Let Your Values Be Your Guide

Think about the people you look up to the most in your life. If you are anything like me, you probably have had a lot of different heroes from time to time. Some that may be people you know and others you aspire to be. What do you admire the most about these people? Is it their skills, looks, whit, sense of honor or how they make others feel? What is it that draws you to them? What do they represent to you? Most likely they embody something that is valuable or that you would like to embody, whether that is kindness, strength, trustworthiness, etc. Whatever it is, the important thing is to really have a grasp of what qualities you want to be about and expand in your life.

But as with most things, we need to have awareness first before we act second. Determine what is most important and then you can build it into your life. You need the compass before you start wandering the wilderness of life. We spend hours each day completing work duties or other tasks, but when it comes to knowing thy self and having a little better road map to what drives us, we often set it aside.

Today, give yourself 10 minutes and try out writing out your core values. It may be harder than you think, but it also may be more helpful than you think!

Two simple exercises may be helpful:

1. "My Core Values" - Step 1: Sit down and write out as many values as you can think of that are important to you (if you're having trouble with thinking some up, simply type "core values" into google and there are many).

Step 2: Widdle down the list to the 10 most important values.

Step 3: Keep narrowing and choose your top three.

Step 4: (And perhaps most important!) Determine how you can work towards and integrate these values into your own life.

2. "Values in Action" - Step 1: Get out a piece of paper and write out the headings family, marriage, parenting, friends, leisure, work, spirituality, community, health (and others that may be important for you). For each of these you want to first determine (on a scale of 0-10, 10 being extremely important) how important each is to you.

Step 2: Ask yourself these questions about each, "what would my ideal (area you are looking at) be like?

Step 3: What personal qualities would help me to contribute to this area?

Step 4: Do you think that you are contributing enough time and effort towards this? If not, how can improve in this area?

These two exercises are simple and pragmatic introductions into the world of better understanding and applying values in life. But the key is that you must participate and practice to see the benefit!

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