Firstly we need to define what values are.
Values are what are important, valuable or desirable to you and they guide your behaviors and decisions and are the motivation behind your actions.
Living in alignment with your values creates joy, fulfillment, and sense of personal satisfaction. If your life is not values-aligned you may experience stress, unhappiness, and hopelessness.
Each person has a value system which may be influenced by their background or life philosophy. Many of us develop values during our childhood. But that doesn’t mean they can’t change over your lifetime as I know mine did.
I know that ‘security’ was a work value I adopted from my parents. They believed you had to work hard and have a full-time job in order to be successful. They also told me that I should stick with a job even though I hated it, so their value of ‘persistence’ often meant I stayed in unhealthy work situations longer than I should have instead of taking steps towards making positive changes that would have made me happier at work.
Do you ever feel frustrated with yourself for saying, “Yes” when you’re continually asked to work unpaid overtime? Or perhaps you’ve felt unhappy and pressured to implement a business decision you don’t necessarily agree with. Your dissatisfaction might be the result of your personal values and your company values being misaligned.
If you want to create a happier work environment or more joyful life in general, then it’s important to understand the ‘value of values’ and how they can be your compass to keep you moving in a direction that makes you clearer on what’s important to you, happier, and better at decision making when it comes, not only to your job, but all aspects of your life.
It’s challenging to make decisions when you don’t know what’s significant to you. Too often we act in response to what others like or expect from us. That’s where values come in because they’re all about you and no one else. When you’re clear on our values you can make consistent decisions and take committed action. Without them, you can drift off course and be marching to the beat of someone else’s drum such as your boss, spouse, parents or children.