How exciting is life for you right now? How fulfilled do you really feel? If you know you could be happier, but you are not sure where to start, read on. There are many factors that influence how happy or fulfilled you feel of course, and today I want to focus on the most powerful of these.

If you want to be happier, the first and best place to start, is to see how many of your values are currently being lived out in your life and to what extent.

When you are the happiest in life, it is because most of your values are present in that moment and when you are the most upset or frustrated, it is because they aren’t. It might sound simple, yet most people don’t even know what values are, let alone their own.

Values are the things that you enjoy most in life, those things that take up most of your time really easily and what you do without external motivation. The more aligned you are with living your values, the happier you are.

To identify your values, simply think about those times when you felt the most alive, those peak moments in life. What made them so happy for you? What were you doing, who were you with, what was happening?

The opposite works as well. Think about those times that you got really upset, angry or frustrated. What caused this, which value was suppressed in that moment? If you feel like you are being cornered into a situation, your value might be freedom for example.

You can also think about the things that are really important for you in life, your ‘must-have’s’ – those things you absolutely have to have in your life to feel balanced.

When you know your values, you will really understand why you act the way you do, and get angry when you do or what you need to have to be happy in life.

It is not only important to you know your values, but other people in your life as well. What are your partner’s values, your siblings, and your colleagues? When you understand what is important to others as well, you will understand them more and in turn, the quality of your relationships will improve.

Other benefits of knowing your values:

1. Goal setting
If your goals are not aligned with your values, you will struggle to take action on them.

2. Making decisions
If you make a decision and the ‘consequence’ or ‘result’ does not contain your values, you will regret your decision down the line.

3. Prioritize your time
Time is limited, we only have 24 hours. What you decide to do with your time, how you want to spend it, is influenced by your values.

When you are clear on your values, you will be able to prioritize your time better to ensure that you spend time on what is important to you.Values help you to prioritize how and what you want to do with your life.

4. Productivity
Before starting any task, I believe it is important to create the mental environment you want to be in first. This way you can perform the task as enjoyably, effortlessly, and effectively as possible. When you can connect what you are working on to your values, you will immediately be more motivated and inspired to take action.

You will also approach the task differently, because now it has more meaning for you.

Activity – Identify your values

  1. Think about what is important to you, identify a few values. Download instructions here if you need additional guidance or search for a list of values from the web to help you.
  2. Look at the values and rate each from 0-10 – how present they are in your life right now. 0 being the lowest.
  3. If you rate any of your values lower than 5, I would recommend working towards getting those values back into your life first. Think about what you need to do to change this and have this value more present in your life. What needs to change or happen to make this possible?

Only you know what will make you happy in life. If you don’t, then start by getting clear on your values and you are half way there!

To your Success

Kirstin ODonovan

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