We all have values, the skill is actually connecting with them and living your life around what is important to you. Values do change over time so you should keep updating and adding to them, but a lot of them will stay the same from childhood all the way through your adult life.
The great thing about knowing and being connected to your values is they can make decisions easier. We can all be ruled by emotions from time to time and something that seems like a great idea on Monday may not seem so great by Tuesday morning.
My personal reason for needing to connect with my values was due to my overactive mind and inability to effectively evaluate situations that have been presented to me in a moment.
There have been moments in my life when I am certain I am on to something big and I have pursued opportunities only to realise when they come true that I have no deep affinity to the thing I am chasing.
If you are fully in touch with your values you can just match up your current opportunities to your values, if they are inline go for it, if not you will know that you need to pass this time around.
Some of your values will be very obvious to you; others will take a bit of digging. But if you work consistently on figuring out what they are you will get there in the end.
Just in case you are unsure of what a value is, it is a judgement of what is important to you. Something that is at your core, which bring significant discomfort if you go against it.
Here are 3 techniques for deeply connecting with your values-
Ask Yourself Questions-
Questions are a powerful way to uncover information and emotions stored away in our minds. Questions are hard to ignore so can really open you up for some deep connections. Ask yourself-
What would I do If I was not afraid?
What makes me happy?
What excites me?
What do I love doing?
What makes me feel proud of myself?
What am I committed to in my life?
What am I grateful for?
What skills do I have?
What is amazing in my life?
Once you have your answers, ask yourself why. For example-
If I was not afraid I would? Become a school teacher.
Why would I like to be a school teacher? Because I like helping people, it can help me grow intellectually and I can spend the school holidays with my family.
Values from this question- Helping people, intellectual growth, family time. Once you answer all your questions you will have a list of values.
List Your Interests/Habits-
Our hobbies and interests will reveal a lot about who we are, but don’t get your interests confused with things you just do. If you host a quiz night at your house once a month, but spend the week leading up to it dreading having a house full of people it’s not really an interest.
Interests would be things you do purely for the love of doing it- Music, art and even your bad habits can reveal a lot about you. Not from just the habit or interest alone but from the reasoning behind it.
You might play the piano because you love music, but what do you love about it? Is it the feeling of freedom it gives you? The time out from life? Being able to spend time alone ? Spending time playing in front of people and being recognised for your skills?
The why behind how you spend your time will tell you a lot more than how you spend your time.
Return To Your Childhood-
This is similar to listing your interests and habits, the only different is that when we were children there was a lot less cultural conditioning. I always say you will proceed much further in life from unlearning things than you ever will from learning things and this is why it is good to return to your childhood.
What did you like doing?
How did you spend your time?
What things did you not enjoy?
What kind of people did you like?
Then like the other steps find out the why behind the answers.
Once you have your lists, you should order your values from least important to most important. A tip for this is not to rush, it is a process that you need to work through in your mind, get a rough order and them come back the next day and reorder it again and keep repeating until you have your list of values in order.
Once you have this list it is like a blueprint for life, any decision you need to make ask yourself- does this match my values?
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below, and if you think your friends, social media followers or subscribers could benefit from hearing this go right ahead and share it!