Your core values are everything. These are your inner compass when you’re making every day decisions. And it’s living up to your core values which will make your life a fulfilling one.
How do you know what your values are? You’ll know once you think about it for long enough because it’s been with you all along. If you think about the important decisions you’ve made in the past, you’ll soon realise that your reasoning behind all these were aligned to your core values which you probably weren’t consciously aware of at that time.
To help you, find a list of core values here.
My core values
To demonstrate, here are my five core values in life at this moment.
- Will I be able to grow from this experience?
- What can I get from this experience and how can I make the most of it?
- Will this experience be an achievement?
- Will this experience be something that I’ll be proud of in the future?
- Will this experience allow me to be creative?
- How can I be creative?
- Will this experience allow me to make wiser decisions in other aspects in life?
- What will I be able to learn from this experience?
- Will this experience allow me to be who I am?
For example, when I finished my bachelors degree in architecture and engineering, I was always so sure that I wanted to pursue architecture. This meant that I had to continue studying to get my masters. So the following year, whilst working almost full time, I started part time Masters in Architecture. Then after a semester, I quit and decided it wasn’t right for me.
Why? I think the main reason was that I wanted to be able to grow fast in my career. If I pursued the traditional architecture path, I would have had to at least study for 3 years doing Masters of Architecture part time whilst working full time. And I would be doing architectural conceptual exercises which I would have very little value in the real world. Once I spent all that time studying, I would then have to climb up the architecture career ladder which would be very competitive and demanding. I wasn’t ready for that.
Meanwhile, I was working in project management and I felt that project management would be an exciting career. I could be creative in a lot of different aspects, learn to make wise and informed decisions and be involved with many interesting projects. So the year after I quit Masters of Architecture, I started Masters of Project Management online so that I could grow and learn more about project management.
Looking back, I’m glad I made this decision. Although I didn’t know it at the time, these core values were driving many of the reasoning behind why I wanted to change.
Now, whenever I am faced with a decision I ask whether these align with my core values to make the best decision for myself. When I am faced with a situation that I should make the most out of, then I ask myself what I can get for each of the core values.
So what are your values and are you living your life according to them?
Actions you can take:
- Pick 5 values from this list
- Write down questions to help you align your decision to your values
## Photo was taken along the Yarra River in Melbourne.