Defining and prioritizing your core values makes life much more simple. When you do not know what you believe, everything is an argument – everything is debatable. But when you internalize the values for which you stand, decisions are obvious. There are many benefits and reasons why you may want to define your core values. Purpose, Guidance, Confidence, and Simplicity are the benefits which led me to clearly define my core values.

Purpose

Defining your core values gives you a sense of purpose. When you haven’t clearly defined your values, you are like a falling leaf at the mercy of the wind. You make decisions based on circumstances and social pressures instead of an internalized code. You end up trying to fulfill other people’s expectations instead of your own. Living a life untrue to yourself is exhausting and leaves you feeling unfulfilled and empty. Conversely, living a life in line with your core values brings purpose, direction, happiness, and ultimately a sense of fulfillment.

Guidance

Having clearly defined and prioritized values provides a measure of guidance to every decision–big or small. When your actions conflict with your core values, the result is typically frustration and unhappiness. If you know what you believe, it is impossible to unintentionally make a choice that conflicts with your core values.

Confidence

Confidence comes from the ability to stand on a solid foundation. When you take the time to meditate upon what you value most and commit to those values by recording them in writing, you are laying for yourself a solid foundation; increasing the likelihood of having the courage and confidence to make decisions based on those values. For me, there is something about the physical act of writing down my values that makes me more committed to living them.

Simplicity

Defining and prioritizing your core values makes life much more simple. When you do not know what you believe, everything is an argument – everything is debatable. But when you internalize the values for which you stand, decisions are obvious. When faced with a choice, you simply ask yourself: “Does this action conflict with my values?” If it does, you don’t do it. Conversely, if the action aligns with your values, you do it. Instead of fretting over “what ifs” and wavering at every cross-road, you stand firm on the foundation of your values and let your internal compass guide you.