Values are ideals in life that you hold most dear to you. Values are also traits or qualities that you consider worthwhile, and they represent your highest priorities. They shape the way you live your life, the way you interact with others and how you feel about yourself. Your values are unique to you and there are no right or wrong values. It is important is that you know your values and that you align your actions with those values.
Values drive every action and decision that you take in your business and personal life. You may think you work for money, but really you work to earn money in order to spend it on things that you value.
If you live your life in such a way that contradicts your values, you will find yourself living an unfulfilling life.
When you are well aware of your values, you will, in turn, be aware of what drives you. The actions that you take daily, weekly and monthly dictate your success, and those actions are guided by your values. The more clarity you have regarding your core values, the better equipped you will be to reach your greatest goals.
If you are wondering what values are in practical terms, here are a few examples:
Integrity, respect, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, honesty, excellence, accountability, collaboration, courage, wisdom, independence, security, etc.
The key to discovering and properly extracting your values is to ask yourself questions and answer them honestly, without analysis. You need to do this quickly and without thinking. Write down the first things that pop into your head.
Use these questions as a guide to start discovering your values. Once you answer all the questions below, look for repetition of words, circle the common words, and start compiling a list of values based on these common words. Then, assign them a number between 1 and 10 based on their importance to you.
Describe your greatest accomplishment to date (be specific).
Describe what gives you a feeling of fulfillment (be specific).
What are your guiding forces when making a decision?
What makes you happiest?
What is important to you (big picture)?
What better way to reach your goals than to build them around what matters to you most? Once you have clarity on your values you will naturally align your actions with them and as a result, you will grow your business by leaps and bounds.