Do you really know your values?

The concept of ‘values’ is one of those rare psychological constructs that is understood  by laypeople almost as well as it is by scientists. Our values represent a hierarchy of what really matters to us, the type of person we are trying to be, and they are closely related to our sense of identity.

In theory, they are our guiding principles in life, our inner compass.

But how well do you know yours?

Try this…(say the answers out loud if you can…)

Name three foods you love to eat? Name three places you like to visit? Name three close friends? Name three of your core values?

Was the last question harder for you than the others? It is for many people. Is that because it matters less? Or maybe because it matters more? Maybe it’s just something we don’t talk about much? And if, like many of us, and many of our students, you were unable to easily recall your core values, what is it that’s guiding your decisions through life?

My core values are: connection, caring, contribution, adventure.

Write down yours, put them somewhere prominent (Post It note on your mirror?!), talk about them with people you care about, ask others about their values. The better we know our values, the easier it is to make decisions that feel right, that are right for us.

Published by

David Bott

Hi, I'm David Bott, Associate Director of the Institute of Positive Education in Australia.

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