We did an exercise for our last staff meeting, and it basically broke down a list of certain things an individual could “value”. Family, success, order, spirituality, status, respect, honesty, etc. There was a whole sheet filled with words like these. We had to select a few and narrow it down and then kinda share them with the group.
This is a great exercise, not only to realize what you value, but also to become more aware of those around you and what they value. Once you understand what’s important to them, it’s easier to communicate and to be in the same environment. It goes a little bit deeper than the day-to-day stuff. The average conversation is suddenly amplified because you’re on a higher level of understanding each other.
Since my manager brought this ideal to our attention, I’ve been making it a huge role in my personal life outside of work. If I’m having a conflict with someone – or even if I’m not – I like to determine what their values are, and express to them what mine are.
My boyfriend puts “friendship” high up at the top of his list. He has a really close group of friends that he’s had since he was little, and it’s something that he values. He makes consistent and conscious effort for his friends because it’s important to him.
For me, I can’t say the same. I don’t value friendship as much as I do work ethic or ambitions. I would most likely pick working over being with “friends” on any given occasion. That’s just what I value and friendship doesn’t play a huge role in it.
The majority of arguments or disagreements, especially between parents and children, can be just a conflict or a clash of values. When parents are raising their kids, even into their adult years, they value things like school and success. Where at those times, teenagers and growing kids may value social life or status because they see the importance of that role. And that’s why they’ll get pissed at their parents yelling at them to do their homework before going out. Makes sense now, right?
It’s okay to have different values as someone close to you. It could actually help make things a little bit more healthy. You have to put in some extra effort to respect and honor the values of someone you love. This isn’t to say that you must surround yourself with people of the same values – it probably just ends up working out that way.
Something that I strongly value is order. I can’t fall asleep at night unless my room is neat and tidy. I don’t mean it’s sparkly clean – don’t get me wrong… but I mean it’s orderly. Organized chaos, if you will. I don’t work well in an environment that is cluttered. If I try to sit down or get something done and there’s a mess everywhere, I’m restless and unsettled. This applies to my work environment even more than my personal life – I have to get everything in order if I want to work well and be successful. If I walk into work and things are messy, I have to spiffy things up before I get into game mode.
My mom prefers fashion over function, at least when it comes to decor. She would rather things look nice as opposed to how practical it is. She had this little key-ring holder, right when you walked in the door it hung on this flat wall before the kitchen. It was a perfect spot to plop your keys upon walking in. There was also a small bulletin board attached to the top of where the key hooks hung. It wasn’t messy, but it had a few note papers and stuff pinned to it. My mom moved it one day… and I’ve never been the same since. She didn’t like the way it looked right when you walk in. So now, it’s behind this jolt in the wall, far out of the way and literally never has keys hanging from it. It’s just wasting space where it is, honestly. So now when I walk in and have nowhere to hang my keys, it’s a little annoying. Why? Because it’s out of order.
Whatever it is that you value, try to utilize them every day. It can help you prioritize your life, emotions, decision-making and processes. It can also improve your day-to-day interactions with family, friends, your loved ones – anyone who surrounds you.
To find your values – no one can really help you with that – only you know what your values are.
Look into the things you do in your daily life – things you can’t go more than an hour without thinking about.
Try and remove them from the picture or not think about them, and if it bothers you, chances are that’s something you strongly value.
Think about what makes you your best and greatest self. The very fibres of your being.
What makes up, you? Those, my friend, are your values.