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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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Stephanie Denis

@stephanietaylor04

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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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Our values

Our values

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They strongly influence our decisions. Therefore we should take the time to consider w...

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)."

Why Personal Core Values Are Important

Why Personal Core Values Are Important

Values are a part of us. They highlight what we stand for. Values guide our behavior, providing us with a personal code of conduct.

When we honor our personal core values consistently,...

Personal Values and Behavior

Knowing your personal values changes your behavior.

For instance: When you value health, you don’t have to wrestle with managing impulse control as much. If you know a particular food or activity isn’t good for your body, you don’t want it.

Create meaningful core values

  1. Start with a beginner’s mind, someone with no preconceived notions of what is.
  2. Create your list of personal values. 
  3. Chunk your personal values into related groups. 
  4. Highlight the central theme of each value group. 
  5. Determine your top Personal Core Values. Whittle your list down to 5 - 10 core values and rank them in order of importance.
  6. Give your personal values richer context. Highlight values into memorable phrases or sentences.
  7. Test the ecology of each value. Review your list a day later: Are they personal to you? Do you see any values that feel inconsistent?

The beginning of positive psychology

The story of positive psychology started just 20 years ago with Martin Seligman, head of the American Psychological Association. The idea he considered was: What if every perso...

Personal transformation

The term “positive psychology" was coined by Abraham Maslow in 1954. Martin Seligman used this term to promote personal change through the redemptive power of devotional practices like counting your blessings, gratitude, forgiveness, and meditation.

It is expressly designed to build moral character by cultivating the six virtues of wisdom, courage, justice, humanity, temperance, and transcendence.

Not a science

Martin Seligman insists on the value-neutral purity of the research on positive psychology. Yet even its fans say it seems to have some of the characteristics of a religion.

Philosophers such as Mike W. Martin say positive psychology has left the field of science and entered the realm of ethics. Science is a factual enterprise, not promoting particular values.