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Personal Values

An exercise to get more meaning from life

· coping tools,values exercise,psychology,emotions,moral development

Everyone has values that are gathered  across time via individual moral  development. In early childhood, we start to understand what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' as we are subjected to the values of others around us. 

As we mature, we sift through these values to validate what resonates with our personality and experience, and what doesn't. 

This is how we arrive at our core values, and the values related to them, you might picture this development process as depicted by an aquisition of language model. 

We do this development without much awareness but to tunderstand what makes life meaningful to you, you need to know what your values are, where they came from, and how to meet them. 

If you want to better understand what makes you feel validate or violated, what makes you feel at peace or outraged, follow the steps below.  


1) List your values using simple values words, such as courage or independence. Don't overthink it, FEEL IT: all the values are good so only select the ones that you resonate strongly with.

2) Narrow the list down to your TOP 10, then define what each value means to you—what behaviors tell you that value is present, or absent. Like "When people lie to me I get really angry, so I value HONESTY; which means tell me what is true instead of a lie. "

3) Identify where you obtained each value (i.e. experience, family, media, culture, faith, etc.), what made it important. For example, acquired via what was missing: "I value AUTONOMY because I grew up in a cult-like environment where freedoms were limited. "Or, acquired via what was taught "My dad was good with money and taught me fiscal RESPONSIBILITY"

4) Rate your own behaviors using the scale—how often do your own behaviors reflect the definition you wrote down? What values do you need to better align with and how might you do that? 

5) Circle 3-5 values that would be the most difficult for you to live without, these are your core values.


Since values are the seat of judgment, be aware of how you are weilding your values. How  frequent are your judgements?  Are your judgements dissmisive of others' values? Are you projecting from self judgments? Are your judgements of self or other's harsh and unyeilding? Would you rather sit in your judgments or act from your values?


I act in alignment with my values and am accepting of difference.

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