Five Values

Values To Transform Yourself And Balance Your Life

What is it that gives us, as human beings, direction in the world? It all depends on the aspects of life that we treat as most important. That is what we mean when we talk about values. Some of the most powerful self-knowledge is simply understanding your most important values and using them to control your life rather than allowing life to control you.

Being unaware of your values can be hazardous. If they were formed based on conflicting influences and painful events in your past, there is a strong possibility that your values themselves will be conflicted, that fact can lead to personal turmoil and poor choices. The first step to overcoming that is to identify your top values.

Knowing Your Values Is The First Step To Aligning Them

You can think about values for family and self, or for society at large. Here, the important thing to clarify first, is your set of life values that guide how you live and work and how you want to fit into the world.

You may want more or less but five has proven to be a useful number of values to hold as most important. Five is enough to give definition to your purpose in life, and yet, not so many as to be contradictory. Once you know what they are, it may become apparent that conflict in your life is caused by a lesser incongruent value, of which you will then be able to let go.

There are numerous self-help techniques to establish and prioritize your values. The simplest is called brainstorming: Sit quietly and relax with paper and pencil or your tablet, write down any idea that comes into your head without question or judgment. It is only after you have a list of everything that comes to mind that you should go back and decide which are the five most important to you.

Take Action In Support Of Your Highest Values

When you know what you value most, you can more easily and consistently find the people and organizations that share your values, and avoid those that do not. It becomes much easier to prioritize your choices and avoid ethical conflicts. You will be able to lead by example and help to shape the values shared throughout the culture of the organization, of which you choose to be a member.

Knowing your most important values will not limit your options, far from it! In fact you will open your self up to greater possibilities, when you can mindfully paint your decisions from a palette of consistent and rewarding values.

Your values can form a solid foundation on which to make your most important life decisions. They can empower you to build a life of greater fulfillment and less stress. They will enable you to take a greater leadership role in the right organization. Take time to identify your top five personal values and spend your time doing activities that align with them.


Bolman, Lee G., and Terrence E. Deal. Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership. Fourth Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Johnson, Craig T. Meeting The Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow. Edition 3. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2009. Robbins, Anthony. Awaken The Giant Within. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1991

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