We all live by a code of values, whether we know it or not. Values are traits or qualities that you consider worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces.
Many times we do not really think about our values, they are just there under the surface. Our values have been shaped by many things in our lives. Many of our values were formed in our family of origin. Some of these values may have been good, and depending on your situation, some not so good. These values tend to be the most deeply ingrained and possibly be more difficult to change.
Over the years, our values have been molded by other things around us. Our school classmates, close friends, our spouse, our co-workers, the media, and our culture in general. You’ll have to admit that some of the things that our culture has bombarded us with are not quite the best values to base our lives on.
Things like: success is measured by how much is in your bank account. Or the type of work you do. Or how well your kids do in school and do they go to the right school.
List of positive values
flexibility, ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistency, optimism, dependability, responsibility
Many of us would adamantly stand up and say that commitment to our family is our highest value, but does your life represent that? Or maybe health and wellness is important to you. Do your daily activities reflect that?
While we can state that our values are one thing, our actions will truly tell where our values lie.
You can change your values
The good news is, you can change your values. They are not set in stone. The key is to become intentional about what you believe in and what is important to you and make choices daily to reflect those values.
Living your values is one of the most powerful tools available to you to help you be the person you want to be, to help you accomplish your goals and dreams, and to help you lead and influence others.
A more complete list of values can be found here.
So what if you life is not lining up with your values, what can you do to change that?
Stay tuned for Part 2!