Your Values

Your values are an indication of what you stand for.

I’ve found it very empowering to see them prioritized in front of me.

This exercise will help you choose the values that matter most to you and then prioritize them.

Once you know your values I would recommend you put them somewhere where you can easily see them, so that they will guide you when you have difficult decisions to make.

The exercise itself has been around for quite some time in various forms (, so I can’t take any credit for it. Here’s the gist of it.

Discover your values
Choose approximately 10 values from this Values List and write them down on individual bits of paper. They need to be on individual bits of paper so you can shuffle them around easily. (If you have come up with a value that’s not on the list just add it yourself)

After that it’s simply a matter of comparing values and consciously deciding what’s more important to you.

Sometimes it’s so hard to choose between similar values that you might as well combine them. For example “Love” and “Compassion” could become “Love / Compassion”.

When you’re all done enter all of your values in your favorite text editor, then (optionally) number them and print them off. Then put them where you can easily see (and use) them.

The list doesn’t always have to represent you as you are now; it could also represent how you want to be. Then whenever you encounter a tough decision you simply look at your values and make the decision accordingly.

Your values will almost certainly change as you change, so try and revive them every now and then.

Tinkering with your values list after you’ve printed the ‘final’ version is normal. 😉

My values
1. Be the best that I can be
2. Focus / Clarity
3. Justice
4. Willpower
5. Courage
6. Certainty
7. Love / Compassion
8. Health / Energy
9. Family / Fun
10. Bring out the best in others

I’ve also written a software version for Windows that allows you to do this exercise at home (or maybe bring it to school).


Have fun!