Why Values are Vital in Your Life (& 5 of my Own)

Why Values? Being one of my first ever posts on this site, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about values. More specifically, some of my own.
values

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Why Values?

Being one of my first ever posts on this site, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about values. More specifically, some of my own. But before I go into that, why are we even talking about values in the first place?

Value(s): principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life. Something (such as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable

Those are the formal definitions of the values (at least in the context we’re discussing). The way I see it, they are the guiding principles that (should) heavily influence our behaviours and decisions. Values are at the core of our identity. There’s a reason during onboarding with most companies, learning their values is one of the first things you do. Many of our decisions and behaviours directly come from our values and principles.

Just as a disclaimer, this is not an exhaustive list of all the values I believe in. When planning this blog post, I listed 28 values in total. So, of course, I’m not going to go through every one of them. I tried to distil and single out a few of the most important ones to me for this post. So I may not have included one of your core values. It doesn’t mean that I disagree with it. So let’s get straight into it. (As a bonus, for each value, I’ll give you the best quote I can find)

Servitude

That’s not what I mean before you think about slavery or something like that. What I mean is being in service to others. What I mean is doing and living your life for the sake of others, serving for the greater benefit of other people. I believe that we, myself included, should serve others and our community in some capacity or another. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I think life is better and more worthwhile when you’re doing something for the benefit of others. Living and doing only for yourself is boring and unfulfilling, in my opinion, and experience. Whether you start a charity, or a business, whether volunteering or mentoring, the list is endless. It could be as big as being a CEO or as small as making someone smile. Just don’t live for your own sake. I believe the world would be a far greater place if we were more driven by selflessness than selfishness.

"Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living."

Balance

What can I say about balance? There’s so much to say about it; it’s everywhere. Without balance in our bodies, we die. (thanks homeostasis). There’s balance in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, music, economics… Get the point? The same way we can die from dehydration, we can also die from water intoxication. That in itself should speak for every other variable in our lives.

But when I refer to balance, I am not talking about “equal proportions”. I’m talking about the “correct proportions”. 50/50 isn’t always what’s best. It’s very much situational and changes according to the circumstances and context. As one example, there’s definitely the time to be working hard in the gym and giving it your all. But there’s as equally the time to rest and take a break. It depends.

We often feel the negative effects of imbalance in our lives. We get feedback whenever we have too much or not enough of something throughout our lives. Working too hard and not looking after your health? Well, You’ll probably feel constantly tired and stressed. Not spending enough time with your family? You might find your partner or children feeling differently towards you.

balance_beam

Imbalance causes chaos, problems and things alike. EVERYTHING has its correct proportions, and I think it’s vital to remember that as we live. (Even a lot of these values require a balance)

"The Secret to life is finding the right balance in everything you do..."

Relationships

I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t here on this earth by yourself. And another thing, no one in the history of humanity has ever achieved anything by themselves. As sad and disappointing as it may sound, that’s the truth.

We can’t do this life thing by ourselves. Jesus had his disciples. Leaders have followers. An individual athlete has their team. CEO’s have their other executives and shareholders. Any big company cannot be a one-man job. There are loads more examples, but I’m sure you get the point.

Where I am right now, I’m grateful both for the people I have had in the past and the people I have in the present. The people surrounding me support me, build me, strengthen me and inspire me. Everyone needs people that can do the same. Otherwise, I think you’ll find that life will be very difficult.

relationships-values

And when I say relationships, from personal experiences, it extends far beyond my girlfriend, family and friends. It also includes my network, mentors, role models and more. But the same way your various relationships can build and make you, they can also break you. That’s why it’s vital to choose wisely. But THAT conversation is for another day.

Wisdom

I was able to distil and merge a couple of my 28 values into ‘wisdom’ when I thought about it. Wisdom is simply the state of being wise.

It means: ‘marked by deep understanding, keen discernment, and a capacity for sound judgment’.

Wisdom, for me, is the ability or the increased likelihood to make good decisions. Many of my decisions so far in life haven’t always been the best between you and me. And although I’ve had to make A LOT of decisions throughout my life, I’m only 21. So I hopefully have many more decisions to make throughout my life, most of which will have higher stakes.

Wisdom is one of those things that will inevitably flow into pretty much every area of your life. I wouldn’t say I’m wise, but there are definitely times when having a bit of it has worked in my favour. If you have read my About Me, you’ll know that I’m naturally curious, inquisitive, and eager to learn. My natural eagerness to constantly learn, understand and explore other perspectives and ideas means acquiring wisdom is right up my alley.

with-age-comes-wisdom

Generally speaking, I see two ways of acquiring wisdom: either passively or actively. The passive way is the typical and predominant way: experience. This is why the ‘oldies’ tend to have more of it. Passive wisdom will always have a major influence. But the active way is when you go out of your way to seek and gain wisdom through books, mentors, questioning, studying etc. This will generally expedite the process. And if you ask me, I don’t care how you choose to get it – just get it. You’ll need it.

Intentionality

If you Google ‘intentionality’, you’ll find a concept and an idea within philosophy. (One that I don’t know much about). That is not what I mean. What I mean is simply the state of being intentional and living purposefully. To me, it means to act with and on purpose.

It often comes down to asking myself, “Why would/should I do this?” or “What exactly am I trying/wanting to achieve?”. These questions force us to assess and question what we’re doing and why.

I think a lot of the time, we just live through life. We go just floating and going with the wind, lacking a definite direction and subjected to the events and circumstances around us. It’s not often we question or come face-to-face with what we want and the purpose of our decisions and actions. I truly believe we should do it more.

We should try to make a conscious effort to be more aware of our true intentions and what we really want. In that case, we’ll find that our actual actions/decisions don’t always align with our desired outcome. As I’m sure we’ve all experienced, the outcomes and results aren’t always what we intended. But I think assessing and questioning our intentions is a good place to start.

We have to be aware and dig deeper beneath what may seem obvious. Many times it’s not even that obvious. Other times, we think we want one thing. Still, once we investigate our actions and ourselves, we find out we secretly want and intend for something else. I think it might help to know what you’re aiming for.

The Final Word

Those are the values that I hold in high regard. By no means are they set in stone. In fact, as I mature, grow and change, so will my core values, and that is perfectly okay. They’re supposed to be a part of you and resonate with you, hence why people from similar backgrounds, demographics and beliefs, often share common values and principles.

This isn’t an objective or an exhaustive list of what’s important in life. These are just mine. You’ll probably have different ones, some of which I’ll probably agree with. The main point is just to know yours, so you can live according to them…

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7 thoughts on “Why Values are Vital in Your Life (& 5 of my Own)”

  1. What an insightful read!

    Having run through those values, balance really hits hard. Balancing my professional work-life Vs my out of work-life can be incredibly difficult. And reading this has given me a kick in the right direction to sort my mess out 😂

    Keep the good work rolling in! Also, props on the website looks great.

    – Cheers Rob.

    1. Rob. Honestly, reading your comment has made me so happy. I’m glad that you found it so intriguing and gave you a bit of a kick. Mission accomplished 🤣.

      But I definitely agree with you. Finding the correct balance is sometimes very difficult, not just with work and life. But when you get there, I have to be first to know!

      Thanks again,
      Steffan

    1. Elena!

      Thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed it.

      Yes, this is my first post on the blog. So I thought it would be appropriate to discuss personal values.

      Thanks again! 😊

  2. What a great read Steffan.

    I wouldn’t have guessed you are only 21, I guess age only applies in certain areas (Wisdom bring one of them)
    I have taken a few notes and made a little mind map for myself regarding my values etc.

    Thanks again
    Olivia 🙂

    1. Heyy Olivia,

      Thanks so much for commenting! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it and that you found it useful. I love how you took action with the mind map. Very encouraging for me.

      Thanks again and keep safe,
      Steffan 😊

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Steffan Lynch

Steffan Lynch

My name is Steffan Lynch. In a nutshell i created this blog for the purpose of encouraging and inspiring personal growth through my own experiences and life. Check out my about me page and social platforms for more.

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