All decision making is nothing but values clarification.

(PersonalPowerII, Anthony Robbins)

Values are our personal moral principles or beliefs about what is right and desirable. They influence our attitude and behaviour. Our values form the core of our humanity. Without values, we end up reacting toevents instead of doing what is most meaningful to us. Values help us to determine our goals in life and serve as a guide to our daily decisions andactions. If we know what we value most, then we are better able to make effective decisions.

Living in accordance with our values determines our level of wellness, fulfillment and happiness.

Living up to our values enhances self-esteem. Our self-respect increases when our behaviour matches our values.When we behave in ways that conflict with our values, we lose face in our own eyes and respect ourselves less. For example, if I value integrity, then I retain my self-respect as long as I speak the truth and am trustworthy. If I value integrity but tell lies and fail to honour my commitments, then myself-respect is eroded. Values are crucial to enhancing our self-responsibilityand self-esteem.

Values guide us in what we want to achieve, and enable us to live consistently in the world. Values can also liberate or limit us.You may have been exposed to certain beliefs and values whilst growing up thatmay have ceased to serve you, or may never have served you. The good news is that obsolete values can be discarded, but this does take effort. Give yourself permission to change these values and then take responsibility for clearly defining what values are yours and living with them.

A Means to an End. There are two types of values: means values and ends values. Means values are the instruments that help you to achieve a deeper set of values, for example money or a car. Ends values include happiness, love, success, security and integrity. Have you ever pursued a means value as if it were an ends value? Money is really a means toan end. Many people say they want money when they are actually seeking what money can give them, such as choice, stability and control.

The key to a fulfilling life is to know what you are reallyafter, i.e. your ends values.

Identify your five most important values by answering the following questions:

  • What am I striving for?
  • How do I pass my time?
  • What do I regard as important?
  • On what do I spend my money?
  • What guides my life?

Now list your values in order of priority. What are the feelings that you value? For example love, happiness, passion. These are the feelings that are the real driving force in your life!

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