What is your most important person values? Do you actually value what you say you do? And just who are you anyway.
Personal Values are the measuring sticks by which we determine what is a successful and meaningful life.
When someone says, “I want to be good,” that definition of what is good is a reflection of what they value. Some will see “being good” as attaining money. Others will see it as building a family. Others will see it as having a lot of exciting experiences. Whatever it is, it is determined by our personal values.
Therefore, you cannot talk about self-improvement without talking about values. It’s not enough to simply grow and become a “better person.” You must decide in which direction you wish to grow.
A lot of people don’t realize this. A lot of people obsessively focus on being happy and feeling good all the time, not realizing that if their values suck, feeling good will hurt them more than help them. If your biggest value in the world is doing drugs well, then feeling better is just going to make your life worse.
You have to talk about values and not just what they are but why they are. Why we find certain things important, what the consequences of the importance are, and how we can go about finding and changing what we find importance. It’s not a simple task.
You Do What You Value
Every moment of everyday, whether you realize it or not, you’re making a decision of how to spend your time, of what to pay attention to, of where to direct your energy.
Right now, you are choosing to read this post. While there are an infinite number of things you could be doing, but right now, you are choosing to be here. Maybe in a minute you’ll decide you need a cold glass of water, or maybe someone texts you and you decide to stop reading. When those things happen, you are making a simple, value decision: your phone or that cold glass of water is more valuable to you than this post. And your behavior follows that valuation accordingly.
Our Values Are Constantly Reflected In The Way We Choose To Behave.
This is critically important, because we all have a few things that we think and say we value, but we never back them up with our actions. I can tell people (and myself) until I’m blue in the face that I care about climate change or the dangers of social media, but if I spend my days driving around in gas guzzling Vehicle, and constantly refreshing my newsfeed, them my behaviors, my actions tell a different story.
One thing is sure Actions don’t lie. We believe we want to get that job, but when push comes to shove, we’re always kind of relieved that no one called us back so we can retreat to our old lazy selves, play video games, or on social media for hours a day. You can tell your boyfriend/ girlfriend we really want to see them, but the minute our friends call our schedule opens up, and suddenly something came up, and we can’t see our boyfriend/ girlfriend.
The Great Value Disconnect
Many of us state values we wish we had as a way to cover up the values we actually have. In this way, aspiration can often become another form of avoidance. Instead of facing who we really are, we lose ourselves in who we wish to become.
Put another way: we lie to ourselves because we don’t like some of our own values, and we therefore don’t like a part of ourselves. We don’t want to admit we have certain values, and it’s this discrepancy between self-perception and reality that usually gets us into trouble,
That’s because our values are extensions of ourselves. They are what define us. When something good, happens to something or someone you value, you feel good. When you mom gets a new car or your spouse gets a raise, you feel good- as though these happened to you.
The opposite is true as well. If you don’t value something, you feel good when something bad happens to it. People took to the streets cheering when Osama Bin Laden was killed. People threw a party outside the prison where the serial killer Ted a Indy was executed. The destruction of someone perceived as evil felt like some great moral victory in the hearts of millions.
So, when we are disconnected from our own values, we value playing Video games all day yet believe we value ambition and hard work our beliefs and ideas get disconnected from our actions and emotions. And to bridge the disconnect, we must become delusional, about ourselves and about the world.
You Are What You Value
We all know the story of the middle class, educated person with a decent job who has a mini “freak out” and decides to take a week or ten day’s (or ten months) and cut all content with the outside world, run to some remote part of the globe and find themselves.
Here’s what people mean when they say they need to find themselves: they’re finding new values. Our identity is the thing we perceive and understand as the self is the aggregation of everything we value. So, when you run away to be alone somewhere, what your really doing is running away somewhere to re-evaluate you values.
People leave to get perspective on what in life matters to them, what should matter more, what should matter less and then ideally return and get on with it. By returning and changing your priorities, you change your values, and you come back “a new person.”
We are defined by what we choose to find important in our lives.we are defined by our prioritizations. If money matters more than anything that will define who we are. If getting drunk or taking drugs is the most important thing in our lives that will come to define who you are. And if we feel like crap about ourselves and believe we don’t deserve love, success, or intimacy, then that will also define who we are. Through our actions, our words, and our decisions.