My good friend and I were having a discussion about values. And living life by your values. And that’s when we both started wondering, “Well, what are the most important values in life?” If we had to write them down on a list, which ones would make the top of the list. We sat there and gave it some thought. And then came up with this…
Values are essential as we refer to them to live a meaningful life. They mold our character and help us become the best versions of ourselves.
The values you choose to follow will influence your lifestyle and belief system. These values are passed on to other people as you interact with them, and they will use them as guidelines to live by.
Most values are passed down from generation to generation through family and societal interactions. However, it’s up to you to prioritize these values and choose how to use them in your life’s journey.
Today, we will look at some of life’s most essential values.
My Personal Experience with Values in Life…
When I first learned about values in life, I thought I understood them. What I didn’t know… is what mine actually were. When someone asked me, “What are your values? Can you write them down?” I just started to write down a list of random things.
I didn’t think it through… And understand what it really meant to live by those values. And why I was picking them.
My advice for everyone is to do that very same exercise. Learn what your values are, why you stand behind them, and what they mean for you every day.
What Are Some of The Most Important Values In Life?
Everybody has a different approach to how they perceive values. It depends on how they understand life and the way they want to live it (and potentially, at what age they’re in).
Here is a list of common values people follow in their lives.
Being kind means helping others whenever they are in need. It is a value that has been passed on since the beginning. Every religion and society preaches this value.
You have to be selfless to be kind; sometimes, it is challenging. And you get joy out of helping others when they require something. You must treat others the same way you wish to be treated.
Kindness is not just about saying good things to people or giving out food and money. It is about being thoughtful and patient in specific situations and treating people respectfully.
You also have to think about being kind to yourself when you are going through challenging times.
Sometimes we are too harsh on ourselves for making silly mistakes or forgetting to carry out some duties. You can only practice kindness towards others if you are kind to yourself.
See also: Negative personality traits
There is no other way than to work hard to achieve your goals. Hard work teaches people how to be disciplined in life. There is no shortcut to success.
When you are determined to work hard, you will learn so many things in life. You will be able to solve problems with much deliberation because the value of hard work has been instilled in your life.
You also learn to have a lot of self-control when you know the value of hard work. Working hard is complex and can be challenging most of the time. Working hard to reach your goals can break you down sometimes, teaching you how to build self-control in the future.
It also instills attentiveness in your character. You have to be attentive to all the minor details if you want to reach your goal, and you will understand these details only if you work hard without ceasing.
When you work hard, you will also understand what responsibility is. You have to carry a lot of responsibility on your shoulders if you want to reach your target. Being responsible will ensure you stay focused on getting what you want.
Working hard for success is not a recent development. It has been there since the beginning of time and is a value that will help improve the quality of your life.
See also: Worst personality traits
Empathy is a significant value to have in your locker. And empathy helps you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their situation.
Sometimes you might think that your friend is acting rude. If you take it at face value, you feel disrespected. However, if you put yourself in their situation, you will be able to understand why they are acting in that specific manner.
That helps you not to react aggressively but rather empathize with them. You understand how someone is feeling and can connect with them.
Empathy is a very vital component in building healthy relationships throughout your life. Without empathy, you will be unable to make good friends. Even if someone makes a mistake, you will be able to let it slide because you understand how they feel.
Empathy is one of the essential values to incorporate into our lives so everyone can live in peace and harmony. It gives us a better understanding of the world and helps us in the long run.
Another essential value to cultivate in our lives is the practice of being honest. We have been reading and hearing that honesty is the best policy, and that stands to be true to this day.
Honesty teaches you to be truthful no matter what circumstances you may be in. When you are honest, people will trust you more. A person who lies will never gain the trust of the people around them. The absence of honesty in your core values will make you an unreliable person.
When you are true to yourself and others, you will also have no fear of any consequences. Being truthful can bring you to hurt sometimes, but you know it is the best thing for you in the long run. No matter what happens, the truth will always surface, and you will win.
Being honest helps you to be confident in all situations. Honesty is also about being truthful to oneself. Sometimes you can go through tough times which will challenge your self-confidence. In such cases, you must be honest about your feelings and what is troubling you.
Opening up and accepting the truth does not mean you are vulnerable. It only means that you are human and bad things can happen to any of us. However, being honest can free you even from the chains of misery.
See also: Female narcissist traits
Loyalty is an unspoken life code or rule where you remain devoted to one person or an organization. You prioritize one person over someone when you are loyal.
To some people, loyalty is more important than respect. To remain loyal means to support something even if you are disrespected sometimes. Loyalty means being faithful and not breaking each other’s trust.
A person will expect you to be loyal even in times of hardship. A person who is not there when you are going through challenging times is not loyal. It is impossible to choose when you can be loyal and when you cannot be.
Loyalty means sticking with someone or an organization through the good and bad times. You should not question your loyalty when your partner is going through a rough time. Instead, you should be there for your partner and lift them out of their misery.
Being loyal means you are giving your allegiance to another person, no matter the circumstances. Loyalty can also have adverse effects sometimes if you are not wise. If being loyal to something is going to hurt your loved ones badly, you have to revisit your priority list.
However, loyalty is not a value everyone can boast of having. You have to prioritize something over other things when practicing loyalty.
Many people believe that being courageous involves not fearing anything. However, that is not the truth. The truth is courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to face it.
Being able to pick up your courage takes a lot of self-convincing. Courage doesn’t just appear at your doorstep whenever you are in doubt. You have to muster up the will the face your fears.
You must do what needs to be done even if you fear doing it. And you cannot continue worrying about your boss’s words if you ask for a raise.
Whether your boss accepts your plea is not your problem. All you have to do is muster up the courage to approach him and tell him why you need the pay raise. Whatever happens after that is their headache to deal with.
Being graceful is a value only some take on board. It takes a lot of patience and understanding to be elegant in all situations. An anxious person cannot be graceful.
Only a person who is down to earth can adopt this unspoken value. Many people are blinded by their pride and forget to be graceful when they are winning in life.
When you are grateful, you calm down everything around you. There is less anxiety surrounding you, and people find some comfort in your presence. Graceful people will never look down on others or put them down.
The sense of calmness graceful people bring with them is almost therapeutic. They do not burst out in anger and would rather talk out any problems calmly and composedly. This also affects the people around them and instills some consciousness in their minds.
People who follow the value of gracefulness are said to be emotionally intelligent. This is the reason they do not let their emotions get in the way of their judgments.
Humility is a value that teaches us to be humble even when we achieve greatness. Being humble means not having any arrogance and always looking to learn from all sections of people.
You cannot be humble and boast at the same time about your importance or achievements to others. Humility teaches us to acknowledge what we don’t know, even if we are seated in high societal positions.
Respecting people’s opinions and understanding their origin makes a person humble. You have to be able to listen to people’s views and understand their plight.
Being humble is also about knowing when to reach out to others for help. If you know you cannot get something done yourself, you should not let pride stop you from asking for help. Reaching out to others for help is humbling, and it makes you understand that nobody is invincible.
When you are humble, you will not be interested in praise or being the center of attention.
Being grateful for what you have been blessed with takes little effort. You have to learn how to be thankful for your life.
Many people do not have an ideal home to live in, or they cannot afford to have three meals a day. Some are homeless, some are physically disabled, and some suck in hospital beds for the rest of their lives. When you, as a healthy and non-disabled person, compare yourself to such people, you must be thankful for the life you lead.
Learn to be grateful for even the most minor things that happen to you, like someone opening the door for you, bringing you something to eat, etc. Being grateful will also teach you to be humble and disciplined.
In this modern day, you will find fewer genuine people. People wear masks and parade around like it’s their true selves. However, you have to stay true to your authentic self.
You must show your authenticity and live your life according to your rules. Most people succumb to the pressure of being judged by society and acting like someone they are not.
Standing up for yourself and speaking the truth will emancipate you from the chains of fakeness. Some people may not take a liking to you, but that should not be a problem. You cannot please everyone in this world.
The people who know you for who you are will always be there for you, no matter what. The people that despise you will not like you even if you give them everything you have. So, it is essential to stay true to yourself and not let societal standards dictate how you live.
Conclusion—Most Important Values in Life
It is essential to carry values that will be beneficial in your life. You have to pick and choose which values you think will suit how you want to live your life.
The most important values are humility, honesty, kindness, loyalty, empathy, etc. As long as you cultivate these values, you will lead a respectable and content life.
So, it is crucial to incorporate some values in your life, and make you a better person. Accordingly, you can also teach your children about your belief system and pass it down to them.
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.