What Are Essential Values & How Do They Make Life More Meaningful?
Essential values are personal drivers to how you live your life. They encompass the main aspects of your life that you would choose to live by on "your best day".
Knowing your essential values is "essential!" to making good decisions, and will help you to remove the excess theoretical clutter from your life to make you the best form of yourself that you can be.
Having your essential values and morals in alignment with your goals will make these goals achievable, because each day you will be reminded of your purpose and meaning in life.
Examples Of Essential Values
These are just a few of countless essential values. The amazing thing is that your set of core values is unique to you.
YOU get to decide the person you would like to be on "your best day", and YOU get to decide how you get there with the help of your essential values.
Activity For Discovering Your Three Essential Values
To discover your three essential values that apply to all areas of your life, complete the following activity in a journal.
Begin with three blank lines numbered #1, #2 & #3
Write out the following phrases and fill in the blank with a sentence that most resonate with you on "your best day"
Find the adjective or verb of that sentence that evokes your emotion, that shows your purpose in the statement
EXAMPLE: On my very best day I would spend most of my time providing for my family.
The Essential Value in that statement is "Providing".
4. Write the essential value you came up with in the #1 spot at the top of your journal.
5. Repeat until you have all three!
** Please note, it is extremely important to the process that you write out your answers to these questions, and not use this exercise as a thought activity.We want our essential values to be physically present in our lives, and not just in our minds.
I am most at PEACE when ___________________________________________________
A FULFILLING day in my life looks like ________________________________________
I am HAPPIEST when ________________________________________________________
The TWO Categories
Great job! Now you have picked out three of your essential values. This is an excellent start.
You may feel like three essential values is not enough, or maybe three is just right for you in your life today. If you would like to further explore your essential values, follow me!
Category #1 Personal Life:
Our personal life is everything we do and the person that we are outside of our professional experience. Whether you work full or part time, operate a business or are a stay at home parent, we all have work to do in our weeks.
Now set all of that work aside, and consider both the person that you are in your "personal life" and the person that you would be on your very best day.
Repeat this new activity to redefine your PERSONAL Essential Values
I am most at PEACE in my personal life when __________________________________
A FULFILLING day in my personal life looks like _________________________________
I am HAPPIEST and my most honest self in personal life when _____________________
Category #2 Professional Life:
Our professional life is everything we thought to exclude from the previous activity. It can be anything you personally define as work, or any responsibility that is given to you from another individual.
Everything from taking care of sick loved ones, to running errands for your boss are included in this category.
Now that is not to say that all of us don't enjoy our work.
Many people will complete the first activity with their professional life in mind over their personal one. Know that there are no right or wrong priorities, only balance.
Completing this essential values activity for both categories will put you on the right path for both.
Repeat this new activity to define your PROFESSIONAL Essential Values
I feel most BALANCED & SUCCESSFUL in my professional life when _______________
I am HAPPIEST in my professional life when _____________________________________
If I could change one aspect of my professional life for the better, what would that be?____________________________________________________________________________
You can use your 3-6 essential values to keep your life on tract, or to help you redefine your goals and morals whenever you need to.
I recommend looking back to this activity in your journal whenever you are faced with an important or tough decision.
You might look back on your values at the beginning of each week, to keep you motivated towards your goals.