Personal values tend to define who we are as people or, at the very least, what sort of character we have. Some like to think that drinking IPAs or watching The Office for the thousandth time is a personality trait but what values we uphold in our life are what makes us who we are. Yes, our interests and hobbies are a part of what makes us who we are, but that is somewhat superficial. If someone were to describe you, would you prefer that they called you the person who has watched all of the Harry Potter movies a million times or that you are honest and dependable? It just comes down to what you want to be known for by those around you. 

Figuring out what you value

This can be a little tricky for some of us, especially those of us privileged enough to have relatively easy lives. It’s easy to say you are one thing, but living it out through trials and obstacles in life is another thing. But how do we determine what we value in ourselves and those around us? It’s pretty simple. You have to ask yourself some basic questions.

  • How do I like to be treated by strangers?
  • How do I want to be treated by friends and loved ones? 
  • What sort of character traits do I look for in a significant other? 
  • What are things that others do that tick me off? 
  • What are my goals and aspirations?
  • How would I want others to describe me?

These are just a few basic questions that can help jumpstart a conversation with yourself. Some of these are easy to answer, some not so much, and maybe some of them will lead you to ask other questions. You need to keep in mind that you have to be completely honest with yourself to really find out what you value. If you can’t come to conclusions about yourself in an honest manner, then you are wasting your time. 

Why is it important? 

Why is it important to know what sort of character traits you value in your life? The first answer is somewhat obvious. If you know what character traits you value, then you know what kind of people you want in your life. If you value honesty and integrity, you will not want someone who is known as a liar in your life. Knowing the traits you value can also help you understand why some of the things that go on in your life piss you off. If you are someone who values hard work and responsibility, then it’s no wonder the slacker who gets away with doing little to no work at your job drives you insane. 

But the number reason why knowing what traits you value is for your personal growth. If you know the traits you hold on to, you can use them to help build on your strengths and talents. And as you discover your traits and build on your strengths, then it will lead you down a path that will show you what fulfills you in life. I truly believe we all have a calling in life. Something that we all are passionate about that we have the talents and traits to do, but the only way to find it is by putting in the work to discover it. “Nothing in life worth having is easy” – Some smart person from the past. 

To Sum it up

Take a bit of time out of your day today and answer the questions from up above. Examine instances in your life where something pissed you off, and you weren’t sure why and times when you felt content. Try to pinpoint why you felt certain ways in those moments and distinguish what character traits were on display. If you need a list of character traits, you can look at this comprehensive list. Some of you might already know what character traits you value, and if that’s the case, then you should rank your top 5. For example, what are the top 5 traits that a friend should have or a significant other? What are some things they shouldn’t have? If you can do this, then you can be mindful, in life, of those that might hurt you.    

You know how I mention hobbies and interests early and how they aren’t personality traits? That was me being dramatic to get my point across. They can definitely be a key factor in who you are as a person. Sure, you can be an honest person, but if you have no interests, then you are an honest boring person. Finding a new hobby can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you even start? Check out – Trying Something New: Finding a Hobby.

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