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Our values are our preferences about what we consider appropriate courses of actions.
They strongly influence our decisions. Therefore we should take the time to consider what our personal values are.
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.
A practical framework shared by Mark Mason is that good values are evidence-based, constructive, and controllable. This framework includes intellectual curiosity, creativity, humility, honesty, vulnerability, standing up for others and oneself.
Bad values are emotion-based, destructive, and uncontrollable and include being the centre of attention, being liked by everybody, and being wealthy for the sake of being wealthy.
In order to be useful, values must be lived. Many of us state values we wish we had as a way to cover up the values we really have.
Your values will not be fixed; they change throughout your life. While this process happens naturally, you can proactively decide to shape your values.
The goal is to live a life of self-discovery.
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