Having a personal value system is a great way to keep your life in check and to make sure you are living your best life in a way that focuses on your personal growth and life goals.
While many people are interested in developing a personal value system, it can seem a little overwhelming and even confusing at first. This is because our brains are trained to think in the now, wanting instant gratification, the material things in life.
Although these do make people very happy, it isn’t long-term happiness. In order to stay happy long term, it is important to discover what the guiding principle is in your life and use that intention to guide everything in your daily life. When you figure it out, those are your personal value statements.
What is a Personal Value System?
Think of a personal value system like a moral code of conduct. It is the way you want to live your life and the personal values you must follow in order to feel truly happy every day.
Now, having a personal value system in place isn’t going to remove the bad days, the unfortunate events, or the negative people in your life. However, this system is going to help you handle those issues as they come along in a more positive and powerful way.
Examples of personal value systems:
- Independence– live your life the way you want to live it in order to become your best self.
- Compassion– Treat others the way you want to be treated. Understand there are things going on in other people’s lives that you may not know about and a simple smile can help them a lot.
- Ambition– Always reach for the stars and continue to allow yourself to grow and gain knowledge every chance you get. There is always room for improvement, no matter how amazing you are.
6 Expert Tips For Developing Your Personal Value System
Finding your true core values to determine your personal value statement isn’t as hard as you think. Here are six helpful tips to get you started on your journey.
1. Travel back in time
Now, when we say travel back in time, we don’t expect you to actually get into a time machine or phone booth (Our 90’s readers will get that) and have an excellent adventure to significant historical events.
Start back in your childhood years. Think about where you grew up, how your family, neighbors, schools influenced you.
Did you have that one teacher who really inspired you? Can you remember looking up to him or her and thinking how amazing they were, how you wanted to be just like them when you grew up?
What about your grandparents or uncles and aunts, cousins, siblings, the local farmers. Was there something about these people that put you in awe, that made you believe they were the coolest people around? Did these people leave you feeling special or joyous whenever they left the room?
Now that you have a good idea of what we are talking about, and you probably have a few specific, special people in mind, it is time to take the next steps to figure out why you looked up to them so much.
As a child, you may have seen them as cool, nice, brave, but as an adult, it is time to dig a little bit deeper to find what characteristics or “VALUES” these people had that truly touched you in such a way it genuinely made you feel happy.
Why? Because these are core values you see in someone else that radiated with you, that connected your soul to theirs. The values these people had then really meant something and are those same values you desire.
For example, The kind neighbor who brought homemade soup to the house every time someone was sick had compassion and a sense of community, and a lot of kindness. These are core values that seemed to really touch you.
2. What Core Values Were Passed Down to You?
Maybe your grandparents were able to maintain a relationship while your grandfather was fighting in the war; once he got back, they married and went on to have five children. Money was tight, but your grandpa was able to open a construction company to pay the bills.
Once the woes of war snuck back upon him and he fell ill, your grandmother stayed by his side, nursing him, helping him, loving him until his time ran out.
Seeing this, your father worked hard and did everything he could to support you and your siblings; he was faithful and loyal to your mother, he was kind and gentle when you got hurt physically or emotionally.
Now you today mimic these same core values of responsibility, empathy, compassion, dependability, etc.
What are the core values you want to pass on to your children?
3. Discover Your Strengths
What are your strengths in life? What makes you…you? What are your passions, what is your drive?
If you are a confident woman who carries herself with pride and dresses for success, then your strengths might be courage, power, dignity, etc.
Do you love animals? Are you able to nurture sick critters back to health? Do you believe all of God’s creatures are equal and deserve to be cared for and treated with respect? Do you have more patients with animals than you do with people? Then maybe your strengths are empathy, generosity, consideration, open-mindedness.
Finding the things that make you feel whole, the things that drive you and power you through even the most difficult times is going to help you identify where your core values lie.
4. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
Having a weakness isn’t something to be ashamed of; it isn’t something to hide from or to ignore. Understanding your weaknesses can help you identify the areas of life where you can improve and become the person you want to be.
Having the ability to acknowledge your weaknesses is a perfect way to help you determine who you DON’T want to be, the values you DON’T want to live by, and will make it easier to figure out what means the most to you.
Maybe you are extremely shy, and every time you walk by your co-workers, you keep your head down and keep on moving because you simply do not know what to say or how to interact. Because of this, you are never invited to gatherings or included in the joke of the day memo that circulates the office.
Then maybe your personal value system should include values such as humor, friendliness, optimism, bravery.
5. What Company Do You Keep
There are reasons you choose the friends you have, the people you connect with the best, the partners you develop relationships with. These relationships are based on core values that you share.
Many couples tend to break up once they realize they are going down “different paths” in life. This is openly discussed with words like I want a BIGGER house, I want MORE money, I want BETTER things, I need LOTS of attention.
However, looking deeper into it and really getting to an emotional side, the truth is that your partner lacks AMBITION, doesn’t have COMPASSION, is too FRUGAL.
When you find yourself wanting MORE to feel better, dig a little deeper to better understand why having MORE will make you happier.
6. Trust Your Gut
When you are preparing to create a personal value system, the first thing you need to do is identify where your core values lie. What makes you happy, what makes you feel important, what makes you feel like you are contributing to society and to the environment around you?
Choosing your top handful of core values will help you identify what is meaningful to you and what makes you who you are.
With a little soul searching and maybe some meditation or taking a nature walk to clear your head, you can find a handful of core values that really, truly make you feel whole. While we all have tons of values, we would love to incorporate them into our lives; finding the top 5 or 6 is the best way to put together your personal value system that will help you live your life exactly how you pictured it.
You and only you can create lifelong happiness, and all it takes is a little desire mapping, soul searching, and the passion for becoming the person you were put on this earth to be.