Your values are at the core of your identity. If you want to understand yourself, understand what you value.
What does it mean to value something?
To value something is to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.
You are what you value. If you don’t know what you value, you need to understand that if you are to live a conscious, and happy life. A conscious life is not always a happy life because creating a life based on consciousness is the execution of it, and it is even more difficult than reaching consciousness.
In this piece, we will try to understand what values are, and how do they shape us as people. Not just you, you need to also know the values of people who are important in your life. Value clashes destroy relationships and is the single most important reasons why human relationships may not work.
What are your values?
In order for you to be happy, you need to understand your values. Let us try and understand some of the most important values people have in life. I am sure you would find some of those values close to you. Here is a list of life’s most important values. You can choose what you value from this list.
Not everyone values freedom. People who like to be entrepreneurs or self-employed value freedom. However, people who like to be employees and be directed towards what they should do, do not value freedom as much.
However, people who value freedom intensely are willing to stake their lives for it.
Honesty is one of the most important values to be happy. There are people who choose to be honest all the time because they believe in honesty while some people live their lives thorough manipulation and deceit, and they are fine with it.
Money is not just sheets of paper or currency. It is a value that is valued by billions of people around the world. People live their entire lives around money and do things that makes them a lot of it or less of it, depending on how much they value money. Do you value it?
Love is one of the core values of life. People who value love do whatever it takes to find love and then make it work. Not everyone values love. People do don’t value love may value money over love. If they do, they give up on love and go ahead with money since that’s what attracts them. This is an interesting dynamic. Think about a relationship where one partner values love and the other values money over love. If there are no financial problems in the relationship, it would go on. However, the moment there are some financial problems, the partner who values money over love would seethe and cracks would emerge.
All of life is a play of values.
There are people who are kind and there are people who aren’t. People who are kind donate money to causes and go out of their way to make the world a better place. People who aren’t kind just care about themselves, and the pain of others doesn’t matter to them.
Loyalty is an important value both in personal and professional life. People who are loyal are trusted in a personal relationship since they are not expected to go out and cheat with their partners. In professional relationships, loyal people stick to their companies and employers for longer. When people are not loyal, it is difficult to trust them in any situation.
Success is a value which drives majority of the world. People want to be successful. However, the problem with success as a value is that it is an outer measure of life. People want to be successful because it allows them to lead a life which is respected by most of the society. Success is an outer-in value and not an inner-out value.
The idea of travel is a value that’s respected by people who love traveling because they feel that it adds value to their life in terms of relaxation, learning and reflection. I do. Travel is a universally great value to have. When you travel, you go to a world that’s beyond yours and consequently, come back as a better person.
Passion is beyond love. It makes you obsessed about what you are passionate about. You can’t stop thinking about it. When you do work that you are passionate about, you don’t feel it is work. It feels enjoyable. Similarly, when you spend time with people you are passionate about, times flies. A passionate life is a beautiful life.
Sex is a value and is one of the most important values in relationships. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that sex is an outcome of the health of the relationship. If the relationship is healthy and happy, sex would be a natural outcome. However, if a relationship is failing, sex becomes a memory. It just doesn’t happen.
12. Social Acceptance
Most people in the world are not happy because they value social acceptance over everything else. All their decisions, with regard to work, family, career are done with respect to their perception of social acceptance. They are externally driven and the need for social acceptance drives all their decisions. Needless to say but I will say it, it is not a healthy value for happiness.
Peace is a critical value for a happy life. Peace means being able to feel calm inside and at ease with life. Life is almost never smooth and we are fighting multiple fires all the time. Peace is feeling in control, in the absence of control.
Optimism is taking a positive view of life vs. negativism which is taking a pessimistic view. I don’t think anybody who is happy would hold a pessimistic view. It is important to value positivity and optimism if you want to be happy. Assume in your favor, even if you turn out to be wrong.
People who have courage take risks to make things they believe in, happen. Courage is one of the rarest values in the society because it involves risking your money, character, social standing, and in some cases your life to do stuff you believe in. At the same time, nobody achieved anything worthy without courage.
Health is one of life’s most important values. You cannot be happy without taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Still, there are a set of people who eat junk, don’t’ exercise, and are generally reckless about their health. If you want to be happy, do whatever it takes to take care of your health. There is no joy in life without health. Make physical exercise and meditation a daily part of your life.
Fun is a great value to have, especially in the professional world. Considering most offices are dull and dry, if you make the effort to make your work life fun and interesting, you would find greater joy in life than most people do. In fact, if only we could look at life as fun, and not pain, it would be way more fun to be alive.
It takes a long time to realise that all people are not ambitious. Some people are, and some people are not. There is a reason why, especially in countries like India, people spend all their lives doing the same kind of work in the same kind of roles. It helps to be ambitious because that way, you achieve more in life. But, it is not a precondition to life.
Adventure is a great value for an enjoyable life. People who are adventurous take risks and do stuff that other people who are not adventurous would find annoying. People jump off cliffs, air planes in the spirit of adventure. They do scuba diving in the spirit of adventure. Adventure also reflects in the way people life everyday by introducing newness in life.
Everybody does not value balance. Especially in the entrepreneurship world, it is often said that balance is not to be expected since it is an extreme way of life. If you value balance, you strive to create a balance in the time that you spend between your professional, social and personal lives. If you value one part of your life over another, you simply don’t care about balance. There is nothing right or wrong here but it is a good idea to have some semblance of balance.
People who value modernity over conservatism embrace the latest technology, gadgets, thoughts and culture changes in the world. They like to be in pace with the moving world. On the other hand, people who are conservative stick to what they believe in, irrespective of the changes in the world. Again, in this case, it helps to have a balance between modernity and traditional values since traditional values may be more useful than what the new world has brought. For example, even so many vehicles in the world, it is a good idea to discard your vehicles and walk a bit to some of your destinations. It doesn’t make you archaic but healthier.
A few people say that in relationships, opposites attract. Consequently, they go and seek people who are different than them. On the other hand, people who value congeniality and compatibility seek out people who are similar to them. Given experience, compatibility in values is one of the most important things in relationships. People who value different things find it hard to live with each other happily.
Discipline is a rare value. Over time, I have realized that so few people are disciplined that it is something I would cherish in people. Discipline allows the ability to stay in control of your time and schedule and since we said here that time is one of life’s most important value, discipline is the way to stay on top of it. Find people with discipline if you are hiring. They would be your leaders.
Besides compatibility, one of the most important values in personal relationships is trust. Trust takes time to build and develop. Even after it is developed, it is fragile and could be broken easily. People who value trust take care of it, and do everything so that it is not broken.
Gratitude is a critical value for a happy life. People who are grateful find ways to be happy in the most difficult of circumstances. People who are not grateful find reasons to be sad since they always compare their lives to other people since they value social acceptance. Gratitude is an inner value and social acceptance is an outer value.
These are some of the values in life and by no ways, this is an exhaustive list. Go through this list again, and try and find out your top 5 values. What are the top 5 things you value in life?
If I were to choose my top 5 values from this list, I would choose freedom, passion, love, happiness and time. I value the ability to be free to do stuff I love, am passionate about, that makes me happy, and therefore, is the best way to use my time on earth.
You don’t even have to choose the top 5 values. You could make a list of your top 10 values and that way you would be able to understand why you do what you do.
Thank you for reading.
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