A person whose lifestyle corresponds to personal values is more likely to feel happy. His activities bring pleasure, and the decisions made rarely lead to disappointment and other negative emotions. In the material we will tell you how to determine your values and organize your life so that it matches them.
How to define your values
How good decisions you make depends on your personal values. They also help you feel confident in yourself and your actions. You can find a list of core values and try to pick out the ones that are most important to you. But there are four more techniques that will help you understand what matters most to you in life.
1. Recall the most exciting events that happened to you
When activities or events are fully consistent with your values, you feel inspiration, increased interest, passion. Remember what in life contributed to such feelings.
It can be an interesting work project that you have plunged into and are proud of, pleasant traditions adopted in your family, a feeling of independence and joy when you allowed yourself a vacation that you have long dreamed of.
Then analyze what exactly made these events exciting and inspiring. For example, while completing a successful project, you felt how suitable your profession was for you and that you were right when you chose it. And when you booked a trip, you were proud that you yourself were able to save up for it.
Once you’ve sorted out the situations and causes, organize them into categories. Above some write “family” if they are connected with loved ones, above others – “career” and so on. It is these categories that will determine your core values.
2. Write down the characteristics of your favorite characters
Think about what characters from books and films you love the most. Perhaps they are close to you in spirit or are role models. Write down their names and characteristics in a notebook.
Then think about which of these qualities resonate with your own. For example, Hermione from Harry Potter is smart and ambitious, able to achieve her goals. And Samantha Jones from “Sex and the City” values \u200b\u200bfreedom, independence and always knows what she wants.
Analyze what qualities you most often mention when describing characters that you like. They will be a reflection of your true values.
3. Think about what kind of injustice angers you the most.
Often, subconscious beliefs are best manifested in conflict. Think about what situations you find unfair and analyze why they make you angry.
For example, a person who especially appreciates relationships with people is likely to be annoyed by situations when someone is undeservedly offended, gossiped behind his back, and belittled. And people whose value is time will be angered by those who waste it or are constantly late.
As in the first exercise, organize your answers into categories.
4. Imagine a perfect world
Think if you could change the world, what would it look like? What would be the main thing for its inhabitants, how would they interact with each other and what would they do most often. You can write a short story or essay about it and then reread it without editing. It will reflect exactly what you consider especially valuable for yourself.
How to live according to your values
It is important not only to know your values, but also to try to make your plans, priorities and decisions correspond to them. So you will often feel happy and notice that your activities bring pleasure. We’ve put together a few tips on how to live your values.
Consider them when making decisions
In order for life to reflect values, it is important for a person to think about them before making a decision. Otherwise, it may turn into an act that will bring internal discomfort.
For example, a person considers justice to be the main value. And having decided to enter into a discussion of a friend behind his back, most likely, he will feel guilty. And by refusing such a conversation, on the contrary, he will feel that he did the right thing.
Do value-sensing exercises at least once a year
Over time, a person’s values can change. It depends on the experience, priorities, personal development. Therefore, it is important to redefine the values that are relevant at the moment at least once a year in order to try to adhere to them.
Talk about your values with loved ones, partner and friends
It is difficult to live in accordance with your values if close people do not know about them. This can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, or decisions that please others but hurt you.
For example, a woman considers financial independence a value. She wants to work, make savings, buy something for herself. This brings her a sense of satisfaction and self-confidence. But if her partner does not understand this, wants to take absolutely all the expenses on himself and also persuades her to give up work, she is unlikely to feel happy.
This lack of understanding about values can cause disagreements with people important to you. It is also often the reason for parting with romantic partners. Therefore, it is important to talk about what is valuable to you with your loved ones and try to find compromises.
Try to do things that reflect your values more often.
When you do things that are in line with your values, you feel happy. So try to spend more time on it.
For example, if you value gratitude and respect, then you will enjoy communicating with loved ones, supporting them, talking in which you note how important they are to you. And if the most valuable thing in life for you is a career, then a new project, attending a refresher course, or even working overtime can make you feel especially satisfied with life.
Analyze before going to bed how your day corresponded to values
Every day before you go to bed, analyze how your day went and how your actions corresponded to your values. For example, how much time did you spend on what is important and how did you feel doing certain things.
You can do this in your head, but it’s better to do this exercise as a written practice so it will be easier to keep track of what needs to be adjusted in life to match your values.