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What I'm reading #43: How to define your personal values in life

By Sam Instone - October 27, 2022

Our values shape us and make us who we are.

They're ultimately a set of principles that dictate how we interact with and judge others. 

They determine how we view ourselves and the world. 

And possibly, more importantly, they influence our personal relationships.

There are two types of values: personal values and cultural values.

Our personal values are part of the moral code that guides our actions. 

They're what we consider important, the things that matter to our well-being and happiness.

Are you in a ‘flow’ state, ‘flourishing’ and ‘thriving’?

Or are you ‘languishing’ because of a gap between values and actions?

Values are significantly shaped in childhood and mostly picked up from family members. 

As we grow older, our personal values are impacted by our experiences and the people we surround ourselves with. 

We then tend to adopt little pieces we like from friends and dismiss the characteristics we don't like. 

Whilst, personal values can be positive and negative, knowing what your values are is essential to building healthy, long-lasting connections. 

For me, I absolutely love the codification of values and standards taught in the British Army.

This is where I spent my early adulthood.

You can read this inspiring document here.

Identifying your values is difficult. 

It requires deep self-reflection and honesty. 

Defining your personal values

If you're unclear on what your values are, you can begin thinking about what makes you feel good, or doesn't. 

Your emotions can be used as a guide in determining your values. 

It can often help to imagine the opposite of what makes you feel good and pay attention to what irritates you. 

This annoyance may be rooted in a contradiction of your values. 

Here are a few questions to help you dig deeper into your true thoughts and feelings, and will help you start identifying your own values:

  • Think of the most meaningful moments in your life
    • What made them meaningful to you?
    • What were you doing?
    • Were others involved?
  • Think of the moments you felt the least satisfied 
    • What made them meaningful to you?
    • What were you doing?
    • Were others involved?
  • What would your ideal world look like?
    • If you could change anything about the world, what would it be?
  • What are you the most proud of?
    • Why were you proud?
  • What inspires you?

  • What makes you angry, frustrated or upset?
    • What was going on?
  • What is most important in your life, beyond your basic human needs? What do you feel you must have in your life to experience fulfillment?

  • Who do you admire the most and what is most admirable about them?

These questions will stimulate answers, revealing your personal values. 

There is no objective right or wrong value.

Define your values by what motivates you and what makes you happy, even if it seems strange to others.

Choosing a list of values with help you feel purposeful in your decisions and actions. 

Understanding who we are begins with an awareness of what drives us, what makes us tick, and what we hold dear.

It starts with knowing our personal values.


Further reading

Have you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki? By listening to his beliefs, and not this proven stock market secret, you're missing out on the world's best predictor of future performance

The 5 fundamentals about the stock market you need to know

What I'm reading #42: Are you productive, or simply a busy fool?

Save and invest for a better life, book a call - SAM