What Are Your Values? Deciding What’s Most Important in Life

How would you define your values?

Before you answer this question, you need to know what, in general, values are.

Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.

They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.

This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

How Values Help You

Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that honor them.

If you value family, but you have to work 70-hour weeks in your job, will you feel internal stress and conflict? And if you don’t value competition, and you work in a highly competitive sales environment, are you likely to be satisfied with your job?

In these types of situations, understanding your values can really help. When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life, and you can answer questions like these:

  • What job should I pursue?
  • Should I accept this promotion?
  • Should I start my own business?
  • Should I compromise, or be firm with my position?
  • Should I follow tradition, or travel down a new path?

So, take the time to understand the real priorities in your life, and you’ll be able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals  !

Tip:

Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.

As your definition of success changes, so do your values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.

As you go through the exercise below, bear in mind that values that were important in the past may not be relevant now.

Defining Your Values

When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life – to identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.

Step 1: Identify the times when you were happiest

Find examples from both your career and personal life. This will ensure some balance in your answers.

  • What were you doing?
  • Were you with other people? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your happiness?

Step 2: Identify the times when you were most proud

Use examples from your career and personal life.

  • Why were you proud?
  • Did other people share your pride? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?

Step 3: Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied

Again, use both work and personal examples.

  • What need or desire was fulfilled?
  • How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?

Step 4: Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment

Why is each experience truly important and memorable? 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.)

Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement 
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
Excellence
Excitement 
Expertise 
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
Perfection 
Piety 
Positivity
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

Step 5: Prioritize your top values

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.

  • Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
  • Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work, or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
  • Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.

Tip:

If you have a tough time doing this, consider using Paired Comparison Analysis   to help you. With this method, you decide which of two options is most important, and then assign a score to show how much more important it is. Since it’s so important to identify and prioritize your values, investing your time in this step is definitely worth it.

Step 6: Reaffirm your values

Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself.

  • Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Are you proud of your top three values?
  • Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
  • Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?

When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.

Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run.

Key Points

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging and important exercise. Your values are a central part of who you are – and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make the best choice in any situation.

Some of life’s decisions are really about determining what you value most. When many options seem reasonable, it’s helpful and comforting to rely on your values – and use them as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.

 

SOURCE: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm

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“Believe that life will surprise you, again and again.”

23 Things People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently

Angel and I have worked with thousands of coaching clients over the years.  Together, they have given us incredible insight into what the average human being needs to do to go from “loathing” to “loving” their life.  And, of course, we’ve successfully helped the vast majority of them gradually get from point A to point B.

What most of these people never suspected is that they would have to learn how to do lots of little things differently.  Because the truth is, there are specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world that we all have to master before we can awaken to a simpler, happier, more fulfilling life – a life worth loving.  And that’s precisely what this post is all about.

No matter what part of life’s path you’re traveling on, the list below will always be applicable.  These are simple, positive habits that thousands of people who have learned to love their lives, now live by.  Here’s what they do differently…

  1. They flow with life, not against it. – When everything in life seems to be going wrong, mostly it’s meant to go wrong so that you may outgrow the things you need to outgrow.  Keep this in mind.  Life may wreck your plans when your plans are about to wreck you.  For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else.  You don’t have to accept it; it’s just easier if you do.  When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.  Sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath and appreciate what is.
  2. They let go of self-defeating thoughts. – Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret and frustration.  Let go of the need for approval too.  You don’t need any of it.  The world is as we are inside.  What we think, we see, and we ultimately become.  So choose your thoughts wisely.  Think how you want to live.
  3. They prove themselves to themselves, not others. – If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone else, you’ve already forgotten your value.  Don’t do this to yourself.
  4. They believe in the possibilities ahead. – You are a victim of the beliefs you live by.  And a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind.  So believe in yourself.  Believe in your capacity to succeed.  Believe that there are many roads to what’s right.  Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.  Believe that the answers are out there waiting.  Believe that life will surprise you again and again.  Believe that the journey is the destination.  Believe that it’s all worth your while.
  5. They find the positive in every situation. – The most underrated trait of all successful people I’ve ever met: Positivity.  Your attitude directly determines how well you live your life.
  6. They appreciate what they have. – Every now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness, look around, and simply be happy for what you already have in your life.  (Read The How of Happiness.)
  7. They nurture their own inner peace. – In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.  Take a few deep breaths, a relaxing walk, or a moment to meditate.  When you find peace within, you who can live at peace in any situation.
  8. They find the courage to be real. – It takes courage to grow up, grow wiser, and turn out to be who you really are.  Find the courage to own your story.  To speak your truth.  To ask for what you need.  To set boundaries.  And to reach out for love and support when you need it.
  9. They maintain high personal standards based on strong values.– Goals are important but they are temporary.  Values on the other hand are forever.  Raise your standards by taking a values-driven, not just a goal-focused, approach to life.
  10. They walk the talk and always set a great example. – Be the change you want to see. Give what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.
  11. They help themselves by helping others. – We all die.  The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will… an idea or gesture that helps others live better.  Strong people stand up for themselves; stronger people stand up for others too.  Remember this next time you feel like flexing your muscles.
  12. They use self-reflection as a tool to keep things in perspective. – Never forget where you’ve been, lose sight of where you’re going, or take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.
  13. They make their important relationships a daily priority. – An incredible thing happens when you pay close attention.  It’s by participating more in your relationships that you breathe life into them. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
  14. They accept that not all relationships are meant to last. – This is a harsh truth.  And what we do with our pain is nearly everything.  To punish people for not loving us is a heartbreaking, broken sort of justice.  It just doesn’t work out for anyone.  So let the wrong ones go, willingly.  Ultimately, you will meet two kinds of people in life: those who build you up and those who tear you down.  In the end, though, you will thank them both.  Because the wrong relationships eventually lead to the right ones.
  15. They leave the past behind. – Don’t let the past steal your present.  Your past has not defined, deterred, or defeated you.  It has only strengthened who you are today.  Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
  16. They make every day count. – What you do daily matters more than what you do every once in awhile.  Your life will not improve unless you start making daily improvements.  It’s not about being the smartest, it’s about making the smartest decision. It’s not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.
  17. They do the work. – The near-term cost of discipline is always less than the long-term cost of lack of discipline.  At some point you have to stop wishing for it and start working for it.
  18. They focus on effectiveness, not busyness. – The great paradox of our time is that many of us are busy and bored at the same time.  Busyness and effectiveness are two different things.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  19. They get uncomfortable. – You can’t learn, grow and succeed until you get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  The best wins in life often come only after you dare to lose.
  20. They break-up their routines to seek new insight. – You will often see what is wrong when you are doing it right.  But you will rarely see what is right when you are comfortably in the routine of doing it wrong.  If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today.  Mix it up!  Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
  21. They take action in spite of their fears. – Dreading is often far worse than just doing the thing.  Dread rehearses a scenario over and over without progress and success ever showing up.  So just do it already!  Stand strong.  Do what you fear, and fear disappears.  Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions speak louder than your words.
  22. They use change as an opportunity to grow. – Life is change, but growth is optional.  Choose wisely.  To be a success in life you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving.  Let your mistakes, and life’s twists and turns, strengthen you.  Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
  23. They always give themselves another chance. – Sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you.  You just have to give yourself another chance to get there.

Source: http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=3062201755&group=0&frame_type=a&blog=918381&frame=1&click=0&user=0

10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings

SOURCE: https://medium.com/comedy-corner/10-tricks-to-appear-smart-during-meetings-27b489a39d1a

Like everyone, appearing smart during meetings is my top priority. Sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon. When this happens, it’s good to have some fallback tricks to fall back on. Here are my ten favorite tricks for quickly appearing smart during meetings.

1. Draw a Venn diagram

Getting up and drawing a Venn diagram is a great way to appear smart. It doesn’t matter if your Venn diagram is wildly inaccurate, in fact, the more inaccurate the better. Even before you’ve put that marker down, your colleagues will begin fighting about what exactly the labels should be and how big the circles should be, etc. At this point, you can slink back to your chair and go back to playing Candy Crush on your phone.

2. Translate percentage metrics into fractions
If someone says “About 25% of all users click on this button,” quickly chime in with, “So about 1 in 4,” and make a note of it. Everyone will nod their head in agreement, secretly impressed and envious of your quick math skills.

3. Encourage everyone to “take a step back”
There comes a point in most meetings where everyone is chiming in, except you. Opinions and data and milestones are being thrown around and you don’t know your CTA from your OTA. This is a great point to go, “Guys, guys, guys, can we take a step back here?” Everyone will turn their heads toward you, amazed at your ability to silence the fray. Follow it up with a quick, “What problem are we really trying to solve?” and, boom! You’ve bought yourself another hour of looking smart.

4. Nod continuously while pretending to take notes

Always bring a notepad with you. Your rejection of technology will be revered. Take notes by simply writing down one word from every sentence that you hear. Nod continuously while doing so. If someone asks you if you’re taking notes, quickly say that these are your own personal notes and that someone else should really be keeping a record of the meeting. Bravo compadre. You’ve saved your ass, and you’ve gotten out of doing any extra work. Or any work at all, if you’re truly succeeding.

5. Repeat the last thing the engineer said, but very very slowly
Make a mental note of the engineer in the room. Remember his name. He’ll be quiet throughout most of the meeting, but when his moment comes everything out of his mouth will spring from a place of unknowable brilliance. After he utters these divine words, chime in with, “Let me just repeat that,” and repeat exactly what he just said, but very, very slowly. Now, his brilliance has been transferred to you. People will look back on the meeting and mistakenly attribute the intelligent statement to you.

6. Ask “Will this scale?” no matter what it is
It’s important to find out if things will scale no matter what it is you’re discussing. No one even really knows what that means, but it’s a good catch-all question that generally applies and drives engineers nuts.

7. Pace around the room

Whenever someone gets up from the table and walks around, don’t you immediately respect them? I know I do. It takes a lot of guts but once you do it, you immediately appear smart. Fold your arms. Walk around. Go to the corner and lean against the wall. Take a deep, contemplative sigh. Trust me, everyone will be shitting their pants wondering what you’re thinking. If only they knew (bacon).

8. Ask the presenter to go back a slide
“Sorry, could you go back a slide?” They’re the seven words no presenter wants to hear. It doesn’t matter where in the presentation you shout this out, it’ll immediately make you look like you’re paying closer attention than everyone else is, because clearly they missed the thing that you’re about to brilliantly point out. Don’t have anything to point out? Just say something like, “I’m not sure what these numbers mean,” and sit back. You’ve bought yourself almost an entire meeting of appearing smart.

9. Step out for a phone call
You’re probably afraid to step out of the room because you fear people will think you aren’t making the meeting a priority. Interestingly, however, if you step out of a meeting for an “important” phone call, they’ll all realize just how busy and important you are. They’ll say, “Wow, this meeting is important, so if he has something even more important than this, well, we better not bother him.”

10. Make fun of yourself
If someone asks what you think, and you honestly didn’t hear a single word anyone said for the last hour, just say, “I honestly didn’t hear a single word anyone said for the last hour.” People love self-deprecating humor. Say things like, “Maybe we can just use the lawyers from my divorce,” or “God I wish I was dead.” They’ll laugh, value your honesty, consider contacting H.R., but most importantly, think you’re the smartest looking person in the room.