The reason it’s so important to figure out your values is because it’s your values that define who you are and why you are here. Your purpose, your goals, your dreams and your path in life will come from figuring out your values. Your relationships, your friends, and the way you bring up your children will be defined by your values. The friends you make and the influence you have on the world will be decided based on your values. Your level of happiness, your emotional state and what you do on a day-to-day basis is decided by your values.
There is no escaping that your values are extremely important to you living a fulfilled and positive life. When you figure out your values you will have a much greater awareness of where you should be going, what you should be doing, and who you should be doing it with. You will be on your path in business, work, relationships and life.
To figure out your values you must give yourself time to reflect and write down your values on paper or on the computer. You could also record yourself talking if that’s easier for you. In order to get your values out you have to ask yourself the right questions. When you ask yourself these questions, make sure you answer them from your gut, it shouldn’t be a logical answer but an emotional response. The right answer is whatever you feel it to be in the moment of answering.
Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself to figure out some of your values. Each question can be expanded, and any answers you give, make sure you ask why, and go deeper into each answer to get even more values out.
- What do I think of myself?
- What do I like about my life?
- What do I dislike about my life?
- What do I want more of in my life?
- What do I want less of in my life?
- How do I want other people to see me?
- How do I want to interact with other people?
- How do I think about other people?
- How do I want to make other feel?
- How do I want others to make me feel?
- What do I want to do in life that I haven’t done?
- What experiences do I want to have in life?
- What emotions do I want to have more of?
- What emotions do I want to have less of?
- What do I want to feel like when I go to sleep?
- What do I want to feel like when I wake up?
- How do I want my kids to face problems?
- How do i want my kids to think?
- How do I want other people to think of my kids?
- What am I passionate about in my life?
- What am I grateful for in my life?
- What do I want more of?
- How do I want my life to look when I look back before I die?
- How do I want people to remember me after I’m gone?
- How do I want people to talk about me when I’m not there?
These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself to find out your values. Each answer you give, or maybe you give several answers, will uncover more questions.
For example if for the first question “What do I think of myself?”, you answered “I see myself as positive and happy”, you can ask the follow up question, “Why do I see myself this way? Is this good or bad? How could I improve it? What values does this say about me? Are there any areas where I am lying to myself about feeling positive and happy?”
For each answer you think of you can ask more questions. Always make sure you are thinking in the forefront of your mind, “What does this say about my values”.
Ask yourself about your values from every area of your life. Your family values, social values, values about learning and growing, values about doing chores, values about children or the elderly, financial and income values, work ethic and moral responsibilities, exercise and health.
The more you uncover about your values, the better idea you will have about your identity and your self. When you can understand yourself on this level, then making life choices becomes a lot simpler. You will know immediately if making a decision is good, because you will know if its in line with your values. If you are unsure about your values in a certain area, then make sure to reflect when the opportunity arises.
A month after I did this exercise for the first time, I found myself eating an unhealthy burger. I asked myself, “Do I want to be eating this?” and I realized that I had completely forgotten about my values when it came to food and health. So I went back and did the exercises, and uncovered all my values surrounding healthy eating, weight loss, dieting, fitness, and much more. I discovered that I wanted to do more yoga and exercise, and I found more clarity and direction in my life. Now I have focused energy on doing yoga every single day, and I feel a million times better for it. Also whenever I see an unhealthy burger, I don’t even get a craving, unless I’m starving hungry, and even then I try to avoid it.Make sure you are constantly asking yourself if what you are doing on a day-to-day basis is in line with your values, and if you’re not sure, then find out your values and make sure.