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How Your Values Lead To Your Success

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The Importance of Having Personal Values

Everyone talks about personal values, but what are they, why are they important, and how do you identify which ones have meaning for you?  Let’s get the conversation started…

What are personal values?

Personal values are defined as the basic, most fundamental beliefs a person can have.  They help to determine what a person prioritizes, who they want to be, how they live their life, and how they interact with their community.  Your values help determine what is important to you and inform your decision-making, helping you decide what you want to achieve and become.  Values are the tenets that guide actions and motivate attitudes, behaviors, and personality traits.  Values are expressed through your actions, words, and behaviors.

Where do values originate?

Values originate from the source of your beliefs — authority figures, your past experiences, and your environment.  Authority figures like parents, relatives, teachers, mentors, or religious leaders have a very big impact on your value system.  Children build their foundational value system based on the values of authority figures they respect, but as they age and have their own life experiences children develop values through personal growth.  People often prioritize their values based on a number of different factors, including their socioeconomic status, their environment, and their upbringing.

Overall, there are four different categories of values:

Personal Values:  These are the values you exhibit in your own life, and what you consider to be the most important.  Personal values might include creativity, compassion, selflessness, enthusiasm, personal fulfillment, or friendship.

Relationship Values:  These values demonstrate how you relate to others in your life, including your friends, family, peers, and colleagues.  Relationship values might include openness, trust, generosity, empathy, caring, and communication.

Organizational Values:  An organization’s values help to provide it with a purpose, so it can manage both employees and customers more effectively.  Organizational values include teamwork, productivity, innovation, volunteerism, financial growth, and strategic alliances.

Societal Values:  These values depict how an individual or organization relates to society.  Societal values might include accountability, environmental awareness, sustainability, individual rights, social responsibility, and future generations.

The bottom line is when we use our values to make decisions, we make a deliberate choice to focus on what is important to us.  When values are shared, they build internal cohesion in a group, whether that group is a family, a corporation, a school, or a country.

Why are values important?

Values help to inform your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.  They differ from short-term or long-term goals because they’re not specific to a single situation.  While you may not always be aware of your values, taking the time to understand what you believe and why can help you make decisions that make the most sense for you.  Recognizing your values can help you live life with more intention, and increase your integrity.  There are many benefits to living in alignment with your values, like:

  • Improving your problem-solving and decision-making skills. When you’re in a challenging situation, consider how you can use your values to make a choice.
  • Increasing your self-confidence and motivation. When you understand who you are and what you believe, you’ll have the confidence and enthusiasm to overcome obstacles and solve complex problems.
  • Helping you realize what’s important and that improves your well-being. Identifying your core values helps you better focus on what matters most to you.
  • Enhancing your career choices which have a direct impact on your personal and professional life. Clarifying your values helps you choose a career you truly want, and helps you transition to roles that best reflect your values as they evolve over time.

How do you identify your personal values?

Here’s a 3-step guide to identifying your personal values, and putting them to work so you can be the best version of yourself.

Step 1 — Ask “Who am I?”

Look through the following list, and choose 10-15 values you think you live by.  Then share the list with family and friends, and ask them to pick the values they think best represent you.  Compare the lists, and that will give you a very realistic portrait of who you are.  That realistic portrait is the starting point of self-awareness and self-reinvention.

Step 2:  Prioritize your value list

Some values are more significant to us than others.  Prioritize your values, and you can then prioritize your primary and secondary behaviors.  Read your list often, and reinforce your identity to yourself.  If you like yourself and believe in your values, you’ll avoid sabotaging your own efforts to succeed.

One way to change the direction of your life is to re-shuffle the order of the values in your list.  That re-prioritization will dictate the behaviors you should be focusing on.  For example, if your goal is to spend more time with your family, that value should be at the top of your list, and should guide you in the choices you make.

Step 3:  Complete regular value audits

As our life circumstances change, so may the things we consider most important to us.  Your value list can and should change over time.  Just recognize those changes, adjust your value priorities, and make sure your primary behaviors support those top values.

At times you will even add new values to your list.  One way to find new values that are meaningful to you is to look at the people you respect and want to be like.  What values do they live by?  Can you emulate them?  Whatever values you add to your core beliefs, make sure you wholly embody them.  Be courageous.  Let new life experiences prove to you that this is a value worthy of being at the top of your list.

How does OHI focus on values?

One of the most pivotal classes taught at OHI is our Focus I & II classes.  Franklin-Covey helped design these classes, and they’re based on the Franklin-Covey time management principles.  The intention of this class is to help you identify your core values, and define the goals that support these values so you can achieve what matters most to you.  With your values and goals clearly in view, it’s easier to stay focused on your highest priorities and experience greater success in achieving what you desire.  Your personal values are at the heart of your success.

So at the end of the day, how do you live a life of value?  The secret is to plan the things that matter most to you into each day, and place those items as top priorities.  Think about what values you’d risk everything for — people you love, ideals you hold dear.  Keep laser focused on that list of core values, and your actions will follow.  Understanding your values allows you to live a meaningful life of purpose.

Our caring staff members are eager to give you all the unconditional support, inspiration, and transformational tools you need to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

“Values (ethics and social sciences), Wikipedia

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“Personal Values,” Western Oregon University, www.wou.edu

“Personal Values Explained: 7 Examples of Personal Values,” written by MasterClass Staff,

May 3, 2022, www.masterclass.com

“What are personal values? Discover yours in 5 steps,” by Lois Melkonian, April 27, 2022, www.betterup.com

“How to define your personal values and live by them for a fulfilling life,” by Evelyn Marinoff, www.lifehack.org

“The Importance of Values (Plus Benefits and Tips), by Indeed Editorial Team, March 25, 2022, www.indeed.com

“Why Values are Important”, by Jarrod Davis, Barrett Values Centre, www.valuescentre.com