Defining your personal values - Deepstash

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

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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Our values
Our values

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.

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)."