A discussion about happiness, wellbeing, mental health, or whatever you want to call it, must soon get around to values. What are your values? What is most important to you? What can you not do without in your relationships, your job, your social activities? What values do you want your kids to have? Your husband or wife? Your friends?
Any search on the internet on values will come up with a list of values to choose from. The list itself doesn’t really matter, what matters is whether you can find 3 or 4 or 5 values that mean something to you. Here is a list taken from Grant and Greene’s (2001) Coach yourself: make real changes in your life:
Beauty & aesthetics
Being with others
Change and variation
Control over time
Fun and enjoyment
Freedom to choose
Interaction with public
Power and authority
Pick five, and then consider each one separately. How are these values displayed in your life right now? In your work? In your home life? In your hobbies or other activities? With your family?
Think, too, about where these values came from. From your upbringing? Were they important to your parents as well? Or are they the opposite of what your parents valued? Do they fall into line with the culture at work? Do you work there because you agree with the values there, or did you have to bend your values to fit in there? Perhaps the values you are living by came from somewhere else? Which values would you prefer to live by?
Perhaps, too, the values you’ve chosen are your own, and yet you find that they are getting lost in everyday life. There isn’t the time, or the money, to help others, or to be as creative as you would like. Or perhaps you have all the power and money that you could want or expect, and it still isn’t enough…
Questions like these can start you on the road to being happier than you are now.