Many of you operate from values you aren't aware of, but they drive your actions and decisions. You don't think about them; you just act from them. Could this be you?
- Have you ever identified and clarified your values?
- Have you asked yourself where you learned them? Maybe you were influenced by your family, your church, your school, or your friends?
- Do you think it is possible as an adult to make different choices on what you value?
- Do you have values that bring you more peace and harmony versus conflict?
Knowing what you value makes it easier to make choices and decisions and take action.
Clarifying your values will help you establish your goals, directions, and set your priorities.
Areas where your values show up include but are not limited to:
• Friendship and relationships, ---- Do you associate only with those who share your same values, who think as you do? How do you choose your friends? Do you value problem solving and forgiveness or do you hold grudges?
• Work --- Does what you spend your day doing reflect your values? Do you do what you love? Do you love what you do?
• Money and material success,--- Do you value saving or spending? Is it important to you to have 'things, save for a rainy day or donate to a worthy cause? Or some of both?
• Family, -- Do you value your family relationships? Do you think family is important?
• Health (diet, drugs, exercise, etc.), -- Do you value healthy clean eating? Is exercise important to you?
• Love and sex,- Do you value commitment and monogamy? Or do you think polyamorous relationships a good idea? Do you stay in an unhappy marriage because you think divorce is wrong? Do you value your happiness over the relationship? Would you leave if you don't get your needs met?
• Religion, What has your religion taught you to value? Now that you are an adult do you still adhere to what you learned as a child? Or have you examined and altered these childhood beliefs?
• Personal tastes (clothes, hairstyle, etc.), How does the way you dress represent your values? What message do you send about yourself with your style?
• Leisure time, How do you spend your free time? Do you volunteer at a homeless shelter or lie on the beach and read a book? What book would you choose?
• Politics and social action, - What political views do you support and what actions do you take based on your values? Do you examine them? Or do you go along with what feels familiar?
• School, - Do you value education? Did you get an education past high school? What was your major area of study?
• Aging, death, What are your views about aging? How do you believe the elderly should be treated?
• Diversity and identity issues, - Do you accept those who are different from you? Do you interact with people from different backgrounds and lifestyles? Do you judge those who are different as wrong?
• Meaning and purpose in life.- What is your purpose? Why are you here? What meaning do you give to the things you do?
Clarifying and actualizing your values:
Your values make a significant difference in your mental health. They enable you to live a richer, more meaningful life and avoid problems that result from the lack of values clarity.