Value refers to principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life. Examples of value include truth, kindness, goodness, love, compassion, respect, beauty, unity, integrity, honesty, justice, service, study, responsibility, discipline, fidelity, loyalty, commitment, relationship, family, health, enjoyment, fun, pleasure, adventure, independence, power, achievement / accomplishment / success, meritocracy, prestige / recognition / status, fame, fortune / money, wealth, frugality, humility, hope, optimism, patience and the list goes on. Some values can be either complementing or contradicting. Often, we need to practice the art of balancing.
Viktor Frankl highlighted that only human beings can live for ideals and values. Our values shape our character. “A man’s character is his guardian divinity” ~ Heraclitus, who insisted on ever-present change in the universe.
It is important to deliberately and consciously define our life values. Our values are the lenses through which we view ourselves and your world; they are like a compass pointing us to our true north. In the events of challenges and turbulences, we have strong pillars to seek supports from our values, that act as sources of resilience and enable us to stand our ground. In the events of success, we do not become complacent and forget our values and roots. The world we are living is constantly changing, we may need to pivot and use our life values to guide us in the ever-changing environment and move forward despite ambiguity.
Our values will direct us in identifying a mission and vision worthy of our time, energy, intellect and creativity. Even though our values change and evolve as we experience new circumstances and lessons over time, they are related to our personality, genetics and natural inclinations.
We must also clearly prioritize our values. A list of prioritized values will help us to make wise decisions in the events of contradicting values. Our prioritized values are the larger truths that help us define any task as important to begin with.
Everyone is responsible to do his / her own critical thinking of what really matters for himself / herself, instead of blindly copying from others (parents, leaders, giants, mentors, teachers, bossess, etc). While most values that we learned from them are worthwhile, we must remember that circumstances change and everyone is unique and we do not share 100% of values. After all, this diversity makes our world more interesting to live in.
To define our values, we need to develop our intrapersonal intelligence. If we do not know who we are, we will probably become what other people (e.g. family, superiors, peers, society, media) need or want us to be. There will be no self. Be master of ourselves, while we stand on the shoulders of giants to identify and travel our own unique path.
After we have prioritized our life values, we must act according to our values; and simultaneously learn and practice how to say no. The art of saying no requires making peace with the fear of missing out.
We express our values through our roles in life. Most people divide their time and energy into three major roles:
- work (career) / study (academics)
- important relationships: family, friendship
- leisure, hobby, community activities, adventure
Different people will have different values and different priorities of values. Even if two people happen to pick the same value word, such as kindness, each of them will show the value distinctly in their daily words and actions. We cannot expect others to adhere perfectly to our values, we must practice respect and tolerance.
“To be truly rich, regardless of his fortune or lack of it, a man must live by his own values. If those values are not personally meaningful, then no amount of money gained can hide the emptiness of life without them.” ~ How To Be Rich (1961) by J Paul Getty
To always remind myself daily, I put the essence of my values as the motto of this blog: gratitude + creativity + productivity. I pray that I live everyday with gratitude; I say thank you and appreciate others. I strive my best to create and produce at least a meaningful piece of work daily. While I provide my best service to earn my best income hitherto, at the end of the day / week, I briefly reflect if my decisions, actions and behaviour align with my values.
On 20150924 during a #happyWalk, the playful honey panda highlighted peace as the chief value. Peace is related to both harmony and security. A peaceful mind transforms our home into a little kingdom of peace that affects the world around us and has the power to establish world peace at large-starting from a single mind.
We often think of security as having all essential needs as explained by the Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, it is also essential to nurture intrinsic security to promote inner peace.
What are your life values and the reasons behind them? I would love to hear from you.
email of this post