What is success to you? Is it getting that promotion you have been working so hard for? Or is it being able to make an impact in the lives of others? Whatever your definition of success may be, having a set of personal values is indispensable to achieving it.
Why is having personal values important?
Seeing that values are the principles that guide the decisions you make and, therefore, how you live your life, it is undeniable that they are essential in helping you succeed. In fact, research done on individuals in the engineering profession yielded a positive correlation between those who had values related to avoiding conflict and their professional performance. While your version of success does not need to be regarding your professional career, defining your values and emulating them will only accelerate your path to success.
So, how do you define your personal values?
Start off by writing down values that you feel are important to you. It could be regarding anything you care about: recreation, empathy, family etc. Here is a list of values that you can use for your reference.
After you have your list, rank the values in order of decreasing priority. One method you can use is comparing two values at a time and choosing which one you feel is more significant to your life. By ranking your values, you will attain a clear understanding of which ones are vital to you. However, for this to be effective you have to ensure that your actions are aligned with your values.
What do you do if your values and goals are conflicting?
At certain points in your life, you will find it difficult to make decisions despite being aware of your personal values and goals. David, from Infinity Personal Financial Solutions, provides a perfect example of this situation in his blog. Here it is.
If one of your values is spontaneity, and your goal is to own your home outright by the time you are 50, the value behind it being security, there will be instances where your decisions can compromise one or the other. David alludes it to being unclear about your values and believes you should decide which value is more significant to you. For example, whether or not to take advantage of sale airfares to Hawaii for an unplanned break that will impact on you paying off your mortgage, or finding an alternative form of relaxation that won’t impact your goals.
Overall, there are no right or wrong answers regarding personal values and success. Others will always have their opinions of you and your decisions but, what is key is that no matter what your goals may be—finding work-life balance, travelling the world or achieving financial freedom—defining what your personal values are and consistently acting by them is indispensable.