As a human, when you hear the statement: “Tell me about yourself.” What response comes to your mind first? When you were born, or what you enjoy doing?
The word value is a word used regularly by many in our society, however, it’s a norm to talk about values, the meaning itself is sometimes hidden from our eyes. This could be because deep down we have not gotten a better picture of what we really want in life, or we don’t know how to get to the destination of our goals.
This leads to the question; how do I understand my values?
Value is the degree of importance you give to something. As a human being you have a lot of things you like, things that matter to you and serve as a list of your life action plan. Activities that matter to us are what we normally go for, it’s just a natural inclination.
When a person cares for a thing and holds it so dear over all others, such thing is a top priority. We see then that our priorities determine what we value, which in turn are things highly esteemed in our minds.
What are your priorities?
Let’s make a list of what could possibly count as priorities to you.
Family, Spiritual life, Health, Finances, Job, Romance, Leisure time/solitude, Outdoor fun, Reading.
Albeit this list is about priorities and preferences, you can as well add up whatever you feel normally stands out as things your heart longs for more than others.
As an average human being, if you can rewrite the above things in your own order of preference, then knowing what you value is not far from being visible. For instance if your number one priority is reading, then it shows you value knowledge, and it won’t come as a surprise if you are someone who knows or have come across a lot of important eye opening stuffs, while on your quest for knowledge.
Something worthy of note is the fact that the process of writing a list of priorities is different from the process of actually living your life. Your list could reflect the things you think of when asked to make a list, or probably the list of things you really want to live by but aren’t living.
A close examination of the direction of your life makes you understand that the things you value give you a unique personality as well as a relative understanding of what is right and wrong.
To do the right thing, you have to know the right thing to do. Knowing the right thing to do must dwell at the core of any real pursuit you have. Your values, your definition of the right way to live, are inside you. It’s time to get them out so that you can live by them.
What you value most determines the value of your life
According to I. J. Lehner and N.J. Kube, “Values are an integral part of the personal philosophy of life by which we generally mean the system of values by which we live. The philosophy of life includes our aims, ideals, and manner of thinking and the principles by which we guide our behavior.”
Values can differ from culture to culture and even person to person, but one thing is that what we tend to value can be influenced by a number of factors. This is because most of our core values are learnt earlier in life resulting from our interactions with family, peer groups, mass media, religion, history, books and other sources within the society.
It is when we grow older that we claim to be more wiser and pitch our tent with any school of thought we subscribe too and as such as the values that people have tend to influence their decision making and how they perceive their society.
We hold values to be something difficult to change owing to the fact that just like habits it is something you have known and lived by for a long time, but when what we value on the long run turns out to be debilitating to the greater good of the society we need to check ourselves.
Truly, one needs to take account of himself or herself and be self-conscious before being conscious of the society, but think of this; we all want to make impact, but what if what we value so much isn’t something that will add up to the society. For instance, someone who values financial stability and because of this engage in unscrupulous means of gaining wealth like kidnapping and ritual killings we can say that though this individual values financial stability, his way of achieving such is one that is not accepted in the society.
No one can live in isolation, so whatever it is you hold in high esteem in your heart must be such that you are confident would impact the society(although the notion of making impact could be relative from person to person).
What you belief and what you value grow from what you see, hear, think, touch, experience, read. This is why what we expose ourselves too really matters. The mind is a powerful place and what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way, it is therefore expedient that as a person you seek to always equip your mind with the right information.
Our society has shown us that not all informations are good and ripe to be consumed by the mind, not all books are fit for reading, not all movies are fit for watching, not all associations are fit for keeping and not all lives are worth emulating. As a conscientious person having this in mind is important to forming good values.
There are a number of things that value is:
- Values provide standards of competence and morality (i.e distinction between right and wrong actions)
2. Values are ideas that we hold to be important, this makes what we value so dear to us.
3. They govern the way we behave, communicate and interact with others as well as the society.
4. They transcend certain specific objects, situations or persons. This means they are more than a person or life situations but are inherent in us and make up our human/societal structure
5. They are more difficult to change or alter, they are relatively permanent and there is resistance to change them. Relativity here shows that for some people values can be changed easily while for some it could be a tough job to do, this is because of the influence they have in our lives.
There is this popular saying that “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are” but we could also reverse it to say, “Tell me your values and I will see who you really are and what you want to be”. Whatever it is you value be sure they are things that would not only add value to you but also add value to the society.
So when you are describing yourself in relation to your values, you are not just telling people about your physical self, but you’re showing people how your inner self looks like, because in reality “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. As humans, our lives turn out to be as a result of our most dominant thoughts.
Remember, your values are like the contents on your CV, and that CV is your life. What are the things you hold so dear, are they right or wrong?