Who do you want to become? is a powerful question to ask ourselves because it allows us to think about a vision we want to actualize.
Most people never ask themselves this question and allow the currents of life to sweep them away. This takes me to the quote “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”.
If you don’t have clarity on who you want to be, or what you want to do in life then you will get pulled in a million directions. This is why it is important to define our core values.
What are values?
Values are simply the things we deem to be important. To define our values we must ask ourselves what is most important to us? There are hundreds of values that you can look up, many of which may appeal to you. The problem is we can’t focus on embodying a 100 values all at once. Therefore we need to narrow our focus and define a smaller number of values that we deem to be important.
I found that focusing on 5 values is a great way to find clarity and help shape yourself into the person you want to be.
How to define your top 5 values
There is a powerful exercise you can perform which will help you determine your top 5 core values.
1.Start by writing out a list of 20 values that are important to you.
2.Then from those 20 select 5 which you want to embody.
3. For each of those top 5 values write out a statement that defines what that value means to you
Below is an example of me doing this exercise.
My Top 5 Values
1. Growth – To push myself outside my comfort zone and learn daily
2. Authenticity – To be honest with myself and others
3. Family – To always make time to spend with loved ones
4. Love – To show compassion and empathy to all beings
5. Health – To keep myself functioning in an optimal physical, mental, and emotional state
You may notice that certain values overlap such as honesty, truth, and authenticity.
Simply select the one which is most encompassing or most relatable to you.
How defining your top personal values will shape who you become
When you define and live by your top values your life will get simpler; you will know how to act in difficult situations. For example, if honesty is one of your top 5 values you will remain truthful even when it’s uncomfortable. Without having this clarity you might be dishonest and then wonder why you feel terrible inside. When we are living by our core values we feel good. We feel we are being and becoming the person we want to be.
For any situation, you find yourself in ask yourself if you are living by your values.
Sometimes you will deviate from them. That is fine as long as you can reflect on this experience and make a mental note to adjust next time.
When I don’t fully embody my values I experience pain in my life. Yet, by recognizing this I can try harder to be in alignment with them in the future.
Many of the issues we have in our lives will come down to conflicting values.
If we don’t define our values clearly we won’t know why we feel a disconnect with certain people, communities, and even our own actions.
When we determine our values we can identify which environments and people are right for us.
We no longer have to be pulled in different directions because we are firm in our foundation.
We know who we are and we know who we want to become.