I finally had to create this separate page about values, as what could be more valuable?
Many of the values and thinking underlying them are on the other pages linked to the right and/or mentioned below. This page is added to pull all of these together and to add some more context. (See how this fits in by reading, from the Happiness section: WHAT IS LIFE ABOUT? HOW TO MAXIMIZE HAPPINESS).
'Values experienced' equals "meaning"
The value of one's life experience is...
What do I do to set up a foundation for a great life?
The bottom line
Values are something that is, to us, "of value", which usually means something that lasts. If we add value in our lives by doing things we value, then we accumulate value, in the same manner that an investment account would grow. If we just drink lattes and put no money into our figurative investment account we will just have had short term pleasure but more long term pain than would otherwise be the case .
That's hard to see as a teenager. But I notice that it also seems to be hard for "grown ups", who seem to be partially still operating at the teenager level.
Let's face it, we most often have a short term outlook: relieving our anxieties or giving ourselve short term sensations, that will disappear right away, with no lasting values.
To offset this random way of living, we need to carefully and clearly lay out our values and then fully commit to carrying them out, along with a monitoring and reminder system that will help us keep them "top of the mind" - so that we direct our efforts into what will truly add value to our lives - then we will live "rich" lives, full of fulfillment and satisfaction.
But you've got to do the "prep" process of identifying and then installing them.
Without that, you have no chance of living an optimal life!
'VALUES EXPERIENCED' EQUALS "MEANING"
Life would be a meaningless, pointless experience without values. Values are in fact that from which you can create a meaningful, fulfilling and happy life.
Since they are the essence of the uniqueness of our life experience, they are, no pun intended, the most valuable thing in our lives. And, where there is value to be derived from something, we would best spend our efforts and time deriving that value!
Does that make sense?
THE VALUE OF ONE'S LIFE EXPERIENCE IS...
The value of one's life experience is simply the sum of all of doing or being what one values (multiplied by the number of times we recall those).
In the Philosophy section we point out how essential it is to set up a strong foundation for your life by determining a clear, definite, powerful and constructive philosophy. This is what forms the basis for running your entire life - the rest is just logistics and the how to get there (which is covered in other parts of the site).
One's philosophy is not only about having 'one's perception of how the world works' be in alignment with what works in reality, but also about what one values in life - as that is what one should go toward in life. (Duh!)
It gives life meaning.
It's not success in making money or having lots of things or having favorable circumstances, though we often get most of our energies caught up in those.
It is life meaning, for you, that adds much to your happiness, on a permanent basis!
WHAT DO I DO TO SET UP THE FOUNDATION FOR A GREAT LIFE?
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is to determine what your values are, using the worksheet: My List Of My Values And How I'll Reach Them. A useful supplement is to attain the understanding of the reasoning and the whys of not basing one's life on things that one does not control, especially people and approval.
Freedom in life is attained by devoting your efforts to controlling what you can control to get what you truly want and which is truly available to you in your life.
Ultimately a life well-lived comes from living your values in terms of who you want to be, so you need to decide your Character and choose your ways of Being). Setting up Standards And Rules that support you living those values in your life is next. One type of the significant standards or rules is called "Setting Boundaries", so that what you value is not infringed on. As part of the process, although you'll do some of this in the above, is to bring this all together into determing the gap between what you want and where you are and/or who you are, by doing the exercises in Life Improvement Chart.
Put these, in the order suggested, in a separate folder or notebook while you are working on them, until you put them into the major life notebook suggested below.
Basically, values help you to set standards and boundaries, which are two of the most effective strategies in focusing one's efforts on getting what one really wants - and not including the other undesired stuff in one's life. Sticking to doing what you value the most helps one to have more positives in life and a lot fewer negatives - and that, in turn, raises the level of the quality of one's life and gives one a lot more power and happiness in life.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is:
THERE IS NOTHING MORE VALUABLE THAN DETERMINING YOUR VALUES,
and, then, of course, going after them!
So, start right now to determine what they are, even if you can't finish it right this moment. Then stick the sheets into your About Me Notebook or your Life Plan Notebook, whichever you prefer. (If you want to review these periodically you might use the notebook that is designed to do that and to be referred to daily for grounding and reminders about life: The Reminders Notebook.
SUMMARIES, FORMS, AND PLANS
Management Class - What Next", written to point up a key point
about time management, that it is most effective when we aim at values
and have a clear personal value system. (From the Productivity and Time
ACTIVITIES - Choosing Which Contribute The Most Value - A little exercise with huge life changing benefits. See what the total value is of the newly selected activities as compared to the old ones you've spent more time on. This helps answer the question of what to fill up your time with. (From the Planning section)
your values and standards is a vital process in achieving higher levels of
control over one's life. Using them to set boundaries can be very effective
in stopping wasted efforts in life. It includes a list of possible list of
standards and values to help you derive them more easily and completely.
standards and rules up front, instead of "as needed", one is far more
effective in following them - much like a teenager contemplating sex...
otherwise, temptations and short term anxiety relief rule one's life!
BOUNDARIES - Having good standards is one thing, but setting
boundaries properly is another. Knowing this can increase your
effectiveness substantially. (From the Relationships, Communication
LIFE IMPROVEMENT CHART - Actually a rating of the parts of your life as they are now versus what you want and anticipate. This helps guide one in a direction to a specific valued level of living life. Includes a form for listing the action statements to do next. (From the About Me Notebook; it is also useful in life planning.)