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"Who Am I?": The Ultimate Guide to Personal Values

https://markmanson.net/personal-values

markmanson.net

"Who Am I?": The Ultimate Guide to Personal Values
"Hitler starts his day at 5 AM each morning with a quick round of yoga and five minutes of journaling, he's able to focus his mind on his highly ambitious goals." "Hitler discovered his life purpose in a beer hall in his 20s and has since followed it relentlessly, thus infusing his life with passion and inspiring millions of others like himself."

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Values trump your definition of success

Achieving success in life is not nearly as important as your definition of success. 
If your definition of success is horrificthen working harder, setting and achieving goals, and disciplining your mind all becomes a bad thing. You cannot talk about self-improvement without also defining your values that accompany it. 

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Defining your personal values

Your values are extensions of yourselves. They are what define you.

Many state the values they wish they had as a way to cover up the values they actually have. Instead of facing who they really are, they lose themselves in who they wish to become.

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You are what you value

Values are the fundamental component of our psychological make-up and our identity. 

We are defined by what we choose to find important in our lives. We are defined by our prioritizations. If money matters more than anything, then that will come to define who we are.

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Some personal values are better than others

Some personal values are better than others

Good values are:

  • Evidence-based
  • Constructive
  • Controllable

Bad values are:

  • Emotion-based
  • Destructive
  • Uncontrollable

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How to Reinvent Yourself

  • We must have the self-awareness to recognize that our values have failed. Losing a value feels as though we’re losing a part of ourselves. We resist that failure. We explain it away and deny it.
  • Question the value and brainstorm what values could do a better job. 
  • Live the new value. New values have to be lived and experienced to stick.
  • Reap the benefits of the new value.  You will be left with a wonderful sense of relief, and a newer, deeper understanding of who you really are.

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The transmission of values

Personal values can be ethical, moral, ideological, social, or even aesthetic. Values are mostly transmitted through parenting, but our cultural environment also plays a role.

For instance, American parents tend to value intellectual knowledge; Swedish parents value security and happiness; and Dutch parents value independence and the ability to stick to a schedule.

The four personal value orientations

There are four different personal value orientations based on our "terminal values " - our desirable states of existence, and "instrumental values" - the means by which we achieve our end goals.

  1. Personal-competence. "I value wisdom (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through independent thinking (instrumental)."
  2. Personal-moral: "I valued true friendship (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through honesty (instrumental)."
  3. Social-competence: "I valued equality (terminal), which I think can be achieved through ambitious work (instrumental)."
  4. Social-moral: "I value national security (terminal), which I believe can be achieved through obedience (instrumental)."

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