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Values! What's Important To You?
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Values! What\'s Important To You?

We all know what it is to give something value or to hold it valuable to ourselves. With something of value we care for it and protect it. This value is not necessarily monetary and is highly subjective to the individual.

With this is mind it’s easy to understand how the things that we value highly in any area of our life will influence and drive our thoughts, actions and emotions.

In all areas of our life we have values. These are things of importance to us that will drive us in one direction above another. We have values within our career, family, relationships, health and fitness, spirituality, personal growth and development that influence our life's direction.

These all vie with each other for balance in our life. Some take higher precedence than others, which, if too unbalanced, can prove detrimental to an individual’s peace and happiness. If we place too much value on our career, for example, our relationships or even health may suffer.

It can be enlightening and helpful to understand what your values are in each area of your life. With this knowledge there is a greater wisdom to make changes or to know individual strengths and weaknesses.

It is also less likely you’ll beat yourself up over perceived shortfalls when the understanding is there as to why you’re the way you are.

Asking the following questions of your self can be enlightening.

  • What’s important to me about my career? (Or relationships, health etc)
  • If all these things are present is there any one thing that would make me quit this work?
  • If all these things are present AND this something happened that made me want to quit is there any one thing that would make me stay?

A Case Study: Career

Career is a good area to start with when working on ‘values’. Grabbing a notepaper and pen (or your keyboard in these modern times!) start with the first question.

What’s important to me about Work?

The pursuant list might look something like:

  • Time freedom
  • Easy
  • Stimulating
  • Flexibility
  • Lucrative
  • Home based
  • Family time

This is a mini brainstorm but stick at it until you really empty out all the things that are important to you about your work situation. You may have a dozen things on the list or even more.

Now go back and number the list from the most important thing to the least important thing. The above list (keeping in mind my list would be potentially vastly different to yours) might then look as follows;

  • Stimulating
  • Time freedom
  • Flexibility
  • Family time
  • Lucrative
  • Easy
  • Home based.

Already I am getting a snapshot of what will drive me in my work environment. Potentially I could be wondering why I’m not earning more money and why my business is not paying me more and yet, when I look at the above list, I can plainly see that I’m driven by the need to be stimulated and have flexibility in my time. Having a lucrative business or work situation is actually in the bottom half of the values that are driving me.

That’s a worry for my financial independence!

If all these things are present is there any one thing that would make me quit this work?

Excuses or reasons for quitting might look something like:

  • A nasty boss
  • My business losing money
  • It became too routine

There are bound to be any number of reasons or excuses for someone to leave their ideal job or work situation.

If all these things are present AND this something happened (that made me want to quit) is there any one thing that would make me stay?

Perhaps I might now consider positive thinking colleagues (good working environment), my own office in a desired location or a residual income.

Add these to your list also. This is the thing, or things, that you hadn’t previously thought of and may prove some of your highest values. These things will potentially motivate you to stand even in the face of adversity.

With this information in hand you are better able to assess weaknesses, focus on strengths and understand areas you need to change to make individual areas of your life more meaningful and functional.


Street Talk

C4rmen  

Being clear on values is a very good first step in understanding who we actually are and our behaviour. I have done this exercise before and will revisit it as time goes by. Thanks Heather.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I find when I don't have 'time' for these things is when I sometimes need it the most. It's good to have the knowledge in the toolbox though when we need direction!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

Hi Heather, that is a very good exercise. Too often, we veer off in a direction that has nothing to do with our values or desires, and we get lost. Not only that, but nothing gets accomplished when you're off course. I think you have to be painfully honest about what you really believe, what you really want, and stick to it. Thank you for your article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very true Joan. Thank you for your insight.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Heather, Very inspirational. Your article can turn someone's bad hair day or simply bad day into a wonderful day. That is exactly the reason that my first two articles are for, to make our daily life safer and much better and provide the future generations a much better one. Regards, Daniel

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for your comment Daniel. I look forward to seeing your articles.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

WOW you live and you learn huh. I really like the idea of listing your goals accordingly to your values. I am going to try that and work towards it. I will be 23 next week. In my teenage years I always fantasized about being "rich" but nowadays, just because maybe I'm getting more mature about life, I don't desire wealth anymore. I want a balanced life, not too much, not too little! i want to have enough then some; that's all I desire. Again, thank you for this article...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree about listing your goals this way. Great points Heather.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, what we value does change based on our life experiences! Thanks for your comments.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A very insightful article as with all your aricles. Without knowing what we truly value and appreciate how can we really get anywhere in our lives? And as Rob alluded to, we all seem to be under pressure to succeed financially (i.e. materially) but not to really find out who we are and what makes us fulfilled and happy. I struggle a bit with this, I have to say, so it's good to be reminded that I'm probably on the right path. Thanks for reminding me.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Martin. Appreciate your comments.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good article Heather, I like seeing that your drive is similar to mine. Financial gain being my biggest drive when younger soon changed to "Money isn't everything" later in life. So many spend their lives motivated by financial income and forget to live life. In years past, work was a means of making life easier, that time with families and time to enjoy life had a higher priority. Today I think family life has taken a back seat to financial survival at the expense of marriages, health and so much more, that used to have a major importance to all. I am not wealthy, in fact anything but, I still enjoy the freedom my career has given me to have the time with my family and friends, and to have enjoyed life. There is so much that I would still love to do, but it might never happen and that is not a worrying factor, but to be able to say "been there done that" is wonderful. If I was to leave the earth tomorrow it would not be with any regrets, I have lived my life for enjoyment and pleasure, not money.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The space of 'no regrets' is a wonderful place to be. I've been lucky to be shielded from the pressure to 'provide' and it has enabled more focus on family and other things that bring joy. I hear where you're coming from and as you've been a primary breadwinner I salute you!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Heather, with things as they are today with both parents fighting to survive with both having to work, must lead to a degradation of family life, I find myself lucky to have spent most my life in the not so hard driven world of today. I love the challenges that they face, I just wish they would all take just that little time off to enjoy each other.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Heather, Good job! Startups are famous for providing "golden handcuffs" for their stars. That way, there's a pair of benefits that make people think twice before leaving! blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for your comment Cynthia. Glad you could stop by!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

You've always got good points, Heather!

  
  about 1 decade ago
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