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Knowing Your Values Can Be the Difference You Need

Repost via @elitedaily #truth #quotes #motivation #inspiration #dreams #love #life #success #me #instamood #instagood #instadaily #followme #tagsforlikes #quotestoliveby #wordsofwisdom #instafollow by @awesome_on_purpose was liked by the outdoor wicker fuWhat are your values?

It seems like an easy enough question.  Everybody has them, we all know what they are, so what's the big deal with discussing them?

So do it. Write them down, and explain a bit about WHY you have those values.

Done yet?

Not as easy as it seems, is it.  And that's a big reason that many people never do this simple exercise (notice I said simple, not easy) - it's hard!  But I would be willing to wager that the people who are struggling the most with finding happiness, success, prosperity, or any number of other trajectories in their lives have never taken the time to sit down and do this simple little step.

And that's a mistake.

"Don't work harder, work smarter" is a catchphrase we hear a lot from efficiency and productivity experts, the folks who look at how things are being done and how they could be done better.  And that's great for places like factories and organizations with built-in systems to get things done.  But what about our own systems?

The thing that those factories and organizations have going for them is that they have a goal in mind - to create a product.  And systems are what make those products possible.  If a factory was just a bunch of folks sitting around randomly putting widgets together from start to finish, productivity would plummet.  Henry Ford taught us that with the assembly line.  That system was designed with a goal in mind.  And the goal was clear: make a car, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What knowing your values does is to help create clarity and a system that you can work with.  Knowing what's important to you will help you to create goals that mean something to you, and to create an overarching mission that will tie them all together.

Here's an example: Bob has always wanted to independent so that he can travel more.  So, like many people, he gets a high-paying job that will allow him to save toward his retirement and let him travel when he gets to that point.   But... that high-paying job is causing him to work long hours and have lots of undue stress.  He's not happy in the job, and that's because he's working against his value of independence.  What Bob would be better served in doing is finding a way to make money that would allow more independence sooner, instead of waiting for retirement.  That's a goal that his values can support, and it's created with the clarity of knowing what we really want.

So knowing your values is working smarter, not harder!  

"But I don't know my values!  This is too hard to figure out - how am I supposed to nail them down just like that?"

Well, you're not.  But write down what you think they are now.  Then go about creating your goals, mission, etc. based on what you think they are.  And as you find that those values aren't giving you the clarity you want, change them and then change your goals accordingly!  You're not tied into anything on this - there's always room for change.  There's no place for dogma when you're trying to figure out what's going to make you happy - be willing to change, accept that you may have been wrong, and chalk that up to learning more about yourself (which is a victory in itself!).

Remember - a goal that you feel strongly about is going to be easier to attain because you will want it more!  And knowing what your values are is a major step into getting that "Big Why."


  1. There is a comprehensive list of values on Steve Pavlina's blog. I use it every quarter to refresh mine. He also suggests that we can do the reverse: decide on a goal and then adopt the values best suited to support this goal.

    1. I've recommended that very list to people in the past as a starting point. GMTA and all. Here's the list I think you're talking about, for everyone else.


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