Your personal values– define them!

I am doing an exercise to define my values. As I whittle through the list of 500 values that I downloaded– I can see why some things are problematic in my life.

Simply put– sometimes a characteristic or quality is NOT a personal value I hold high on my list.

Frequently I look up the blogs of people who have “liked” something I posted. I came across this — this morning as I was working on my values list. How ironic is that?

Of my many firsts for the year, the first book that I have read represents a gift of knowledge. It was a gift from my boss whose values I have come to admire. Talking about Identity, the author of Think Like A Monk says “Admire values over personalities” and it seems right to me because values seldom change; people often do and if you follow someone’s values you won’t lose your admiration for the person even when situations/emotions/perceptions change.

Ènë of Dare, dream, do

Do you know what your values are?

I am going to help you with that today. I won’t list the whole 500 I am working with. You can download that list here:

What I will do in this post is give you a couple ideas of how to do a value priority list and give you two listings other than the one above.

Scan the listing. Pick the 25 top values that pop out to you.

If you could only pick 10– which would they be?

Here is an example:

NOW the detailed longer part-
Take the first one you wrote “trust” and compare that to the next one down “family”. Which do you hold higher? ………….. If it is “trust” move onto the next value and compare again. BUT if it is “family”, take that value word and compare IT to the 3rd one “integrity”.

You are going to keep comparing all the way down your list.

The one you are left with is number 1 on your values.

OK what it looks like…just for this exercise (these are not my values in order I am just giving an example):

I take “trust” and compare it to “family”…. I choose Family

I take Family and compare it to integrity. I decide I value integrity higher because I need my family to all be of high integrity when interacting.

So I take integrity and move down to compare it to spirituality. I decide my relationship with God comes first. So now I take Spirituality and compare it to wealth.

Spirituality wins over wealth.

So I have spirituality. That would be number 1 for me on this list.

This is why you need to shrink your list down to 10 before doing the final step. It would take a LONG time to do it with 40 values– let alone 240…or 500.

Now you go back to your list. Keep comparing each word to the others on the list. When you have a word that makes it all the way to the end as the winner– that will be your number 2. And so on, until you have all 10 in a priority order.

You can google “core value lists” or here are a couple lists for you :

A more extensive list is found at:

When you are dismissing certain values off a long listing…it may become clear to you that by not holding something as a high value affects you daily life. It may give you something to think about. You may want to consider making one or more of these a higher priority. It also will help clarify when you are faced with a choice– do you choose A or B?– well which fits your highest values?

It may also explain some stress and ulcers in your life. If you say you value honesty but work in a job where you are expected to say things about a product that you know are not true— non-alignment with your core value will eat you up.

When we are in alignment with our values life will not be perfect but it will feel as best it can at that moment given the situations we are involved in. We can be true to ourselves which makes us easier to relate to and get along with others because we will choose people to be in our lives who have the same values.

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate


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