What’s the difference between having a great life and being truly happy? It’s often the values you live by. If you don’t have your own core values set in place, life can leave you feeling stuck at times, making it difficult to forge ahead with any sense of purpose or passion.
If you’ve defined your values, then you can easily stay on course and live in alignment with what really matters to you, no matter what outside influences are trying to distract you from it.
Are you unhappy with your life? Do you wake up every morning and do things that you’re not passionate about?
It may be that the root of your unhappiness is that you don’t know what’s important to you and what you value in life. You should spend some time thinking about your values, which are the most important aspects of your life so that you can live in line with them every day.
The most important thing you can do each day is to decide how you want to live your life and start living that way.
It’s easy to get bogged down by work, family, and other responsibilities – it’s hard to stick to your values sometimes when things get tough – but living by your values will make you happier and more successful in all areas of your life.
What Are Values?
Your values are the principles you choose to follow in your life – the principles that are most important to you, the principles that guide your actions, and the principles that determine the goals you pursue and how well you achieve them.
A common misconception is that values have something to do with religion; however, it doesn’t matter what faith or belief system you subscribe to—values aren’t about religious preference or theology. They’re about ethics and morality; they’re about what’s right and wrong according to your personal moral compass.
If your goal is to live life on your own terms, it’s critical that you define and communicate your values to yourself and others.
Because in order to effectively establish how you want to live, what you want to do, who you want to be, and where you want to go – you need clarity on what matters most.
Why We Should Define Our Values
Living your life based on someone else’s values is unlikely to lead to happiness. What’s more, if you don’t define your own values and goals, others will fill in that gap for you; but it may not be in your best interest.
For example, we are all taught about healthy eating habits from an early age, but we may find ourselves consuming unhealthy foods anyway because we lack self-control or have different value systems than our parents or peers.
How Do You Define Your Own Values?
When it comes to your life, you’re not just deciding where to eat dinner or what shirt to wear—you’re making decisions that shape who you are as a person. This means you need to know your values and work towards achieving them every day. But how do you do that? Start by getting out your journal or notebook and jotting down three or four words that sum up how you want to live your life.
Additional Reading: Discovering Your Personal Set of Values Leads To Increased Self Awareness
Once you’ve defined your own values, how do you start living according to them?
Ask yourself two important questions:
- What kind of things would I do if I was already living according to my values?
- What kind of things am I doing now that doesn’t match up with my values and need to change?
Keep these questions in mind as you go about your daily life.
Are there any choices or decisions that cause you to pause because they conflict with your goals?
Tips on how to apply it in everyday life
- Write your top 10 values down on paper in bullet points
- Ask yourself what are you doing right now to live out those values?
- What could you be doing differently to live out your values more?
- Be honest with yourself about what’s lacking in terms of living out your values and use them as a guide for how to spend your time differently tomorrow.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t live out your values – just use it as an opportunity to try again tomorrow.
The Connection Between Your Values And Your Happiness
An essential part of living a life you love is having values that support that happiness.
In other words, it’s not enough to simply live your dreams; your actions must be in line with what truly makes you happy.
For example, if you value spending time with family but work too much to see them often, chances are good that your unhappiness will end up affecting both your family relationships and productivity at work—not to mention your mental health!
While it’s not always easy to identify your core values, you can usually spot clues if you take some time to think about what really matters to you in life.
Additional Reading: How to Make Sure Your Goals and Values Align
What You Value is What Drives Your Decisions
When it comes to living life, there are few things more important than defining your values. What you value is often what drives your decisions; by identifying and believing in your core values, you can begin to live a life you love—from start to finish.
The process for determining your values may take some time, but in the end, it’s worth it. By defining what you value and how you want to live your life, you can live a happier and more fulfilling life—and find greater happiness in your career too. Ultimately, aligning your work with what you value is more rewarding than just finding any job; when work is aligned with who you are, every day becomes easier and more rewarding.