When we think about what is important to us, it's easy to come up with answers like family, friends and health. But how do you know if these things are really your core values?
Values Guide What We Do and How We Live
The way we live our lives is guided by our values. When we make decisions, they are based on what we value and how much importance we place on each of those things. For example, take someone who holds honesty as one of their most important values. If they learnt that a friend has been lying to them, they are likely to feel betrayed or disappointed in their friend's actions. They might even distance themselves from the person because of it.
In essence, values are what guide us in making decisions about how to live our lives and interact with others. They're what lead us down paths in life where we take actions that align with who we want to be as individuals or members within a community/society at large.
How Do I Identify My Personal Values?
Sometimes it can be hard to clearly identify our personal values because we can get confused by what:
We should value
Other people value
Our parents value
Our friends value
We tend to identify with the values of those around us, but true values come from within. While values are often considered a universal concept, they are personal and unique to each individual.
Values are not simply about what you want or need financially or socially—a person who has lost their job could still be rich in other areas: love, friendship, family, faith.
Values define what we care about and want out of life; they inform our decisions on how we live our lives. They can motivate us to take action when things get tough or make us feel proud when we succeed at something important (even if no one else notices).
Take Time to Reflect on Your Core Values
When you take the time to consider your values and what matters most to you, it can be a powerful exercise. Without this clarity, it can be difficult to make good decisions. For example, if saving money is important to you but so are being generous and giving back to others, how do we decide on our priorities?
If we have a clear understanding of what matters most in our lives (i.e., if we know our core values), then making these kinds of choices becomes easier because we're always working towards what's most important for us—not just for ourselves but also for those around us. And because of this clarity about who we are and what comes first in our lives, I find that making better decisions becomes automatic!
Are Money, Security, Accomplishment and Ambition your Core Values?
Money, security, accomplishment and ambition are values that people want to achieve. These values, however, are not the most important values in life. The most important intrinsic values in life must be sought out and nurtured by the individual himself or herself if they are to be achieved.
Do the Most Important Personal Values Center on Happiness and Meaning?
Some of the most important personal values center on happiness and meaning. Happiness is a state of well-being, while meaning is a reason for being. Happiness can be defined as an emotion or feeling, while meaning involves a sense of purpose in one's life, or an identifiable goal to achieve.
Some people confuse these two concepts—and look at them interchangeably—but they're actually quite different: Happiness isn't an end goal but rather something that comes from living your life with purpose and intentionality; it's what happens when you're doing what you love and spending time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
Meaning is what drives us forward; it gives us purpose beyond ourselves and helps us achieve our goals by giving us focus and motivation within our lives.
Experiencing Authentic Joy is Powerful
Authentic joy is a powerful thing. It's not the same as happiness, and it comes from a deeper sense of fulfillment and meaning in your life. Authentic joy can be a powerful motivator because it gives you the strength to push through challenging times, or even do something crazy like take up skydiving!
If you want to experience more authentic joy in your life, here's what we recommend:
Finding Our True Meaning and Purpose in Life
Finding out true meaning and purpose in life is a special gift that comes from aligning our lives with our core values. Sometimes, it can be hard to clearly identify our personal values; however, if you feel drawn to something or someone that resonates with you on an emotional level, it's likely you've identified a value of yours.
When we don't live according to our values, we suffer greatly because we aren't living authentically.
Our happiness depends on whether or not we are doing things that fit who we really are as individuals. When we ignore what's important to us and instead take on the beliefs of others (especially those who seem more successful than ourselves), this will only serve to bring about feelings of discontent and unhappiness in the long run.
Make the Life Best Decisions and Live a Happy Life!
Values are the things that are most important to us in our lives. Values help guide our actions and choices, as well as our thoughts and decisions. They can be anything from doing the right thing to making sure your friends know how much you care about them.
They're something that we hold dear, something we believe in, and something that guides us through life's challenges. We live by values because they're what makes us feel good about ourselves, or who we want to be as people—and sometimes those two things go hand-in-hand!
We hope this has been an eye-opening journey for you. We know that it can be hard to identify and understand our personal values, but it’s a valuable exercise that will help you lead a happier life. As we discussed earlier in the article, when you spend some time thinking about what really matters most to you—what makes your heart sing, what brings you joy—you’ll find that many of these things are common among people around the world who live their best lives. If we all held ourselves accountable for following our own personal values, then perhaps there would be less conflict in this world! Let us know if any of these tips helped guide you towards living your best life; we’d love to hear from you!
Help is Available
If you, or a mate, are experiencing difficulty, support is available. Please contact iflow psychology today or book an appointment.
You can book an appointments online, or by calling my friendly admin staff on 02 6061 1144.
iflow psychology offers in-person, telehealth and telephone counselling. We are registered psychologists. We also offer Medicare Rebates when you have a doctors referral and Mental Health Plan. We would love to be part of your journey.
Location Details: iflow psychology is located in Leichhardt Inner West Sydney NSW Australia
The information provided in this article is for information purposes only.
It is always advisable to speak with your treating doctor, health professionals, and legal representatives before making decisions.
This is particularly important if you have: health concerns; existing mental health or medical conditions; or feel you are not coping.