values and priorities can shift overtime. But it’s equally important that you also evaluate if you are actually living by your values. If not, try to figure out what is holding you back. Meaning, what is causing the incongruity. You may come to the realization that your values/priorities are on point, but your actions are causing issues.
Step 3: Remind Yourself
Now that you have established your personal values, you should work hard to make sure that you live in congruence with those values. Take your list and post it on your bathroom mirror so every morning you are reminded of what really holds importance in your life. Constantly remind yourself what sacrifices you will make to ensure those values and your life are properly aligned. If you notice that you are falling off track, make sure that your actions from then on will help point you in the right direction.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about online college among other things. She loves receiving reader feedback; you can email her at email@example.com.(Bold, italicized text is input from One World class participants. Thank you!)