We all have our own unique set of values and these are fundamental to the direction we take in our life, whilst also influencing the goals we set ourselves. According to the dictionary definition values are ‘The moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group’.
I’m sure we can come up with a better explanation than that though!
Values are the things which are important in our life, they are a way of living, a moral code if you like. Values show up in all areas of our life from our career, home environment, social life, finances and relationships.
Values can vary widely for each person and can include everything from freedom, flexibility, independence and fun. You can have as many or as few values as is right for you.
How to discover your top 5 values
Your values are formed in your childhood as you model the world through your parents and role models. However, your values can change throughout life and as you grow in your life experiences your values can change too.
A quick and easy way to identify your top 5 values is to have a think about what each of your values mean to you and where they show up in your life. You may find it useful to explore a list of values and identify which ones resonate the most with you.
This will give you an opportunity to start thinking more creatively as to what’s important to you in your life on both a personal and business level.
What happens when you live out of alignment with your values?
If you’re honouring your values you’ll feel happiness in your life and if you’re not honouring and living your values, well quite simply you’ll feel unsatisfied and unhappy. They’ll be a disconnection, something missing and you won’t be moving forward in the direction you would like.
When you know your values but they’re not showing up in your life, for whatever reason, then life sucks! Your mental and emotional wellbeing is affected as you are not honouring the core of who you are and what’s important to you. You’re making sacrifices in your life and you’re not living a life ‘on purpose’.
How your values help you find your purpose
When you know your values and live them on a daily basis you can live a life ‘on purpose’ as you know what’s important to you and can create goals and take action to achieve your dreams. By getting clear on your values and priorities you can dig deeper into what you want in life and can live with passion and purpose.
I hear about people spending years and years in the same job (like I did) and although they like their job, they aren’t always honouring their personal values and being true to themselves. Knowing your values is the first stepping stone towards living a thousand times happier.
It becomes easier to make the right decisions when you know what your values are, as your values give you purpose and the drive to achieve a more authentic and happier life.
How to put your values into action (to get the life you want)
A really great way to take action on your values and to live life ‘on purpose’ is to sit down with a pen and paper and write out your top five (or even ten values). Once you have them mark each one on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how much your honouring them in your life. If you scored below seven on any of your values, ask yourself ‘what can I do to move myself from a five to a six?’ (for example).
You may start to notice a pattern emerging and noticing a lack of alignment towards some key values. This is the time to start thinking about what needs to change and in what area of your life.
Is it that you need to look for a new job or change some of the aspects of your current job? Have a really good think about how much your honouring and living in alignment with your values and what actions you could take to get you closer to a ten out of ten for each of your values.
Life is too short to live off purpose.