A personal value system is a set of principles or ideals that drive and/or guide your behavior.
Your personal value system gives you structure and purpose by helping you determine what is meaningful and important to you.
It helps you express who you are and what you stand for.
If you are unaware of, or become disconnected with your values, you end up making choices out of impulse or instant gratification rather than on solid reasoning and responsible decision-making.
Your values define your character . They impact every aspect of your life including:
- personal and work behaviors
- your interactions with family, friends and co-workers
- your decision-making processes
- the direction you take in life.
This is why it is so important to know what you value, why you value it and what precedence it takes in your life.
Four Categories of a Personal Value System
Personal Values – Personal values are those traits we see as worth aspiring to, and that define our character.
Spiritual Values – The values that connect us to a higher power and give us a sense of purpose beyond our material existence.
Family Values – To love and care for those we are close to; our children, our parents, other family members, and our friends.
Career Values – The best use and expression of our talents and skills for the purposes of contributing to society and for monetary compensation.
Which values do we as social beings find desirable?
No matter what tradition we are brought up in, there are characteristics we value in others which transcend social, economic and religious boundaries. Some of these characteristics are:
Integrity is trustworthiness, honesty and uprightness of character. We value people of integrity because we know what to expect from them. We know they will act honorably and that they will do what they think is right. We want people with integrity as our friends, on our teams and in our organizations.
Respect is honoring the worth and dignity of all people. Those who respect others treat them with fairness and courtesy. They treat others the way they themselves wish to be treated.
Loyalty is a commitment and faithfulness to a person or cause. Those who are loyal to their family, friends, organizations and country stand behind and support them during good times and bad times. They can be counted on to be there when the going gets difficult and to help out when the chips are down.
Those who accept responsibility are reliable, dependable and willing to take accountability for who they are and what they do. They believe they have a moral obligation to help others and to make a contribution to the society they live in.
No matter what values we choose live by, it is vital that we look at the big picture, assess what we want our role to be, and map out how we intend to conduct our lives.