When our actions and words are aligned with our values, life is generally good and we feel content, confident and satisfied. But when our behaviors don’t match-up with our values, we soon begin to sense an uneasiness that begins to swell and grow inside of us.
This uncomfortable feeling tells us that not all is good with the world right now. We feel out-of-whack; out-of-touch and generally out-of-sorts. These feelings can be a source of anxiety and unhappiness.
Making a deliberate and conscious attempt to identity which values are the most important is needed to keep your anxiety low and your happiness and sense of personal worth and self-awareness high.
Regardless if we recognize them or not, values do naturally exist. Our lives can become less stressful, and more productive, when we acknowledge our personal values – and then make the attempt to live by and honor these values regardless of the circumstances we encounter.
The following values are the most important to live by:
- Appreciation. Taking a brief moment to say, “thank you,” or acknowledging the exceptional job the restaurant server did when waiting on you is not only encouraging for the beneficiary to hear; it fills your soul with more appreciation too.
- Belief in Others. It can be your attitude; your resolve, that can lift someone up when they are down. Their doubt can be erased by your confidence. And something else amazing happens: belief is contagious – the more you believe in others; the more you will continue to believe in yourself.
- Caring. Caring for others, as well as self-care, allows you to extend a helping hand and to pass along some unexpected grace. When we take the time to demonstrate we care; we demonstrate the fact there are still plenty of good people left in this world.
- Commitment. Commitment shows loyalty and it can show bravery and tenacity as well. A commitment is a promise made and an expectation we have created. Honoring our commitments can make the difference between achieving what’s most important to us or feeling disappointed and defeated.
- Compassion. We are all part of this thing called the human condition. No doubt we have different skin colors, religious preferences and political points-of-view, but at the end of the day, we still need to take care of one another.
- Cooperation. Even the most complex tasks and assignments can be made simpler when we focus on the solutions – together.
- Courtesy. The next time you are approaching a door and someone is ten steps or so behind you, wait just one second longer before walking through. Instead hold the door for that one second. It’s amazing how something that can happen in a blink of an eye can carry so much lasting value.
- Dedication. No matter how the circumstances may change, unless you are in a physically or emotionally abusive situation, stay the course and never give up. I would rather be called a failure than a loser. Losers give up when things become too difficult. Failures are folks who have just not found success – but will. So, call me a failure if you like, because it implies I haven’t stop trying.
- Devotion. Some days are just naturally better than others. It’s the same way in our interpersonal relationships and in our faith. Things can get unstable at times, but staying devoted to a cause or to a person through the uncertain times is our rock to grasp when our faith and our foundation is shaky.
- Effort. No matter the outcome, there is always value in the effort when the effort is authentic and well-intended.
- Forgiveness. To be clear, the purpose of forgiveness is not to absolve someone of the sin(s) committed against you; but to free yourself from the pain and the anger that is keeping you stuck. When you forgive, you are better able to let go of the past and keep moving forward with your life.
- Friendship. Friends support us and they provide an unfiltered view of our actions when asked. Friends sustain us through difficult periods and join us for the events we celebrate.