“If we are to go forward, we must go back and

rediscover those precious values –

that all reality hinges on moral foundations and

that all reality has spiritual control.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the best ways to truly know yourself is to get in touch with your own set of values. It is often very easy to get distracted by the noble ideals of and claim them as your own. But it is absolutely vital that you develop your own set of principles and morals so that you can then stand firm in your beliefs. Your values are simply the things that are most important to you at the core of who you are. It is the unwavering belief in what you stand for. When you know your values, you can live a happier life doing what’s most important to you.

Broaden your mind through visualization

An effective method of identifying your values is to imagine your future. Take the time to reflect on the many different aspects of your life. Where do you see yourself as you continue to age gracefully? What are the things that are most important to you? What do you hope to accomplish in life?

Searching for and finding the answers to these questions will help you discover your values. For instance, if you picture yourself growing old and remaining close to your family and spending valuable time with your grandchildren, then a strong sense of family is one of your core values.

You can have many values in life. You just need to discover which ones are your highest priorities. That way, at the end of each day, you can feel confident that you are nurturing the most important parts of your life.

There are certain values that almost everyone feels are important. You may find that some of them are significant to you too, as part of your core beliefs.

Some popular values

Here are some values that may help guide you in determining your own:

1. Adventure. Are you a thrill-seeker? If things start to feel a little stale, do you quickly feel bored? If so, a sense of adventure is probably close to your heart and you’d be happiest with trying new experiences and new ways of doing everyday things.

2. Relationships. Valuing relationships includes finding all relationships important, not only the romantic ones. If you value loving relationships, it may mean those with a family member or a friend. Having this as an important value to you means that you hold your interactions with your loved ones to be one of great importance, and you act like it. You make and take the time to make an investment into hose relationships.

3. Spirituality. If you align with certain religious or spiritual practices, then the beliefs of that practice are probably very dear to your heart. You may find greater fulfillment in spending your “free” time studying, practicing and going on spiritual explorations.

4. Creativity. Creative thinking helps the world in many ways, but it’s not a core value for everyone. If you enjoy discovering and creating new things, perhaps it is one of your values. Try thinking outside of the proverbial box while you’re doing the things that you enjoy, such as poetry, music, or painting.

5. Making a mark on the world. Most people will say that, in the end, they just want others to think of them kindly or remember them warmly. There are many ways that you can make your mark on the world, if this is really one of your core values. You can help other people through volunteer work. You can create something new to help the world at large. Or you can be a positive influence on others. The list is endless….

The thing that you really need to do in order to discover your values is find what makes you truly happy. Then ask yourself why those things bring you joy. The answers will lead you to your core values, and to what’s important

If you feel like your life has taken a wrong turn, you can often sort things out by thinking with the end in mind. Make the time to figure out where you’d like to be in the future. Are the steps that you are taking now helping your future self walk down the right path? If the answer is no, maybe it is finally time to think about walking a new road based on your core values and what you really believe in.

When you do, that path will likely lead you to happiness!


photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosasay/2631852440/sizes/z/in/photostream/

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