Your Values and You by Dale Choquette

Have you ever thought about what your values are? How are you living your values?
Values are important to every aspect of our lives so it’s important to know what they are.

There are two definitions of values:

  1. The importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
  2. A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

For our purpose let’s talk about the second definition. A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

Three of the types of values are individual values, relationship values and organizational values. Individualvalues are how you show up in your life and what you live by. They may include enthusiasmcreativityhumility, and personal fulfillment. Relationship values are how you relate to other people in your life. They can include opennesstrustgenerosity, and caring. Organizational values are how your organization shows up and operates in the world and may include financial growth, teamwork, productivity and strategic alliances.

What is the purpose of values?

  1. They help us decide whether something is important or insignificant.
  2. Determines our perceptions, opinions and attitudes.
  3. Using values process motivation, selection, and evaluation.
  4. Values also have a social function. Common experiences bring people together.

Let’s focus on your personal values. They are about individuality, drive for personal success, self-reliance, self-discipline and self-improvement. They’re all about how you live your life. They are the very foundation for understanding your attitudes and motivation.

Our values matter. They give us tremendous clarity and focus. These allow you to make consistent decisions and take committed action so that you can improve the results you get in those areas of your life that are truly most important to you. Your values are also your priorities that drive your behavior. The main reason your priorities matter is where you spend your time. Time is your most limited resource.

The second reason priorities matter is that as human beings we tend to be fairly inconsistent in how we invest our time and energy. It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of living by different priorities every day. One day you exercise; the next day you slack off. And this kind of living yields poor results. Imagine an airplane that went wherever the wind took it – who knows where it would eventually land? And the flight itself would likely be stressful and uncertain.

Your values then act as your compass to put you back on course every single day, so that day after day, you’re moving in the direction that takes you closer and closer to your definition of the “best” life you could possibly live.

How do you find our values then? There are many lists you can google. Choose one that gives you the most choice. Choose 10. Then review them and choose 5, then narrow it down to 3. Here’s some questions you can ask yourself when going through the list.

  • What’s important to you in life?
  • If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?
  • When you’re reading news stories, what sort of story or behaviour tends to inspire you?
  • What type of story or behaviour makes you angry?
  • What do you want to change about the world or about yourself?
    • What are you most proud of?
    • When were you the happiest?

Using Your Values to Make Decisions

When we make decisions and take actions that honor our values, we are best able to maximize our feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment. When we make decisions that do not honor or might conflict with our values, this can cause discontent and dissatisfaction.

You can consult them whenever you need to make a key decision. You may choose to answer them differently at different points in your life.

The end of the year is a good time to have a look at your values. They may have changed over time. It’s also a good idea to continue to re-evaluate them because what was important to you last year may not be that important this year. Go ahead. Live by your values and live your best life.

Dale Choquette

Personality-based training for business teams.

Small steps that deliver big results.


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