April 21, 2016
Do you have a code or a set of standards that guide your behaviour and allow you to determine right and wrong?
If you don't know what your moral code is it is very difficult to know how to act when confronted with difficult or subtle choices. Morals allow you to interpret rules clearly and to function well without conflict.
One way of getting clear on your own personal moral code is understanding your values. So, first, what are values? They are those things that you believe are important to the way you operate in the world. They help you to determine your priorities. You can consider them the signposts that provide direction in your life.
Identifying your values is the first step to really knowing yourself. It is essential that you are clear on your values because all aspects of your life need to align with your values. Your values impact everything, who you have relationships with, where you work, and even where you are investing money for your retirement. If you get clear on your values and ensure your life is aligned with them, you will find that your energy levels lift. Your life moves into a synergistic flow.
When the things that you do, and the way you behave, match your values, life is usually good – you're satisfied and content. But when your actions don't align with your values, that's when things feel and can go wrong. So making a conscious effort to identify your values is very important.
It is well worth developing your own values list. Start by listing your top ten values. And then narrow them down to your top five. And then, if you can, whittle that list down to your top three. Determine why these are your key values, where did you learn them, and how can you demonstrate that value.
For example, one of my top values is wisdom. For me, examples of wisdom come from some of my very close friends and the Buddhist teachers I follow. In order to demonstrate wisdom, I try to operate from a wise perspective at all times, and I know that wisdom is developed through study - so I try to study as much as I can - and for me, that study is around the Buddhist teachings and psychology.
And one more exercise that can be helpful in developing your values is to list the three values that are the 'least' you. These are your watch-out values - they are the values of people you most likely would not like to associate with. They may be things like power and authority, fast-living, or status.
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