In this article we will look at what values are and why they are important to have along with some exercises you can use to help you identify your highest values. When you are considering what you want to achieve in life it is extremely helpful to first identify what your highest values are so you have something to gauge whether your goals are in alignment with what is most important to you. Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ suggests that people often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize were far more valuable to them. They often struggle to achieve higher income more recognition or greater professional competence only to find their focus on achieving their goal blinded them to the things that really mattered most and are now gone.
By considering what is most important to us before starting out on achieving a goal, we can regularly assess whether the path we are taking is in alignment with our most important values and the type of person we want to be. Values are our heart’s deepest desires, how we want to be, what we want to stand for, and how we want to relate to the world around us. They are the leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life.
One of the most common value identifying exercises is to imagine you are at your own funeral and four people from different areas of your life get up to speak about you. What would you want them to say about the type of person you have been?
Similar to the funeral exercise you can imagine your 80th birthday party in which 2-3 people make speeches about what you stand for, what you mean to them, and the role you played in their life. What would you want to hear them saying about you?
Another way you might consider using to identify your values is to imagine you inherit a fortune. What would you do with the money? Who would you want there to share it with? How would you act towards all those people who share your new life?
Once you’ve completed one or all of these exercises you will have a list of value you believe are most important to you. The aim now is to look over your list and determine, which of those values, are the five highest values that you hold. Now that you know what your most important values are you can identify whether the goals you set and the choices you make are in alignment with what is most important to you.Share this: Twitter | StumbleUpon | Facebook | LinkedIn