The importance of values
When I was younger, the importance of values never crossed my mind. Which is why, when I would try out new ideas or ways of doing things, I would get excited and then get bored right away. This is probably why I lost a sense of who I was by the time I reached 40.
I would ask myself, why did it feel like I was missing something? Why did I feel so lost?
The importance of values to your inner truth
It took me years to realize that I needed to look within to learn the importance of values. I had to reconnect with my inner truth to define what my core values are.
Values are unique, innate truths that every single human being possesses. They are also a product of our experiences and memories. Parents are our first teachers and influence and shape the way we live our lives.
As we grow older, more people walk into our life to challenge our values, such as teachers, friends, religious grouips, to name a few. If you haven't defined your values, you can easily lose your way, doubt your choices and your ways of thinking. This can make you scared or angry.
It is easy to become entangled in other people’s values. Simply look around your home. Your spouse, your children, or anyone else living with you, have their own set of core values. People in your workplace or even your church have their own set of values. Turn on the radio, TV, or internet and you are immediately blasted with images and messages that tell you what you should value.
Why you need to define your values
It is important to define what your values are. You will be able to see the bigger picture and your role in life. If someone came around to challenge your values, you'll be less likely to doubt or question yourself.
Defining your values helps you lead a more meaningful life. They can help you focus on what matters most so you can feel more satisfied.
When you define your values, you have to be honest with yourself. This requires attention, patience, and love.
A lesson learned about the importance of values
When I was pregnant with my first child, I came down with a terrible cold. I did not want to take any drugs because of the baby. Not even over the counter ones that pregnant women are allowed to take. I tried remedies I already knew, or had learned from other people, to no avail.
Then, I decided to give the internet a shot, maybe there was something out there that might help. After much researching, I came across an article for natural home remedies.
The article suggested an unconventional approach to help get rid of my cold without any medications. I knew that if I did not nip the cold in the bud, I would develop a sinus infection. Then I would definitely have to take stronger medication to wipe it out. I already started to feel pressure in my sinuses and only ever used antibiotics in the past to get rid of my sinus infections.
My logical brain told me it was weird and it wouldn’t work. But my gut told me to go ahead and do it. Even if it didn’t make any sense.
I was desperate to try anything that wouldn't compromise mine or my baby's health. So I went ahead and followed the regimen. I had to cover my head over a steaming bowl of water three times a day for 15 minutes. Once in the morning, then sometime during the day and finally right before bedtime. I also had to heat a glass of orange juice and drink it hot each time I did the steam treatment.
That was my routine for 2 weeks straight. The steam baths were more of a nuisance than anything else because 15 minutes of just sitting down doing nothing felt like an eternity to me. Afterwards, I remember the strange sensation of drinking hot orange juice because I only ever drank it cold.
After the first few days, I already started to feel better. By the end of 2 weeks, the cold was gone. I was sick of the orange juice and the steam baths, but they helped to cure my cold and clear up my sinuses.
I was so proud of myself after those 2 weeks because I did not resort to taking drugs and risk my baby’s health. The most important lesson I learned from this experience was to have patience and to stick to my values, which were health and family.
How to define your personal core values
Ask yourself the following questions.
What is the most important thing to me right now? This is a good place to start. This could be your family, career, friendship, etc. It will probably be placed at the top of your list of values.
What makes me excited? This is the thing that makes you want to get up in the morning. You can’t wait to get back to it even when you’re on vacation.
Who do I look up to? This person has qualities that you want to possess or they align with yours.
Why did I choose my significant other? You may not always agree on everything, but there are some attributes that you share with your life partner.
Why did I choose my career? Your career choice is an indicator of your personality if you like what you do.
What would I be doing if time and money were not a factor? This could be something that you want to do but is placed in your “someday” file.
When did I face adversity or a challenge? People have come into your life that caused you great pain. As a result, you learned something about yourself that helped carry you through it.
Now ask yourself, what are my personal core values? A personal core value is an idea, a truth, a belief about yourself that is near and dear to your heart. It is not your parents’ values, or the media, or society in general.
Here are examples of personal core values:
Make a list of 5-10 personal core values. Write down a reason why you chose each value. There may be a lesson you learned about each one. Describe any feelings you had with each. Strong emotions can be tied to personal core values. Now rank your values, placing the most important one at the top.
You can reassess your values periodically. The ranking of each personal core value may change as you change in the seasons of your life. You may even add a new value or take one away. That is okay. You now have a strong foundation to build a life with greater satisfaction.
Your personal core values will steer a clear path for you so you don’t feel like you’re lost in a sea of ambiguities. They will help you make decisions, especially difficult ones. You will be able to formulate goals that lead to your purpose in life.
It is crucial to know the importance of values. Personal core values are the beliefs that you hold near and dear to your heart. They are not your parents’ values, your friends’ values, your employers’ values or what the media wants you to believe. So it is crucial that you define them to create a more meaningful life.