Sunday, October 14, 2007

Making Decisions Based on your Values

I believe in the importance of defining your values. Simply stated, your values are what you deem as most important to you. When it comes to making certain decisions, the process becomes easier when you weigh it against your values.

Some of the things I value are: inner peace, physical health, creativity, and personal connection. Let’s say I’m faced with a decision: I need to decide whether I want to go white water rafting, or spend the evening with a close friend. The decision would be absolutely easy and obvious if I were basing it on my values. I would choose to spend a quiet, intimate evening with my friend. We could listen to music, talk about inspiring things, watch a movie, and maybe cook a healthy, delicious dinner.

On the other side of the spectrum, if someone had excitement and adventure as some of their values, they might have chosen white water rafting. Neither one is wrong or right. That’s why they’re called personal values; because they are tailored to each one of us, individually.

The example I gave is very simplistic. What about when it’s a big decision, like whether or not to end a relationship, or which direction to take in your career? Big or small, the decision making process becomes clearer and easier when it’s based on your values. A bigger example is deciding where to live. If you value spending time in nature, peace, quiet, and safety, you probably would not thrive in a major city. If you value lots of action, excitement, and a constant buzz of activity, you probably would not thrive in a quiet, secluded area. It’s quite simple when you break it down.

I believe it’s important to honor what you value most. When you do this, you are being the real, authentic you. And it’s the foundation for a fulfilling, enjoyable life!

What are some of the things that you value most in life? Do you find that you are making decisions based on your own personal values, or are they based on someone else’s vision? How do you see this as a valuable tool that you can use?