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The Self-Discovery Digest

by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh
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Values: Our Personal Compass in the Wilderness of Life

Are you sometimes worried about where your life is headed – as though walking in unfamiliar territory without a map? At times do you feel confused about what is really important? We would love to be able to reassure you – and ourselves – that there is some profound, definitive answer or series of steps that can guarantee a sense of security and a life well lived. Unfortunately, life provides no sure bets and no ironclad directions. There is something within us, however, something we often overlook, that can be a compass for navigating our life journey. That compass is our values.

In order to tap into the power and guidance of this compass, you need to identify what matters most to you, what your personal values are, distinct from those that your culture suggests you should hold. This can be challenging for we are bombarded daily with messages exhorting us to place value on, and measure ourselves, in terms of things like:

• Money
• Material Success
• Good looks
• Flat Abs
• Knowing the “right people”
• Having a well-appointed home and a luxury car

But if you look within and listen to your heart of hearts, you can identify what you really care about. With this awareness you can use your personal values as a compass to orient your passage through life. Individual values are more likely to be things such as:

• Integrity
• Kindness
• Generosity
• Loyalty
• Resilience
• Curiosity

Some of us – maybe even you – might be lucky enough to have money, physical beauty, connections, etc. Yet every single one of us can have the good fortune of self-respect if we follow our compass. Don’t get lost in the dead-end pursuit of what doesn’t truly matter (and perhaps is not even attainable). Use these lists as a starting point to help you define for yourself what you sincerely value as well as what you do not. Get the direction, reinforcement, and assurance that only your personal compass can provide.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 8
Make a list of your values – what direction does your own compass point? Is your time and effort spent wisely in support of your values or are you too focused on values that come from others? How might your life improve if you followed your personal compass more often?

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