Values are usually connected to what is truly important to us, they are related to principles and standards we consider highly important. A value is not only a conceptual idea, it is related to an inner state and experience, so values are different qualities of inner experience. Some examples of values might be love, honesty, peace, integrity, creativity, joy and openness.
A value is an important personal criterion.
Values can be personal, cultural or universal. Love is a value that is considered universal. Every person in every culture knows about love and the experience of love.
Asking the question 'why?' elicits values.
What are some questions to help you discover and elicit your own values?
"What is important to me about my relationship, work, or life?"
"Why is ___________ (this criterion) important to me?"
"What do I value, or what values are important to me?"
"What matters most to me?"
"What is the deeper value behind....?"
This exploration allows you to begin listing a number of different values that are important to you! Once you have a list of values you might consider looking at each of them and discovering about them further.
Steps in eliciting values and to discover your highly valued criteria
1. Ask yourself questions to find out what values you have. Make a list of at least 10 values.
2. What does the value mean to you? Go through the list and write down the meaning for each value.
3. Answer the question: "How would I know I am living this value on a daily basis?"
Each person has a unique set of specific values, and they are central to who we are in the world, and what we do. When we are out of touch with our values we feel directionless, aimless, and often confused. We don’t really know what to base our decisions on, and have no compass to guide us through the many difficulties and conflicts that happen in life.
So what values are important to you? Did you discover some of your important values in this exploration? If you wish, you can take this one step further now.
Ask yourself: "How much Am I living each value on a scale of 1-10 on a daily basis?"
"Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny."
*PS: I had a written a post at nicolekoch.com on values, and since I am not using this blog anymore decided to reuse some of the material from this post. I edited the post and have now posted it under the title Eliciting Values in 3 Simple Steps.