Values in life are the ideals that will guide your decisions, behavior, and actions. When you take the time to identify your own values in life, you’ll end up living a much happier life because you can use what you know about your values to make the right choices as you grow and move forward in life.
Some examples of life values include:
Honesty – Telling the truth as you know it, even when it’s hard.
Integrity – Doing what you think is right, even if others will not like it. Not involving yourself in a situation if you have a conflict of interest.
Compassion – Caring about others and yourself in a way that focuses on your own actions.
Dependability – Doing what you say you will do on a regular basis so that people count on you when you say you will do something.
Humor – Trying to see the funny side of any situation and life so you can be more positive.
Innovation – Evaluating situations outside the box.
Service to Others – Many religious folks and humanists create a life based on how they can serve others.
Of course, there are hundreds of potential life values that you can evaluate. Here are 50 ideas from CMU.edu that you can use for yourself. The general idea is that value is a guiding principle that you use to help you make choices.
Identifying your core values may take some introspection and time. But, when you take the time to do it, you’ll find that almost every choice is easier to make because you have past experiences, knowledge, and lessons on which you can base your decisions.
For example, if you’ve decided that one of your core values is service to others, everything you choose to do from which degree to get in school (even to get one or not), and down to what you eat for dinner might be affected. To figure out your core values, you’ll need to look at the different values to figure out what gives you the most joy in life and feelings of success.
Perhaps you’re changing your life right now and decided that environmentalism and minimalism are two of your core values. You’re busy selling all your junk, downsizing, and eliminating waste from your life.
Having those values causes you to make vastly different choices now. When you are shopping, you have those values firm in your mind as you make your choices. More than likely, you’ll shop at thrift stores and other second-hand options before you ever go to a big box store. Additionally, if you buy a vehicle, a home, or even go on a vacation, you’ll choose differently than someone who has different core values.