“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” – Ayn Rand
One of the most important aspects of living a fulfilling and meaningful life is recognizing our values, and living in alignment with them.
Webster’s dictionary defines a value as, “a principle, standard, or quality considered inherently worthwhile or desirable”— a word or phrase that describes what is important to you.
Unfortunately, many people don’t really know what they value most deeply. They have a vague sense of what is important to them, but may not have examined the bigger picture of how their life is connected to these values or where these values came from.
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney
Our values are the foundation and measurement of a life well lived. When we have clarity on our values they serve as a compass to help us make important decisions so we can ultimately live a more meaningful and thriving life.
Living in alignment with our values comes down to prioritizing. On a daily basis we have 1,440 minutes to use as we desire.
We have a choice in how we spend our time, and the way we spend our time will directly influence the results we get.
What are your values?
I nearly always encourage clients to do a values exercise to help them determine their top five core values.
By doing this they are able to uncover any gaps between what is most important to them and how they live their life.
It’s important to realize that our values change over time.
That is why it’s important to take inventory of our values every few years. As we change and our life circumstances change, our assessment of what is most important evolves as well.
For instance, in my life “adventure” and “excitement” are two values that are big priorities.
The sense of doing something fun and exciting hasn’t always been that important to me.
But as I settled into a life pattern over the past few years I got bored, and the importance of these areas grew for me.
That is one of the major reasons I play drums in a band now. It helps me get this feeling of excitement and exhilaration.
Here is a values list you can use to narrow down your core values.
Here is another great article with an exercise for living a values based life.
Are you living a values based life?
Just because we know what are values are doesn’t mean we actually follow through with incorporating them into our life.
Living a values based life comes down to defining what your values mean and becoming intentional about prioritizing them into your life.
What do your values mean to you? How would someone with this value live their life?
When you look at what is most important to you, consider how much time you actually dedicate to that area of your life.
If you aren’t living based on your values you probably don’t feel a sense of congruence and wholeness.
How would your life change if you started doing what really mattered to you?
Determine what is most important to you and find ways to make it a priority!
“It is better to have a meaningful life and make a difference than to merely have a long life.” – Bryant H. McGill