Happiness and Values

Often times we may make decisions and lead our lives based on what we are told to do or what we believe we are expected to do. While there is nothing wrong with allowing others to help us or influence us in positive ways, we may find ourselves feeling as though something is missing. This often occurs when we are not living a life congruent to our values. Values are things that are near and dear to us that are not necessarily influenced by factors such as, societal expectations, morals, religious beliefs, etc. Rather, values are desired qualities of ongoing action and they help us make life decisions, such as what job to pursue, when to start a family, or whether you should go back to school. For instance, if you are someone who values knowledge, going back to school may seem like the right choice for you. Take a moment today and ask yourself, “What do I want my life to be about? What do I want to stand for?” Once you identify your values, take it a step further and brainstorm ideas of how you can engage in actions that are congruent to those values. Here are some examples of values:

  • Knowledge
  • Adventure
  • Caring
  • Loving
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Family
  • Health
  • Leisure

Keep in mind— values are not goals. They are a way of living and when we live a life congruent to our values, we feel fulfilled!