The act of examining your values is very useful in the process of personal values development. Many times we come to the conclusion that the values we embraced and lived by, were not really our own. Conditioning by society, family and media etc often gradually removes our ability to clearly see what we are, think and want on a personal level.
But you were not put on this earth to be and behave like everybody else. You are here to be yourself. Nobody else can be you, so you are the best candidate for the job! Accordingly, personal values development begin with a close and careful look at your personal preferences in life.
In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, we need to develop our personal values. If we don´t, we live according to other people´s values. Personal values development will increase your self esteem and your personality. The reason is that once you have a better understanding of yourself and your personal values, you will be able to attract the things, people and ideas that you desire into your life. You know what to do and making decisions will be much, much easier.
A starting point for personal values development could be as simple as asking yourself: "What do I really like in life?"
For example I like:
These are examples of pleasant things in life, but they are not personal values.
When asked "What do you want out of life?", most people reply the same things automatically, without introspection and reflexion: money, a great partner, a nice house, a good job, nice kids, good health, a fancy car, success, social status etc. However, the standard answers cannot possibly be true for every single one of us! When we stop to think about what we really like out of life, it is possible that you discover personal values that conflict with "the norm". What a relief! You are not a robot after all. :)
And not surprisingly, many people who thought they were after material success only often find that what they value most in life, their personal values, concern immaterial things like time with people you love and care for, peace of mind and health. Sadly, this realization often comes after the first heart attack or burn out.
Consequently, personal values development can only take place within yourself. And when you are true to yourself.
Examples of personal values:
Accordingly, values are the things that make the foundation of your assessments or evaluations in life. Values are not good or bad. But in the process of your personal values development, they take shape and constitute the foundation of the practical choices in your life.
You discover your personal values by asking yourself (not a friend/parent/spouse/teacher) "What is important to me?"
The answers you come up with serve as an inner compass.
To facilitate the process of your personal values development, perhaps this simple method works for you.
Begin by asking yourself what you are good at.
Examples of personal strengths:
I am good at listening.
I am good at taking care of people.
I am good at organizing.
I am good at cooking.
I am good at writing.
I have an inquiring mind.
You could also ask yourself what you actually enjoy doing:
Examples of things I like/find interesting:
Now, take a look at your lists.
Are there any things that overlap with eachother?
Are there things that conflict with each other?
Try to see where your answers synchronize. If, for example, you like people and are good at listening, some of your personal values might be care and kindness. Or if you see a connection between for instance writing and meditation, other personal values of yours might be peace, independence and freedom.
In this way it is easier to discover your personal values.
The discovery and examination of your personal values do not have to be a difficult task. I believe it is a prerequisite for improved self esteem and an ability to choose wisely; the choice of partner, place of residence, profession and many other aspects of life.
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