(30 Steps to a Better You) STEP #1: Identify Your Values

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“Our necessities never equal our wants.” – Benjamin Franklin

Would you want a sports car that couldn’t drive you anywhere? It would look nice. The stereo system is incredible. The rims are chrome and shining. But when it came to a car’s basic function – to get you from point A to point B – it couldn’t get you there. Would you still want it?

The answer is easy. No.

What’s the point of having a car if you can’t drive it? Because all those nice things, the stereo, the chrome, those are things you might like to have in a car, even want, but what you need is to get to work, to get to the grocery store, you need a ride and if it can’t give you one, what’s the point?

That’s the difference between a want and a need – and needs are values, the things that really matter to us.

I believe “identifying values” is the most important single exercise we can do regarding self-awareness. In this step, the first among our “30 Steps to a Better You,” is all about putting together a car that drives (or in this case a life that works) – by focusing on what really matters.

First – Make a list.

Identifying our values is a way of outlining the basis of what we’re going to use to build a larger structure to improve our lives with. This is the foundation. We have to know what we value so we can make better decisions about our future – whether that’s related to our careers or love lives. List the things you value. Honesty is a value. So is fidelity. So is faith. So is hard work. Think of the things that make up your personality, your belief system and how you choose to live your life. Try to avoid things that are pure desire or fantasy – like saying you “need” to have a mate that is exactly 6’5.” The site Mind Tools has some great examples of what questions to ask in order to make your list of values.

Use the following list of common personal values to help you get started – and aim for about 10 top values. (As you work through, you may find that some of these naturally combine. For instance, if you value philanthropy, community, and generosity, you might say that service to others is one of your top values).

AccountabilityAccuracyAchievement

Adventurousness

Altruism

Ambition

Assertiveness

Balance

Being the best

Belonging

Boldness

Calmness

Carefulness

Challenge

Cheerfulness

Clear-mindedness

Commitment

Community

Compassion

Competitiveness

Consistency

Contentment

Continuous Improvement

Contribution

Control

Cooperation

Correctness

Courtesy

Creativity

Curiosity

Decisiveness

Democraticness

Dependability

Determination

Devoutness

Diligence

Discipline

Discretion

Diversity

Dynamism

Economy

Effectiveness

Efficiency

Elegance

Empathy

Enjoyment

Enthusiasm

Equality

ExcellenceExcitementExpertise

Exploration

Expressiveness

Fairness

Faith

Family-orientedness

Fidelity

Fitness

Fluency

Focus

Freedom

Fun

Generosity

Goodness

Grace

Growth

Happiness

Hard Work

Health

Helping Society

Holiness

Honesty

Honor

Humility

Independence

Ingenuity

Inner Harmony

Inquisitiveness

Insightfulness

Intelligence

Intellectual Status

Intuition

Joy

Justice

Leadership

Legacy

Love

Loyalty

Making a difference

Mastery

Merit

Obedience

Openness

Order

Originality

Patriotism

PerfectionPietyPositivity

Practicality

Preparedness

Professionalism

Prudence

Quality-orientation

Reliability

Resourcefulness

Restraint

Results-oriented

Rigor

Security

Self-actualization

Self-control

Selflessness

Self-reliance

Sensitivity

Serenity

Service

Shrewdness

Simplicity

Soundness

Speed

Spontaneity

Stability

Strategic

Strength

Structure

Success

Support

Teamwork

Temperance

Thankfulness

Thoroughness

Thoughtfulness

Timeliness

Tolerance

Traditionalism

Trustworthiness

Truth-seeking

Understanding

Uniqueness

Unity

Usefulness

Vision

Vitality

 

Second – Break it down.

If someone created a rule book to your life, what would it be? Take a look at your list of values and expound on them, of how you try to live up to these values or if you’re not living up to them, what you are doing to work towards that. Mind Tools recommends that we “Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment,” then prioritize which ones matter the most.

Says the site:

“This step is probably the most difficult, because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.”

What you determine from these measures are the rules you live by, your personal mantras. For example, say one of your needs is a strong spiritual foundation. Ask yourself how often do you meditate or pray? What do you need from your spirituality in order to be able to best live your life? How does spirituality fit in the larger scheme of your life? The answers to these questions are your rules.

Third – Use it.

Creating a rulebook for ourselves and who we are, what we truly need and believe in is an important first step because understanding ourselves is the key to understanding others. We can recognize shared values in others if we understand our own needs. Also, in knowing what we need we realize other people know what they need too and needs are often inflexible. While a person’s values can change, they rarely do after becoming adults. Values are integral to who we are. The greatest key to success in any relationship – romantic or business or otherwise – is compatibility in the form of similar values. We all must learn that, whether we realize it, we live by rules and it’s most effective to surround yourself with people who live by the same rules as you.

 

Your Task  >>> Complete steps 1-3 above and place in a reference folder specifically created for your ’30 Days To A Better You’ tasks.

 

To learn more about identifying values check out my book “It’s Complicated,” as well as Steve Pavlina’s “Living Your Values” and Mind Tools’ “What are your values?”

To read the next step (#2) on identifying your passion, click here.  

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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29 Comments on "(30 Steps to a Better You) STEP #1: Identify Your Values"

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zoe
Guest

first step …of becoming a better person day one 🙂

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Thanks for completing step #1!

Kitty Dale Mulac-Phillips
Guest
Kitty Dale Mulac-Phillips

reference folder and steps 1-3 complete!

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Nice!

Donteacia Seymore
Guest

Step 1 complete! I love a good self improvement exercise. I think while reading this I came up with an original quote also for this challenge. “In order to improve the things around you, you must first improve the things within you.” 🙂

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Thanks for completing the step Donteacia. Also, I LOVE your quote about the challenge (if I use I’ll be sure to give you credit)!!!

KShumate
Guest

Working on the list. Will update!

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Sounds good, keep us posted on your progress!

✨Ethel Cox✨
Guest

Im trying to put my list together. This might take a few days. I really only want to put the right needs on there.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Take as much time as you need!

Moving For Love
Guest

What a great exercise! At first it seems easy but, narrowing it down to the top 10 is a little trickier than first expected.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Agreed! It appears easy at first but it’s actually a challenging exercise.

Benita Johnson
Guest

Loving this exercise! Glad we have a week before the next step because it allows time to meditate and develop something that represents my true values. I’ve invited a few good friends to take part as well.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

I love that you’re taking your time to complete each step. Also, thanks for inviting your friends to join in Benita!

Gillian Barrington
Guest

Phase 1 completed , sounds simple but, having to think about yourself and what moves you or makes you tick is tough. It’s like peeling back the layers especially if you’re not quite you would like to be in life, all in all I’m enjoying this .
Looking forward to the next challenge .
Thank you!

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Congratulations on completing Step 1 Gillian!

KShumate
Guest

Complete and it feels good re-evaluate !!

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Nice!

cheryl
Guest

This is absolutely amazing Paul. Thanks. This is definitely a step forward.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

So glad you’re finding value in it Cheryl!

Michelle Lynn Thompson
Guest
Michelle Lynn Thompson

Okay ready to move to Step Two!

Nicole Smooth
Guest

I will start with nr 1 tomorrow … It’s to later over here in Germany now… Love it…

Bre
Guest

all these steps are great. But when u don’t have the one resource that you need to do anything, Money, then what???

Grace Simpson
Guest

Equanimity/non-aversion. Nonviolence. Self-loving restraint. Joy. My son. Focused and consistent work. Multicultural friendships. Consistency. Health. Equity/justice. Thanks Paul. Finding your blog comes at the right time!

Latreace
Guest

Just began step #1 of 30 days for a better you, while starting step #1of building your personal brand and platform

Anna Marie Jones
Guest

<3 <3 <3

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

I love that you loved it Ann!

Tristan B. Hampton
Guest

Niice!

Christin Prater
Guest

This is awesome!

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