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Achieving success in life is not nearly as important as your definition of success.
If your definition of success is horrific, then 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.
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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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.
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.