What are the most important things in your life? Over the course of a day, how do you channel your energy toward those things? As I've been trying to find the answers to these questions, I started investigating my values. If my values are strong, I can use them as a code to guide my behavior. When I lead with my values, I can be satisfied that I did my very best.
To get to what my values are, I used an article that I cut out years ago from Psychology Today. The article lists ten things value-driven people experience in life. To get the most out of the article, I used each number as a journal prompt:
You feel a sense of enough rather than a need to measure whether you have more or less than others (Living by your values makes each moment about something special to you).
You can readily name your heroes (We choose our heroes because they stand for something we admire).
You can single out the sweetest moments in your life (The sweetest moments give you clues about what is important to you).
You can identify your greatest pain (If you felt pain, it means you cared. So what do you care about?).
You don't know the content, but you can identify the theme of the next chapter of your life narrative (Think of your life as a story. How do you want to feel in the next chapter?).
It's what you're drawn to when no one is looking (Let go of what you THINK you should value and go with your gut).
Your decisions make you want to get up in the morning (If you live according to your values, you can be happy with the decisions you'll make on a daily basis).
You can, in only a few minutes, write about what matters (writing helps solidify our thoughts and makes it more likely we'll take action).
You have a strong desire to communicate your interests to others (Sharing what lights us up is a powerful thing. And remember, sharing looks different for everyone).
You use your mind as a tool to humanize rather than degrade yourself (Our mind is powerful. Use your values to guide your thoughts and support yourself).
My favorite one to think about is about who my heroes are. Makes sense as a history teacher! The values I found in my heroes were fair, humble, patient, practical, independent, and creative. I also liked thinking about the next chapter of my life. I like how the prompt doesn't make me list details! That it's ok to just know what is important in the next chapter.
Once I journaled about these prompts, I searched for a list of values. I scanned the long lists and wrote down words that caught my eye. The words I chose are the picture attached to this post.
I hope that you find time to journal or think about these prompts. I'd love to hear which values jumped out at you.
I wish you happiness and peace within!