What is a value?
Value according to the dictionary is one’s judgement of what is important in life; a person’s principles or standards of behavior.
Examples of Values:
Achievement * Appreciation * Abundance * Awareness * Authenticity * Artistic * Autonomy Acceptance * Boldness * Competition * Communication * Challenge * Community * Creativity * Cooperation * Contribution * Diligence * Directness * Daring * Decisiveness Dependability * Excitement * Elegance * Enlightenment * Expertise * Effectiveness Enthusiasm * Education * Efficiency * Exploration * Facilitate * Freedom * Friendship Focus * Gratitude * Influence * Integrity * Intimacy * Information * Interdependence Imagination * Innovation * Intelligence * Joyful * Knowledge * Leadership * Listening Learning * Loving * Loyalty * Laughter * Moderation * Movement * Merriment * Nurturing Nature * Originality * Risk * Orderliness * Observing * Organized * Perseverance * Quiet Participation * Partnership * Power * Perceptive * Prepared * Productive * Style * Caring Passionate * Peaceful * Playful * Proficiency * Quality * Respect * Resiliency Zest * Romance * Resourcefulness * Responsibility * Relatedness * Service * Sports * Spirituality * Valor * Security * Serenity * Sharing * Sensuality * Success * Support Stimulation * Stability * Visionary * Superiority * Touch * Truthfulness * Tranquility
Obviously this is only a partial list.
As you scan this values list above, you may find that many of these values have little or no significance and some may even seem negative to you. There will be those values that jump out and call to you. You may think, “This value is important to me.”
Notice which ones you have in that category.
This values list is merely a guide. It contains many synonyms and is certainly not exhaustive, so feel free to add unlisted values to your own list. I listed these so you could begin to contemplate what your top values are. However, shopping for values that sound attractive will not necessarily have you discover what your true core values are.
I highly recommend that you do the exercise below. This exercise can help you clearly identify what your core values are.
Why are core values important?
What does discovering your core values have to do with your relationship?
Why should you care about discovering your core values?
You are motivated to move your life in certain directions. That motivation is determined by the values you subscribe to. Your values are where you form your thoughts and understandings that express what you perceive to be important truths about life.
Values have a very special power
Your values shape your thinking, behaviors, attitudes and actions – your experience of your life.
In order to see what shapes your thinking, behaviors, attitudes and actions it will be useful to discover what your core values are. Not only are you shaped by what you value, so is your partner.
When you see what values shape your partner’s thinking, behaviors, attitudes and actions you have a better understanding of them.
Different set of values
If you don’t recognize what your core values are and that your partner’s values are more than likely going to be different than yours, you could get upset that they are being the way they are being. You could find yourself complaining, badgering, nagging and being disturbed that your partner doesn’t think or behave like you; they are not operating with your value hierarchy.
You could find yourself spending a lot of energy trying to get them to align with your values instead of honoring theirs. Many fights start between partners when they don’t recognize or honor their partner’s values.
Highest principles as values
Principles, such as Love can be interpreted by your mind as the values of inspiration, acceptance, connection, contribution, openness, tolerance, selflessness, forgiveness, etc.
The spiritual principle of Oneness can be recognized by your mind as the values of honoring, integration, cooperation, teamwork, harmony, etc.
You could say values are spiritual skills or the way you currently grasp spiritual attributes in the course of your daily life.
The key point
When you fully commit to your top values you release fresh energy, and the experience of purpose and well-being. You can energize your life by making the full effort to implement the values that you subscribe to.
When companies and institutions adopt and implement values, the individuals working there will become energized around that value. When a company takes on the value of appreciation for it’s customers the employees and the customers will begin to feel it.
When values are implemented or are newly developed in a company the outer circumstances in that company will change ten times faster than merely trying to change things on the surface.
Interestingly, not only do your values energize you, but when you implement them, they energizes everything they come in contact with! Values could be considered expressions of emotionalized truths that when implemented energize whatever they come in contact with.
This is true for the individual, a collective, or a society as a whole.
You are uniquely wired
Your prioritized set of values has you looking at life a particular way. When you are clear what your values are you can be more responsible for how you think, behave, react, and experience life. When you can see how you are wired, you begin to see how others around you are wired, and there is less mystery. You start to clearly see other’s unique prioritized set of values – the why everyone is organized to see and experience life the way they do.
You can stop being upset because others are not operating in your value system. Those around you can stop showing up as being “wrong” because they don’t value the same things that you do. There is an opportunity to notice and appreciate how other’s values can add to your life and not have to simply reflect it.
Value what you value = Good
When you feel that your values are being supported you feel good. Your values feel “right,” and the things that support your values are called “good.” When you embody your values, you have more energy to live a purposeful and dynamic existence.
Challenge your values = Bad
If someone is operating in opposition to your values, it can be very disturbing. The things that challenge your values are usually labeled “bad,” and one of the surest ways for you to lose respect for someone is to have them violate your values.
You will also lose self-respect if you violate your values.
Your values are not universally right to everyone
Your life is in harmony to the extent that you are in alignment with what you value.
One way to determine what your highest values are is to ask yourself what do you presently spend the most time, energy, money, thought, vision and conversation on or doing?
If you want to know what your partner values, look where they have their attention, how they organize their life, what they do and talk about.
Close your eyes and remember a special time when things were wonderful, great, pleasurable, and you felt delighted.
Share this event with your partner.
You partner listens to your description of this event for the values that were important. What was important to you in describing this event. Partner writes down all of the expressed values that they hear. (Go for at least 3.)
Close your eyes and remember a time when things were not good at all.
Share this event with your partner.
Partner listens to this event for what values were missing.
List these values. (Go for at least 3)
Once you have this list of values go through it and see if the wording is how you would describe what you value. Clean up your list, use your words to describe what you value, and pick the top 3 to 5 values. (Example: If your partner listed the word excellence and you would use the word mastery instead, be sure to use your word.)
Look over your list
Are there any values in conflict? (For instance: You value excitement and taking risks – your partner values consistency and stability – this could be grounds for many conflicts.)
If you discover that you and your partner have opposing values, you will begin to see more clearly the core of your conflicts.
Let’s say you have focus, responsibility, and savings as your top values, and your partner has spontaneity, adventure, and extravagance as their top values – this is a recipe for conflict. It can be very difficult if the values you and your partner have are in opposition.
If it is too difficult for you to honor your partner’s values, then you can pretty much see how your future will be shaped by conflict. If you can accept and honor (I didn’t say agree with) your partner’s values, then you can create a framework for your partnership. Again, if your values are in opposition it is really going to take something to do this.
Most of the time even though your values are different they are in harmony and appreciated by your partner. Once you define and get clear about you and your partner’s values it will be very useful to create a design statement on how you intend to have your relationship show up in the future.
You can energize your live by making the full effort to implement the values that you subscribe to.
One way to do this…
Describe how your relationship would be occurring if it were to occur just the way you wanted it to occur. How would you/they be behaving; what would you/they be saying; how would you/they feel?
Overall what would your experience of your relationship be?
“My partner and I are playful. We create a space of understanding and support. My partner and I say what is true for us – we don’t hold back. We experience a deep nurturing connection.”
In this example what values are honored? (playful, understanding, support, authenticity, nurture, connection)
This design statement will be an intention for the relationship that you are creating.
“I am creating a nurturing relationship that is supportive and playful. A relationship where I am authentic, understood and deeply connected.”
In the future when your relationship shows up missing any of these values you can put in what is missing.