There are times when we ask ourselves the question - are we moving in the right direction? Is what we are doing valuable to us? What do we want to do in the future? What do we want to achieve?
All of these questions will be easier to answer if you have a clear understanding of what is truly valuable to you. When your true values guide you through life and you lead your life in accordance with them, you have luck and easily solve challenges. If you act contrary to your values (and this happens when we are not in contact with our soul and heart), obstacles and difficulties may occur on the way, and to solve them might take a lot of energy and effort.
How to understand what is truly valuable to you? How to better understand the importance of certain values to you and your self-development? There is one very good exercise that I want to share with you.
Step 1. Take a piece of paper and a pen, choose a quiet and comfortable place where you can be alone with yourself, and ask yourself the question: "What were the happiest moments in my life for me?”
Step 2. Start writing a list of events and situations when your level of happiness was very high. Write the first things that come to mind, do not try to assess them with your mind. What will appear first in your head comes from your subconscious. Write a list of 10 situations or more.
Step 3. When you have finished your list, look at the situations, and try to categorize them by the value name. For example, you write: “I was incredibly happy when I first visited Iceland”. Such an event can be characterized as the value of freedom (travel = freedom). Or another example: “I was very happy when I defended my Ph.D. dissertation”. In this case, the value is a career, achievements.
Step 4. Once each moment of happiness in your list has been categorized by the value, count which values are repeated and how many times. The most recurring values are the most important to you.
Step 5. Write down a list of your values in order of their importance and see how your current life relates to these values? Are you realizing your values to the fullest? Maybe some values are not presented in your current life? Sometimes when we do not feel complete satisfaction from our lives, it means that some of the key values have been forgotten by us. What can you do now and in the future to live your life in accordance with your values?
Try this exercise and write your thoughts about it in the comments. Was it helpful to you? Maybe you want to share other techniques that help define your values. For me personally, this exercise was very helpful when I first did it, and now from time to time, I check if my current activities are in line with my values.
Good luck and be happy!