If we want to lead authentic and rich lives, we need to know what are core values are. When we know what these values are, we can begin to live an aligned life. The decisions we make, the way in which we invest our time, money and energy is made easier because we have a blueprint to follow.
Sometimes, purpose and values are used interchangeably however, I believe that these are separate concepts. Our purpose is our reason for being and our values are the foundation for how we choose to conduct ourselves.
In this post, I’ll explain why it’s important to identify what your values. But before we explore this topic in my depth, let’s start by defining what values are.
Values are the standards of behavior that we live our lives by. It’s what we deem to be important and when we live a life aligned with our core values, we can culminate a sense of inner peace.
Let’s use money as an example. I think many of us would agree that it’s easy to spend money and harder to accumulate. Money, like many tangible objects in the world has its’ own energy. When we use money in a way that aligns with our core values, we free ourselves from the guilt that comes from unconscious spending.
Retail therapy is a way of spending money that gives you instant gratification. There’s a rush from making a quick purchase. We often buy items that we wanted in the moment but may have no real use for. Rather than spending money for the sake of it, we can change our money habits by spending in a way that aligns with our core values.
If you value health and well-being, you may choose to invest your money in purchasing organic produce, supporting local businesses by buying items at market stalls and purchasing memberships to a gym or studio. These purchases will often make you feel good because you are spending your money in a way that aligns with your value.
Alternatively, if health and well-being isn’t a core value of yours, you may perceive this type of spending as wasteful because it doesn’t align with your values.
Knowing what your core values are also helps with other areas of your life such as your career. If you value free time or routines, you would likely stay away from jobs that require you to work long hours, be on stand by or on a rotating roster. The same idea applies if you value creativity. You would likely want to stay away from a job that doesn’t reward creativity.
Personally, I have been in jobs that don’t align with my core values and it was extremely draining. It is harder to enjoy waking up and going to work because when the job isn’t the right fit. Organizations have their own culture and values so where possible, it’s important to identify whether their values align with yours. While it may not be a perfect fit, you want more than less to have your values align with that of the organization.
With that, it’s time to write down your top 3-5 values. We want to keep this list short as it’s easier to focus on a few core values rather than 10 or more. It’s also worth noting that your values can change over time as you continue to grow.
For instance, you may value travel, adventure and friendship in your teens and twenties yet in your thirties you may begin to value family, security and teamwork.
Once you have identified what your top 3-5 values are, spend some time reflecting on your life as it is. Are you living a life that is aligned with your core values and if not, what can you change? We don’t need to quit our jobs or end relationships, it’s simply about becoming more aware of what are values are and choosing to live in alignment where possible.