What's the Value of Knowing Your Core Values?

by Greatness HQ

Did you know that your personal core values play a huge role in determining whether or not you experience a sense of satisfaction from reaching your goals in life? Did you know that if you don’t take the time to figure out what your core values and standards are, you can easily undermine your own success without even realizing it?

Just to be clear, we are not just talking about success in business.  We are talking about success in life and how your core values relate to your personal sense of self-worth, your relationships, and your level of joy and satisfaction.

If you want to have a life that feels satisfying and worthwhile, you must be clear on what is right and what is wrong according to your personal code of ethics. That’s what forms the bases of your core values.

Justification creates internal conflict

When we want something in life, there is a tendency to justify our actions and excuse behavior that is out of harmony with our deep down sense of right and wrong.  We may not even know we are doing it on a conscious level, or we may minimize the situation, telling ourselves it’s no big deal.

The problem is, on a much deeper level, we have created conflict, an internal battleground between our core values and our actions.  If we allow ourselves to continue without correcting the problem, sooner or later that internal conflict will undermine our efforts and we will be forced to compensate.

Internal conflict robs us of our joy

How will we compensate?  It could be in any number of ways.  We may end up self-sabotaging our own success.  We might turn to excesses in an effort to drown out our internal discomfort.  Even if we manage to succeed on some level, the success we do have may be a hollow one, lacking any true sense of joy and satisfaction.

No matter how it plays out, an exceptional life filled with joy and inner harmony is only possible if we honor our core values and conduct ourselves within the boundaries of our personal code of ethics.

Getting to know your TRUE SELF

Before we start setting goals or choosing a direction for our life, we need to align with our personal core values and get very clear on what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.  That means we need to take the time to figure out who we are and what we stand for.

That might sound easy, but there is a little more to it.  You see, for us to get past our tendency to rationalize our own behavior, we need to discover why we feel something is right or wrong.  Why do we feel that it’s okay to do one thing, but not okay to do something else? What core values are influencing those feelings?

The best way to approach this is not with a long list of rules.  A much better approach is to develop a short list of the guiding principles that support our core values and that can be applied to every aspect of our lives.  Let me illustrate the difference between rules and principles.

Rules versus principles based on core values

In the US thousands of new rules, laws, ordinances, regulations and codes are added to the law books every year in an attempt to regulate how people behave and how they treat one another.  Now let’s compare the hundreds of thousands of written laws with one guiding principle. This simple principle is often referred to as the Golden Rule and it boils down to, we should treat others the way we would like them to treat us.

How eloquently simple and amazingly powerful that principle is. If everyone followed that one principle we would not need all of those thousands of rules and laws.  Obviously it would be next to impossible to get billions of people to live by a few good principles.  But we are not talking about billions of other people, we are only talking about one person, YOU.

Choose the high road

One of the most valuable things you can do for yourself is to develop a list of 3-5 guiding principles for your life. These principles will allow you to live in harmony with your core values and align your actions with your true  self. Doing so will help you avoid the consequences of living in a state of internal conflict.

This is such an important concept that in Find Your TRUE SELF I dedicated the entire second lesson of module one to teaching you exactly how to create your very own list of Guiding Principles for Internal Harmony. Having this list will provide you with a yardstick by which you can measure your thoughts, words and actions.  Living in harmony with your core values and standards will help bring a deep sense of satisfaction to everything you do in life.

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