Finding Meaning in Your Life: What are Your Values?

Part of finding meaning is being sure that we are living according to our values. The deep inner feeling that we are doing the “right thing” provides a sense of fulfillment which helps us be happier. If we are not clear what our values are or that we are living according to the “right” values it is difficult to feel that sense of fulfillment.


Below is a list of values adapted from Value Cards provided by Suzanne Hazelton in her book Great Days at Work. The original document can be found on her web site at As you read each one, rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 meaning it stirs something deep inside you, 4 meaning you can identify with it, 3 meaning you can agree with it, 2 meaning it seems like a good value but for someone else, and 1 meaning you don’t agree with it.


____    Competition – excited to keep score and to win.

____    Creativity – You like coming up with something new and different. That may be ideas or something related to the arts.

____    Excellence – You always push to do your best. If it is not as close to perfect as you can get it, it is not worth doing.

____    Excitement – Life should be full of new experiences that keep you on the edge of your seat. Better to swim, even though there might be sharks, than sit safely on the beach.

____    Challenge – You look forward to that next mountain to climb or obstacle to overcome.

____    Variety – Every day should be different. Change is not only good, it is a requirement.

____    Freedom – There is nothing to keep you from doing what you want. You can do what you choose to do.

____    Friendship – Having friends and being a good friend are key parts of life.

____    Fun – You enjoy being playful and participating in activities that make you laugh.

____    Growth – You want to be continuously developing as a person and stretching your potential.

____    Self-Expression – You seek opportunities to show who you really are through your work, your hobbies, or your habits. How you dress and what you do sends a message about who you are.

____    Abundance and Wealth – Having a big house and a nice car is an illustration of your efforts and hard work. You want to have plenty and never run out.

____    Contact/Closeness – Close personal relationships are important to you.

____    Helping Others – It is important that you reach out to others and help wherever you can.

____    Health & Fitness – You want to put in the work to be healthy and fit.

____    Autonomy – You want to make your own decisions and determine your own path.

____    Influencing – You enjoy persuading people to change and improve.

____    Honesty – You expect the truth from yourself and others.

____    Serenity – You prefer harmony to conflict. You want everyone to just get along.

____    Learning – It is important to continue to gather knowledge and grow intellectually.

____    Humor – Laughing at yourself and seeing others laugh. Finding something funny in most situations.

____    Peace of Mind – Internal comfort and confidence that things will turn out as they should.

____    Spirituality – Belief in a higher power or higher order of things

____    Justice – Fairness and equity. Everyone should get what they deserve.

____    Power – Authority or the ability to control people or resources

____    Kindness – thoughtfulness and empathy for others. A desire to be considerate of others.

____    Love – Showing, receiving, and sharing love and consideration for and from others.

____    Loyalty – Showing commitment to a person, group, or ideal no matter what the circumstances.

____    Recognition – appreciation of efforts made by yourself and others.

____    Security – Comfort that your circumstances are not going to change substantially.

____    Passion – Active involvement and excitement in deeply held beliefs.

____    Stability – Routines and patterns remain steady and predictable. Life is subject to only small and subtle change.

____    Order – Things follow a set pattern with clear logic and rules.

____    Responsibility – People should be held accountable for their actions and decisions.

____    Perfection – There is no room for error or mistakes. It can’t be appreciated until everything is done exactly right.

____    Respect – Interest in and tolerance for different points of view. Higher form of appreciation for significant accomplishments.

____    Spontaneity – Living for the moment. Immediate implementation of decisions without prolonged consideration.

____    Status – Respect for position and other symbols of accomplishment and power.

____    Belonging – Being a recognized member of a group. Identifying with a group.

____    Integrity – Sincerity and Honesty. Actions, speech, and beliefs should be in alignment.

____    Success – Accomplishment and achievement.

____    Contribution – Making a recognized impact on something.

____    Self-Respect – Treating yourself as well as you treat others. A belief or pride in who you are and what you stand for.

____    Trust – Being able to count on someone being truthful and consistent.

____    Environmentalism – Belief in protecting the earth and its resources.


Feel free to add other values you think are missing from this list. Choose your top 5 values, the ones with the highest ratings. These are the values you feel deeply about and you will not compromise for money, success, or relationships. They are a part of who you are. As you identify your Higher Purpose, anything that is not consistent with these top values will feel uncomfortable and you will be unable to commit 100% to it.

Next Week: Why We Struggle to Identify Our Values


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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

2 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    The greatest reminder for me for what makes me happy is to never forget the fun of curiosity, for it is so easy for people to replace the question mark with a exclamation mark…


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