Core values inform your thoughts, words, and actions. They determine what you believe and stand for.
Despite their importance, many people choose to ignore their values. Instead, they adopt the values of others in an attempt to be accepted.
One of the most common regrets that people have at the end of their lives is that they did not have the courage to live their truth. When you live in alignment with your values, you embody your true self.
Are you ready to learn 5 reasons why you need core values in order to live a purpose-driven and meaningful life?
Watch the video below, where I talk about the change that I made in my life that led me to become a millionaire:
Are you ready to learn how you can master your life? CLICK HERE to join my Life Mastery Accelerator program!
This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and benefitted from personally. Thank you for your support!
Core values are the traits or qualities that represent an individual's deeply held beliefs and core driving forces. Everyone has different values that make them who they are, whether that's spirituality, adventure, contribution, health or love.
Values drive your everyday actions and determine whom you end up becoming. When you have well-defined values, and you behave in alignment with them, everything feels good. More importantly, you show others that you are a person of integrity. You become someone that other people look up to.
Being honest with others starts with being honest with yourself. If you want to live a life of integrity, you need to commit to living in accordance with your highest values. But wait…
Do you know what your personal core values are?
If you don't, that is OK. The beautiful thing about life is that we always have the opportunity to start anew and rediscover who we are. The first step to determining what your core values are is to acknowledge and take responsibility for the life that you have created thus far.
Ultimately, it is the decisions that you have made that have led to where you are today. If you are unhappy with certain parts of your life, then it is highly likely that you have lost sight of what is important to you. We all need to be reminded from time to time.
Almost all of us have had the experience where we have done something that went against our core values. It probably didn't feel very good. Am I right?
When you violate your values, it creates tension inside of your body which can result in destructive habits. If your values are not supporting you in the direction of where you want to go, there will always be resistance. It is going to require a lot of willpower, effort, and energy in order to push yourself forward. Instead, why not shift what it is that you value so that you can be pulled towards your best life?
Living your truth is critical to living a life that you love. Research shows that living life according to one’s values and internal motives prevent burnout, keeps setbacks in perspective, and buffers against stress during periods of transition and change.
The more that you understand who you are at your core, the more self-aware you will become.
Without engaging in a self-discovery process, it will be difficult for you to identify what your core values in life are. You may have some ideas about what your values should be. However, accepting what you value is a process that requires you to go inward and do some serious soul-searching.
What are the core values that you live by?
I encourage you to create a core values list. When you write your values down on paper, they come to life. Sit back and analyze what the top 5 values and beliefs are that you hold dear to your heart. Next, identify the times in your life when you were the happiest engaging in activities that satisfied those values. Once you have done this, ask yourself, “Why was each experience meaningful to me?”
Stanford professor Kelly McGonigal says that “It turns out that writing about your values is one of the most effective psychological interventions ever studied. In the short term, writing about personal values makes people feel more powerful, in control, proud, and strong… it increases pain tolerance, enhances self-control, and reduces unhelpful rumination after a stressful experience.”
Let's explore 5 reasons why you need core values in order to live a purpose-driven and meaningful life.
1. They Help You Clear Up What Is Important
If you don't understand what your values are, you will never know what is important to you. You cannot expect to live a meaningful life if you are living someone else's dream. A lot of people get stuck in careers that they hate because they never took the time to explore how they wanted their future to look.
For example, if you are someone that values freedom and travel, a 9-5 job may not be the best path for you. You may be happier following the entrepreneurial route, where you are free to live the laptop lifestyle, be your own boss, and travel the world.
For many years, I lived my life in accordance with other peoples' values and viewpoints. I wanted to make my parents happy. Unfortunately, there were consequences to that desire. It meant that my own values were ignored.
Secretly, I knew that my dreams and the vision that I had for my life were in direct opposition to what they wanted for me. Eventually, I hit my breaking point. I realized that, in order to be happy, I needed to get clear on what was important to me.
I began the process of exploring what made me come alive inside. When I found it, I finally began creating a life that was aligned with my core values.
2. They Help You Make Decisions
Values and decision-making are closely related and drive one another. A decision can go one of two ways – towards a life of meaning or one of suffering. When you know who you are and what is important to you, making decisions are easy to do.
Everything that happens in your life starts with a decision, either big or small. Where people get stuck is that they become so scared that they are going to make the wrong decision. As a result, they end up not making no decision at all. They become paralyzed by fear and fall into a never-ending cycle of procrastination and indecision.
If you struggle with the decision-making process, always ask yourself, “Am I making this decision based on my values?” If the answer is no, drop it and move on.
One of the biggest benefits to making value-based decisions is that your productivity will heighten and you will gain more confidence to strive for bigger goals. Always make decisions that align with your values. When you do, you will be the driver of your life.
3. They Keep You Motivated
Without motivation, everything feels difficult. By definition, motivation is the driving force that inspires you to take action to achieve your goals in life. When your values are aligned with your purpose, everything flows more freely.
Motivation provides the fuel that you need to keep going when you feel like giving up. A 2016 research study found that the values that we all come to realize in life are drawn from our own motivations. As a result, people are able to attain a greater level of meaning in their lives, so long as they remain motivated.
“For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation—the drive do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing—is essential for high levels of creativity.” Self-motivation is the key to success.
A lot of people can stay motivated over a short period of time. However, it takes a massive amount of commitment and discipline to stay motivated over the long-term. That is where your values come into play.
4. They Help You Find Your Purpose
Knowing what your values are help you better identify your purpose. If you don't have a plan for where your life is going to go, then you will be a part of someone else's plan.
Finding your purpose is the careful process of matching your core values with what makes you come alive inside. When you start to live on purpose, your world opens up. Sometimes you've got to hit your version of rock bottom before you can finally find your true calling in life.
Tune into your inner voice and reflect upon the experiences that have brought you to where you are today. How have they shaped you? What did you learn about yourself in the process?
In their book, Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities, Richard Leider & Alan Webber say “reflection helps you say no to the less important things that simply clutter up a life and yes to the more important things that define the purpose in life.”
Take your core values list that you create and use it to craft your life purpose statement. Read that statement out loud to yourself every single day so that it becomes a part of who you are. Visualize and imagine that it already exists. Never forget that you can modify it over time as your values change.
If you ever lose sight of your values, your purpose statement will propel you forward. It will give you the momentum that you need in order to keep moving forward.
5. They Support Healthy Relationships
When you first meet someone it can be easy for lust to take over. Don't get me wrong, chemistry is important. However, if you want your relationship to last, you need to determine the values that you and your partner live by.
Healthy relationships are those where each partner's values align with one another. When you care about the same things, you grow together in the same direction. From the beginning, my fiancée Tatiana and I made sure that our values were in alignment. We took the time to create a vision for our relationship.
Being in a relationship with someone whom you have mismatched values with is a recipe for disaster. I've been there in the past, and I promised myself that I would never do it again. One or both partners usually find themselves playing down what is important to them in order to satisfy the other. This can manifest as resentment, anger, or regret. As you can imagine, this doesn't end well.
Make a list of the values that you want in a life partner. Be specific and clear about what you want and what you are not willing to accept. In the words of Ayn Rand, “Love is our response to our highest values — and can be nothing else.”
Make it a priority to determine your life values.
Doing so will help ensure that you are constantly moving forward in life. It's also extremely important that you check-in with your values on a weekly and monthly basis. Life changes, which means that you may change as well. If you veer off track, let your values guide you back on course.
When you live in alignment with your core values you experience greater fulfillment in life. In the words of John C. Maxwell, “Your core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul.” Are you ready to live the life that you want to live?
Are you ready to learn how you can master your life? CLICK HERE to join my Life Mastery Accelerator program!