The Oxford dictionary’s definition of value is The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. While I provide a list of values in this article, only you can decide what it is that is important in your life; what you find useful and deserving.
Although intellectually I know it is important and I may say I value exercise and fitness, it is of low value to me. Why? Because if I can do anything creative I will defer working out, even taking a walk. When we are in alignment with our values and strengths we feel alive, worthy, and flourishing. That does not mean we neglect our lower values if they are important to our general well-being. But awareness can help us manage the big picture. I know it is to my best interest to exercise so repeatedly I try moving it up higher in my list of values.
Align with Your VALUES
Sometimes staying in alignment with your values will require negotiation. If you love being around pets and your partner is allergic to them, volunteer at the Humane Society. If your partner prefers more time at home and you enjoy a more active social life, go out with friends. If you love cooking and your partner does not negotiate with your partner to do the clean up.
Dr. John Demartini, author of The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life encourages his followers to avoid deferring or subordinating to others’ values. Doing so sucks the energy out of you. Indeed, when you abdicate your values to some else’s your risk feeling angry or depressed.
At work, if your highest values and strengths are not utilized, look for opportunities and offer to take on a side project or fill that need at home or in a volunteer role. Sometimes you will need to declare your boundaries to stay in integrity and aligned with your values.
Identify Your VALUES
Here is a little exercise to assist you in identifying your highest values:
Circle your five most important values; where you spend the most:
- Time seeking
- Time in related activities
- Time developing skills in
- Energy or focus
A List of VALUES
acceptance * achievement * adventure * acknowledgement * animals * appreciation * art * balance * beauty * belonging * caring * challenge * change * children * comfort * compassion * competition * commitment * communication * control * cooperation * creativity * courage * dignity * discipline * diversity * economic security * education * emotional maturity * equality * enthusiasm * ethics * excellence * fame * faith * family * feelings * financial security * freedom * friendship * fun * generosity *gentleness * harmony * health * helping others * home * human rights * humor * humility * idealism * influence * integrity * intuition * joy * justice * kindness* law and order * listening * logic *loyalty * love * manners * modesty * money * music * mystery * native culture * native traditions * nature * nurturing * orderliness * passion * patience * peace * personal development * play * pleasure * power * prayer * prestige * privacy * recognition * reliability * resilience * respect * responsibility * reverence * risk taking * sacredness * seniors * sensitivity * sensuality * sex * sharing * silence * spirituality * sports and fitness * solitude * success * synergy * teamwork * tenderness * thinking * tolerance * touch * travel * truth * trustworthiness * unity * vision * winning * wisdom * Other: _________
- Now, prioritize your five values from the first to fifth!
- Next! Deepen those priority values by acting on them with meaningful activities.
Developing a list of values will not only you protect your integrity but will enhance your work, relationships, and life.