What Are Your Personal Values? - Peter Boolkah

Values are the guiding principles in our lives, and they can help us make decisions that align with what we believe to be right. But values aren’t always easy to identify or define. Knowing your values is critical to understanding yourself and living an authentic life. Clarifying your values will give you direction when making big and small choices. It will also help you focus on what matters most to lead a more meaningful life. This article will explore how to discover your values and use them as powerful tools for self-improvement and success.

DISC Personality Assessment - Peter Boolkah

What Are Personal Core Values?

Personal values are deeply held principles and convictions that guide your behaviour, decisions, and interactions with others. Jim Collins, the renowned author of Good to Great, was one of the first to investigate personal core values in depth. He found that organizations that lived by their values had significantly better business results than those that didn’t. A set of personal values can help you stay focused on what’s important to you, keep you motivated when times get tough and make it easier for you to make difficult decisions. They provide a roadmap for how you should live life and will serve as the foundation for any decision or action you take.

Having a clear set of values can lead to greater success because it helps you stay on track and true to yourself. Knowing your values can help you prioritize what matters most and make decisions that align with who you are as a person. It also makes it easier to identify opportunities that align with your values, so you can focus on those rather than simply taking the easy route. In short, personal values provide structure for making decisions and ultimately determine what kind of life you’ll lead. So it’s essential to take the time to define them and live by them every day!

How are personal values formed?

Personal values are formed through a combination of life experiences, influences from family and friends, and one’s reflections. Life experiences can shape how an individual perceives the world around them. Family and friends provide further insight into what is important to an individual. Finally, individuals can take time for self-reflection and decide which values are personally meaningful.

These values guide decisions throughout life as individuals strive towards their goals. Values give people direction and purpose in life as they make choices that align with what matters most. Understanding values are essential for reaching greater self-awareness and developing meaningful relationships. It can be a powerful tool to help individuals live their lives more authentically. With a deeper understanding of personal values, individuals can make sound decisions that align with their beliefs and ultimately lead to greater life satisfaction.

The process of forming values is ongoing as people experience new things, meet new people, or reflect upon previous experiences. Life is ever-changing, and so too, are our values. Being mindful of what we value and why can help us stay true to ourselves and recognize when it’s time to adjust our thinking or actions. Taking the time to understand your values is essential to becoming the best version of yourself.

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What is a personal values system?

A personal values system is essentially your set of guiding principles. It’s a way to prioritize the things most important to you- family, career, financial security, or something else. Having an established sense of what matters most to you can help provide focus and direction for decision-making. It also gives you something to strive for – when making tough choices, if an option aligns with your values, it could be the right choice. Establishing a values system isn’t necessarily easy – it takes time and self-reflection to figure out what matters most to you. But once it’s in place, it serves as a powerful compass for navigating your life and making purposeful decisions.

Your values system can evolve as you mature and gain more life experiences. As your views and beliefs change, so too can the way you prioritize and make decisions in line with these core principles. This is why revisiting your values regularly is a good idea – it helps keep them up-to-date and relevant to the present moment. A well-defined values system can be an invaluable tool for helping you stay true to yourself and live with purpose!

Why are core personal values important?

Core personal values are essential to living a more meaningful and fulfilled life. James Clear, an author of Atomic Habits and expert on habits and performance, says that values “are like a guiding light that helps us stay aligned with our goals daily.” They give us direction and remind us what is most important when making decisions. Values help drive our behaviour by providing standards for how we should act in different situations.

As James puts it: “Values provide clarity in times of confusion and guidance when we feel lost or uncertain about the future.” Through understanding your values, you can gain insight into what matters most to you, which can help you make better decisions day-to-day. This can lead to a richer and more fulfilling life. Ultimately, your core values enormously impact who you are and how you live. It is essential to take the time to identify and prioritize them to ensure that your actions reflect what is truly most important to you.

Are personal values permanent?

Personal values are often seen as permanent and unchanging, but they can be quite flexible. People’s values can evolve due to changes in their environment or life circumstances. For example, someone who values financial security may become more willing to take risks if they experience economic hardship. Similarly, someone who grew up with religious beliefs may re-evaluate those beliefs when exposed to new ideas or cultures. It is important to remember that our values can be fluid and open to change. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide how we want our values to shape our lives and decisions.

12 Examples of Personal Values

Personal Values - Peter Boolkah



Dependability is the quality of being reliable, trustworthy, and responsible. Dependability refers to the ability to deliver results or services that meet expectations consistently over time. It includes features such as availability, reliability and maintainability


Integrity is the practice of being honest and having strong moral principles, especially when it comes to upholding one’s own values. It involves being responsible for one’s actions and adhering to a code of ethics based on trustworthiness and respect. Integrity means following through with commitments, taking responsibility for mistakes, and honouring your word as an individual or as part of an organization.


Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. It’s a mental strength that enables an individual to face difficult situations and follow through with their actions. Courage is essential in life for taking risks, standing up for what one believes in and making important decisions. It can also be defined as bravery and moral strength to do what is right despite potential dangers and difficulties.


Sustainability is the practice of using natural resources responsibly and preserving them for future generations. It involves developing and maintaining practices that ensure social, economic, and environmental well-being for current and future generations. Sustainability involves creating a cycle of production, consumption, disposal, reuse or recycling in which resources are used efficiently and responsibly.


Well-being is a holistic concept that includes physical, mental, emotional, and social health. It encompasses aspects of life such as having good relationships and feeling connected to people, being able to access resources to meet daily needs, having meaningful work or hobbies and having a sense of purpose in life. Well-being also involves personal growth and development.


A family is a group of people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption and form an emotional bond. It includes parents, children, extended relatives and other individuals who share a strong relationship with each other. Family provides love, security, companionship and many other important roles in life. A strong family can help build a thriving society for generations to come.


Adaptability is the capacity to adjust or alter behaviour in response to changing circumstances. It is an important trait that enables individuals and organizations to cope with unexpected problems, identify opportunities, and make decisions quickly based on the current state of their environment. Having adaptability helps ensure success, no matter what situation arises.


Self-respect is the sense of pride, worth, and confidence in oneself. It is an inner recognition that one’s abilities and character are worthy of appreciation and respect from others. Self-respect reflects self-esteem, which is fundamental to achieving sustainable fulfilment and joy in life.


Uniqueness is the quality of being distinct or special from all other things. It can be based on characteristics, traits, or qualities that are exclusive to one individual or thing. This could include physical attributes, personality traits, talents, abilities and skills. Uniqueness is what makes each person and thing unique and helps them stand out from others.

Personal growth

Personal growth can be a core value because it’s an important part of our lives. It involves becoming more aware of ourselves and changing to become the people we want to be. We can choose how we grow and develop; this sense of control is empowering.

It’s important not to judge ourselves too harshly as we grow. We’re all on our journey and have struggles, so we must be kind to ourselves. Personal growth isn’t about being perfect – it’s about learning from our mistakes, reflecting on them, and improving.

Personal growth is a process of self-discovery, learning, and growth. It is a conscious effort to become a better version of ourselves through reflection, challenging our limits, and developing positive habits. We can make changes to create a life we’re proud of, which makes us feel fulfilled.

By making personal growth part of your values, you can progress towards becoming the person you want to be. It’s a way of committing to yourself and your goals and developing yourself into a better version. It’s about taking responsibility for our lives and choosing how we want to grow. Personal growth isn’t something that happens overnight – it is an ongoing process that involves dedication, focus, and hard work. But if you make it part of your values, it will become a priority for you and help you achieve your life goals.



Flexibility can be a great core value in your personal life and help you navigate different situations. It allows you to adjust quickly to changing circumstances and find solutions that work for everyone involved. It also helps you become more open-minded when faced with difficult decisions or conflicts. By being flexible, you’re more likely to be able to come up with creative solutions that can help you resolve problems in beneficial ways.

Flexibility also allows you to adapt easily to different environments and consider the opinions of those around you, which is important for building strong relationships. Ultimately, flexibility as a value makes it easier for you to stay calm and level-headed in tough situations and helps you make well-rounded and beneficial decisions for everyone involved. By taking a flexible approach to life, you’ll be more likely to handle any situation with poise and grace.



Open-mindedness is a personal core value because it encourages us to consider different perspectives, challenge our beliefs and assumptions, and look at things from new angles. It can also help us become more tolerant and accepting of different points of view and life experiences. Being open-minded allows us to explore possibilities that we may not have otherwise considered, and it can help us break down barriers that may have previously been preventing us from achieving our goals.

Furthermore, it encourages us to be creative in approaching problems and ideas, allowing us to come up with new solutions that are outside the box. Ultimately, open-mindedness allows us to become more knowledgeable and well-rounded individuals. It allows us to understand and appreciate worlds beyond our own, helping us become more compassionate and accepting of others. Open-mindedness is a powerful core value that can propel us towards personal growth and success.

7  Best Tips for Defining Your Own Core List of Values

1. Think of the times when you were happiest

Remembering the moments when you were happiest can help to reveal your core values. These could be from experiences at work, with family, outdoors or even in a book – any moment you felt fulfilled and content. When we remember and reflect on these times, our values are more likely to become clear as they often drive us toward these experiences.

2. Think of the moments you felt the least satisfied

The idea behind this tip is that when you think about those moments, you can understand why you felt unsatisfied. From here, you can identify what values were missing and determine which of them you want to ensure are part of your core list. For example, if your job left you feeling unfulfilled, you could list values like respect, challenge, and collaboration as important in your life. That way, when you choose what to do and where to work, you’ll better understand your desired outcome.

Thinking through these moments can help you uncover which values are most essential for your well-being and guide future decisions. This is why Thinking of the moments you felt the least satisfied is a great tip when Defining Your  Values.

3. Pay attention to what stories inspire you

Paying attention to the stories that inspire you is a great way to define your values. Reflecting on the stories that motivate you will help you identify your core beliefs and ideals. Stories are powerful because they can give us perspective and insight into how people overcome challenges or strive for success. They can remind us of our potential or encourage us to strive for what we believe in.

Recognizing the themes that resonate with you in stories can help you uncover your core values and define your identity. Paying attention to inspiring stories is an important part of self-discovery and personal growth. It can also help you form strong relationships with others, as it can offer insight into the values and beliefs that you share. Taking time to focus on stories that inspire you is a great way to define your values and shape your identity.

4. Find out what makes you angry

It’s important to take the time to figure out what makes you angry because it can help you make better decisions when it comes to setting your values. Anger is a natural emotion; we all feel it at times, but understanding what triggers that emotion in yourself can be incredibly helpful in defining your values. Once you know what makes you angry, it’s easier to avoid situations that could lead to that emotion and focus instead on values and actions that bring out your best.

This helps you make decisions that align with what matters most to you, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life. It also allows you to recognize better when something is not in line with your values, so you can make the necessary adjustments and move on. Overall, figuring out what makes you angry is incredibly useful in defining a list of values. It helps ensure that you live a life aligned with what matters most.

5. Review the accomplishments you’re most proud of

When you define your values, you must consider what accomplishments are most meaningful and impactful to you. This can be a great way to help identify which values are truly important in your life. Taking the time to reflect on your achievements makes it easier to narrow down this list, as it allows you to focus on what you value and prioritize most. Finally, it can provide a great sense of pride and motivation to aim higher and strive for even greater success in the future.

By reviewing your accomplishments, you can better discern which values are most meaningful and important to you. This will help you create values that reflect what’s truly important to you and serves as a guide for the future.

6. Imagine your ideal world

Imagining your ideal world is a great tip when defining your core list of values because it can help you to identify and focus on what matters most. It allows you to think beyond the immediate environment and examine how all elements of life—including relationships, career goals, education, health, finances, and community involvement—fit together to create an environment of fulfilment and satisfaction.

The process allows you to prioritize your values and decide which are most likely to support the life you want to lead. This will help you make decisions that align with what is meaningful instead of simply going along with something because it is expected or accepted.

7. Prioritize your top values

Prioritising your top values is a great tip when Defining Your Core List of Values because it helps to focus on what matters. Depending on the situation, our values may change over time, but having a list of values we live by provides a baseline for decision-making and allows us to be more intentional about how we live our lives according to our values.

By prioritising your top values, you can ensure they remain at the forefront of your decisions and actions. This way, you will be able to more easily align your actions with what is important to you and have a better sense of life satisfaction. Overall, creating a prioritised list of core values is important in helping you define who you are and what matters most to you.

List of Personal Values

Living by Your List of Personal Values

1. Create a list of priority values

Creating a values list is important in setting priorities and staying focused. Making this list can help you focus on what matters to you and your values when other things get in the way. It can also be a great reminder of why you are doing something or where you want to go. Writing down your values can help make decisions easier and can help you stay on track when things get tough.

Taking the time to make a values list can be one of the best investments you make in your life, helping you to stay true to yourself and work towards your goals. By understanding your values and why they’re important, you can ensure that every decision is aligned with them and that you’re taking steps in the right direction.

2. Use values to set goals

Using values to set goals, you can better navigate career and personal life decisions. Values are an important part of making a decision – they help guide you in the right direction and make sure that your decisions align with what’s most important to you. Whether it’s career success or relationships within the family, having clear values gives clarity when making a decision. With values in mind, you can consider all the options available to you and make decisions confidently. Taking the time to identify your values and use them to set goals is an invaluable exercise for career and personal success.

3. Strengthen your values with good habits

Good habits are the cornerstone of any successful life. They help to solidify your values, giving you the strength and conviction to take on life’s challenges. Good habits help us stay focused, motivated, and purposeful. They provide a framework for our daily lives which helps to keep us grounded in our core beliefs, allowing us to meet goals and build rewarding relationships.

4. Practice Inner Work

Practising inner work is essential in bringing your values to life. It involves getting in touch with your true desires and needs beyond what others may want or expect. Inner work helps us delve deep into our subconscious and uncover hidden feelings, thoughts, and beliefs essential for living a life of purpose and fulfilment.

It allows us to recognize our limitations and make conscious choices that are true to our values rather than just following the expectations of others. Inner work helps us to be more mindful and aware of how we interact with ourselves and the world around us, ultimately bringing greater understanding and clarity into our lives. We can bring our core values to life through regular inner work practice and live in alignment with them. This will lead to a more meaningful and authentic life experience.

Inner work can be practised through meditation, journaling, mindful movement, or any other form of self-care that helps you connect to your inner self. It is essential to take the time to explore what is important to you and allow yourself the space to feel, observe, and understand your values. As you become more in tune with yourself, this knowledge will reflect your daily decisions and how you live. Practising inner work is essential to bringing your core values to life.

5. Allow for exceptions

It is possible to make exceptions when living by your values. For example, if one of your core values is health and you are offered a piece of cake at a party, you could decide to indulge in the cake once in a while as an exception. It’s essential to be mindful of such decisions and ensure they don’t become a habit. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the context in which you are making an exception and ensure that your actions don’t hurt or harm anyone else.

For example, if one of your values is to be respectful of others, but you decide to break this value when speaking with someone at a party, this could hurt that person. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the potential impact of exceptions when living by your values. Ultimately, living by your list of personal values should not be an inflexible rulebook but a guide to help you make conscious choices and decisions. Exceptions can be made, but they should always be evaluated in the context of their potential impact on yourself and others.

Final Thoughts

Identifying your values is a valuable exercise that can help you make better decisions, stay true to yourself, and live with a greater purpose. After all, understanding what matters most to you helps guide how you spend your time and energy each day. Plus, when things get tough—like during an unexpected career transition or challenging relationship—your core values will remind you of who you are and why it’s important not to give up. So take some moments today to consider what makes life meaningful for YOU! With this knowledge in hand, the possibilities become endless!


What are good personal values?

Good personal values are the beliefs and attitudes that help guide our decisions and behaviours. They can be anything from loyalty and dedication to honesty and respect for oneself or others. When we align our values with our career or personal life, it can bring about positive changes in both areas. Having a strong sense of personal values can give us the confidence to pursue our personal and career goals, inspire us to treat ourselves and others with respect and kindness, and encourage us to stay focused on our objectives. Ultimately, personal values help shape who we are as individuals.

It is important to regularly reflect upon your values and beliefs, as they may change over time. Adopting good personal values and living by them is key to personal growth, success, and happiness. Taking the time to explore your values can open up endless possibilities in both your professional and personal life. Doing so can help you achieve meaningful goals on a personal level and make better career decisions that further align with your values.

What are the top 3 values in life?

Everyone has their own opinion on what matters most in life. However, some values are generally regarded as being more important than others. The top three values that many people worldwide share include family, honesty, and respect.

Family is often cited as one of the most important values in life because it provides a sense of belonging and security. Having a loving family to turn to can help bring stability, joy, and comfort. Similarly, respect for oneself and others is an important value many strive for. Showing respect for other’s opinions, beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds helps foster understanding between people worldwide. This can help create a stronger sense of community and compassion. Finally, honesty is another important value in life. Being honest with oneself and others helps build trust and allows us to develop meaningful relationships.

These values are just a few examples of what matters most in life. Everyone has individual beliefs, but we can build a better world based on shared values by engaging with each other respectfully and honestly.

What are your top 3 personal core values?

Learning and growth are always at the top of my three core values. I believe that no matter what happens in life, learning something new is essential for personal development. I also strive to work hard and stay determined regardless of the challenges that come my way. My never-give-up attitude is another value of mine, and it has been a major factor in helping me achieve my goals. Therefore, learning and growth, hard work ethic, and never giving up are the three main values that I live by.

How do core values affect work?

Core values affect work in several ways. They provide the foundations for how employees interact with each other and help define an organisation’s culture and environment. A set of values helps facilitate trust between coworkers, encourages collaboration and open communication, and allows workers to focus on their roles and responsibilities. By establishing expectations for behaviour, a company’s core values can also help everyone stay on the same page and work together to reach shared objectives.

Core values may influence decisions that shape a business’s future, such as handling customer complaints or allocating resources. Having values in place creates an environment where employees are more engaged and productive, which helps the company succeed. By taking the time to define and communicate these values, a business can create an effective and efficient workplace that is focused on achieving its goals.

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