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Personal Values: How important are they?

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

I’ve been pondering values. You know, values of life, values that make me who I am and I realized that our personal values are the essence of who and what we are as individuals. My personal values are what ultimately makes up the core aspects of me as a person.

Of course, every person has different values. We all have those little nuances that make us who we are. I’ve come to realize over the past six months how important it is to really understand myself as a person, not the person that other people see, but the one that inherently lives inside me.

There is this person that really cares for me and is always telling me to take some time for myself. That I work too hard and well, if I’m honest, I know he’s right. It forced me to take a long reflection back over the past few years to try and find what it was that drove me to become this person that worked 18 hour days and survived on 2 – 3 hours’ worth of sleep every night.

I didn’t particularly like what I found. I had always believed it was because I wanted to become a successful writer, to enable me to live for that one dream I’ve had all my life. And granted, that is a big part of it, success and progress are values of mine that I’ve always strived for, made priorities in my life, but in this there was another driving force.

I missed one important thing in the past number of years, well, probably the past 6 years if I’m honest. And that is to continue to ask myself what things in life are important to me to be a better person, to achieve a happy and fulfilled life. That, effectively, had a huge impact on how I lived my life, on how I allowed others to affect my life and my own personal values. Yes, I made the biggest mistake one can make.

What did I do? I allowed the things that mattered to me the most, to be at the mercy of those that are not. What do I mean by that? I allowed life to just happen. Worse of all, I didn’t take control of my life. I allowed others to do that for me. I lost the focus of living for my own personal values. I didn’t live the values that were important to me. I lived the values that were important to others.

And what did that bring me? I’ve spent the past, probably nearly ten years of my life, living on what other’s believed were important in their lives and I allowed it to become my core values. Turning to the one thing that gave me comfort, my writing, was the first step in breaking the strings that bound me to those people’s values. And now that I look back, do I only realize just how selfish they were, how they thrived on my neglect in living for my own values.

I’ve come to discover the values that reflect not only what I’m passionate about but also those really important to me as an individual. That makes me, me.

I can only thank that wonderful, caring person, for opening my eyes and giving me the understanding that I need to be me. First and foremost, before I can really find happiness and fulfillment. For making me realize to live a meaningful life, I need to know what is important to me to make me happy.

How many of you have found and lived your own personal values? Are you living them, today?

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