About Values

This is a very basic design issue, particularly critical when designing our lives: which root values motivate any of our designs is a very primal observation excercise that often doesn't get done, since we believe we (of course) know all too well what our values are.     Lots of painful experience, however, tells us otherwise.

Thankfully there's a science and a provocative model (a much more useful model than the default we usually carry) also about this, which can prevent even some major 'type 1' errors, if not a host of others which are easier to recover from.

From "The Giant Within"

by Tony Robbins


The only way we can ever fee happy and fulfilled in the long term is to live in accordance with our true values.   If we don't, we're sure to experience intense pain.  

If you or I are not clear about what's most important in our lives - what we truly stand for - then how can we ever expect to lay the fundation for a sense of self-esteem, much less have the capacity to make effective decisions?

We must remember that all decision-making comes down to values clarification. 

When you know what's most important to you, making a decision is quite simple.  
Most people though, are unclear about what's most important in their life, and thus decision-making becomes a form of internal torture.    
This is not true for those who've clearly defined the highest principles of their lives.

There is power in individuals who congruently lead lives where their philosophies and actions are one.   Most often we recognize this unique state of the human condition as an individual with integrity.


"In our personal & professional lives, as well as on the global front, we must get clear about what is most important in our lives and decide that we will live by these values, no matter what happens.

This consistency must occur regardless of whether the environment rewards us for living by our standards or not.  

We must live by our principles even when it "rains on our parade", even if no one gives us the support we need.

The only way for us to have long-term happiness is to live by our highest ideals, to consistently act in accordance with what we believe our life is truly about.

But we can't do this if we don't clearly know what our values are!

This is the biggest tragedy in most people's lives: many people now what they want to have, but have no idea of who they want to be.   

Getting 'things'* simply will not fulfill you. 

Only living and doing what you believe is 'the right thing' will give you that sense of inner strength that we all deserve.

Tony Robbins

Get Clear on your Values

Vídeo de YouTube

There are lots of techniques to get at what our real (core) values are.
The one described in the video above is just one of many, and may not fit you.

Another one would be to imagine you have won a large sum in the lottery (for real!), say of 500,000€, and you need to figure out how to spend it.      It's important that you do that in an intuitive way (we usually lead people into a relaxation excercise so they can 'dream' this scenario as realistically as possible) and really feel the satisfaction or importance of spending the money on the things you choose.   After feeling into the fantasy, write down on a piece of paper exacty how you would budget spending that amount. 

Only after going through the excercise as honestly and authentically as possible, you can start to analyse WHY you chose those budgets (relative values) and what they show about your core values.    

It is fun (or at least revealing ...) to do this together with your family, friends or colleagues.

Below is a plainly analytical way of prioretizing your values.   To distinguish between means and ends values, think of why you want something you say is a value for you.

Eg. if you value 'Competence', is there another value behind that or do you value it for it's own sake?  
Meaning, do you maybe want to be competent to be admired, or to feel more secure, or because you want to be closer to someone with a particular competence?  

In which case your end values might be Admiration, Security or Closeness.  

Asking the same kind of questions again of those may make you realize even those are just means values, and asking 'why' of those may bring you closer to your ends values.

Personal Values 

Select the Top 7 Personal Values for you

Accountability Achievement Adaptability Ambition Attitude Awareness Balance (home/work) Being the best Caring Coaching Mentoring Commitment Community Involvement Compassion Competence Conflict Resolution Continuous learning Cooperation Courage Creativity Dialogue
Ease with uncertainty Enthusiasm Entrepreneurial Environmental Efficiency
Ethics Excellence Fairness
Financial stability Forgiveness Friendships Future generations Generosity Health Honesty Humility Humor/fun Independence Integrity Initiative Intuition
Job security Leadership Listening Making a difference
Open communication Openness Patience Perseverance Professional Growth
Personal fulfillment Personal growth Power Recognition Reliability Respect Responsibility Risk-taking Safety
Self-discipline Success Teamwork Trust Vision Wealth Well-being Wisdom 

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)
There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

What are values?

To value something means to place importance upon it; anything that you hold dear can be called a 'value'.  Here we are specifically referring to life values, those things what are most important to you in life.

For this kind of vaue, there are two types: ends & means.

If I ask you "What do you vaue most?", you might answer, "Love, family, money . "  Of these, love is the end value you're pursuing: in other words, the emotional tate you desire.  

Conversely, family and money ar merely means values.  In other words, they are simply a way for you to triger the emotional states you really desire.  


The challenge in life is that most people are not clear on the difference between means and end values, and therefore they experience a lot of pain.   So often people are too busy pursuing means vaues that they don't achieve their true desire: their ends values.

The ends values are those that will fulfill you, make your life rich and rewarding.   One of the biggest challenges I see is that people keep setting goals without knowing what they truly value in life, and therefore they end up achieving their goals and saying, "is this all there is?"

from The Giant Within by Tony Robbins