Do you know what you want in life? How do you know when you are making the right decisions for yourself? If you ever feel pulled in different directions when it comes to choices, then you need to identify your values in life.
What do life values mean?
Your life values mean your principles in life that guide you in living your life your way.
Earlier we shared on why and how to identifying who you are, your identity of self and listed some questions to ask yourself to understand yourself better.
When you know who you are, you will know what you want in life, what is worth pursuing, who matter(s) to you, how you want to live your life in future, and how to progress towards your goals and dreams in your own terms, and living a life with direction instead of meandering aimlessly.
But how do you actually start understanding yourself at your core?
In addition to the questions we asked in the earlier post, you can also start observing yourself in your normal day-to-day activities such as what you love reading, what genre of songs you like, where do you prefer going when you are alone, and so on which by the way, have to be explored and experienced as you go along.
For instance, you may be interested in poems but do you know there are different forms of poetry, more than thirty of them in fact!
These things that you discover from daily basis are often missed out by most people who would simply let days pass by doing what they were told to do without much thoughts about what they really want.
The next step to discovering yourself is to identify your values which will be the guidance in your life decisions and direction moving forward.
What are Values?
As MindTools explained, “your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.”
They are like your pole to lean on yet act as your laser pointer whenever you need direction or are faced with difficult choice situations.
From a personal perspective, it means what you place importance on as an individual, what you hold on to close, what gives you focus and direction when you are faced with difficult situations to handle or decide on.
It means your principles in life that guide you in living your life your way.
How to find out what your values are?
You can look back to your past experience on what you love doing, or review situations when you were ‘forced’ to choose or decide.
What gives you feel more powerful or in control?
Are there things that you love working on?
What makes you happy or uplifts you?
What do you do that makes you feel like you have done good or achieved results you are proud of?
Who wr what would you stand up for?
Often you will find a series of events you love doing and find pattern in them (perhaps helping people, e.g be of service to them)
Once you are done with that, you can then move on to identifying your values via paper exercise.
This is where you get a list of resonating words. The list is non-exhaustive. You can find the basic exercise on MindTools.
Firstly, you will cross out those that do not relate to you at all
And then streamline them down to top ten,
And further down to top five.It will be very difficult to reduce down to five because at this point all will seem important to you.A quick guide is to ask yourself if you only can choose between two from the list, which would you choose? Then strike out the one that does not relate as much.
And arrange your top five values in order of importance.