10 Personal Values Examples and How to Find Your Own

Everyone has a vision of their ideal life. We hope to follow our values and achieve greatness.

Unfortunately, many people go through the motions of feeling stuck and unmotivated to pursue goals for themselves. It can be for numerous reasons.

A lack of passion for their work. A toxic coworker who reeks of negativity. An incompetent manager.

Even if this isn’t something you can relate to, there’s no doubt that having personal values is the first step to reaching your dreams.

What Are Personal Values?

Personal values are the things we wholeheartedly believe in. They are the core values that guide us in making decisions, big or small. Essentially, they define how we live our lives.

There are countless different values, and they vary from person to person. Some people value career success, while others highly favor family.

Your values can change over time as you experience new things and undergo personal growth.

But at any moment, your core values can help you reach your dreams and goals. They ultimately shape your actions and motives for why you act the way you do.

Why Are Personal Values Important?

Your personal values are essential because they ensure you live an authentic life that conforms to your true self. They give you a set of standards to live by and help you make better choices in life.

When you know your core values, you can make significant decisions and focus your time and energy on the things that matter most. You also avoid wasting valuable time on tasks that aren’t in line with your values.

Plus, aligning with your values makes you feel more fulfilled and content. You’re more likely to meet your goals when you behave in a way that draws out your true self. You start realizing your full potential with greater ease.

10 Examples of Personal Values

While everyone has different personal values in life, there are a few values commonly shared by many people. Here are 10 key examples to inspire you:

1. Doing What You Love

An important value is to do what you love. If you have a passion for something, it will be much easier to stick with it and be successful. Additionally, doing what you love will make you happier and more fulfilled.

2. Honesty

Another common personal value is honesty. To build trust and maintain relationships, being honest with yourself and others is crucial. Being honest will ensure you stay on the right path and make worthy choices.

3. Kindness

Showing kindness towards others can make their day and brighten their mood. Being kind can help to build strong relationships and create a positive community.


4. Living in the Present

It would be amazing if you could live in the present and not dwell on the past or worry about the future. Being mindful of the present will help you live more meaningfully and be happier overall.

5. Gratitude

Be grateful for what you have, even when things are tough. Gratitude makes you appreciate your life more and find joy in difficult times.

6. Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy, and many people strive to find ways to reach lasting happiness. While there is no guaranteed path to happiness, certain things can help, like having strong relationships, pursuing meaningful work, and caring for your physical and mental health.

7. Success

People define success differently, but it generally refers to achieving personal or professional goals. While success is not always easy to attain, it’s enriching. Pursuing success ensures you develop new skills, which can benefit other areas of your life.

8. Love

Love is between a romantic partner, a family member, or a friend. It also refers to your love for yourself or a hobby. Love is often considered one of the biggest personal values, as it can provide happiness, support, and companionship.

9. Freedom

Freedom could mean different things to people, but it can be the ability to live your life the way you want. That might be the financial freedom to do what you want, the personal freedom to make your own choices, or the social freedom to pursue your interests.

10. Peace

Peace may be about inner peace, a state of calm and tranquility within oneself. It could also involve world peace, the absence of conflict between different nations or groups of people.

How to Find Your Personal Values

Everyone should have personal values to keep them in the right direction. We need something to believe in, something to hope for. Otherwise, every day would be a constant grind.

After all, life can be arduous. Sometimes it feels like we are treading water, trying to keep our heads above the surface. That’s when personal core values come in handy.

Here are several tips for finding your personal values. You will be motivated to tackle your overarching goals and aspirations.

1. Find What’s Holding You Back

Sit down and sort through the ins and outs of your life. If you don’t shed light on what’s keeping you from living meaningfully, you’ll be stuck in the mud.

Think of the bad days when you felt downright frustrated and unhappy. List out the events that transpired. Get into the specifics about why you felt the way you did.

For example:

  • Are you no longer being challenged at work?
  • Hate how long you have to commute each day?
  • If you’re in school, is it the poor exam results?

Strategize and take complete control. Assess the part of your life that’s not going as planned. Then, readjust and fix things so that they are not repeated.

2. Discover Your Passion

This is a question that relates to your core values. In other words, what makes you wake up energized every day? What keeps you optimistic about the future?

Go straight to the whiteboard and brainstorm what can maximize your enjoyment in life. It’s crucial to take some time to discover your passion, as it will help maintain your positive energy to strive for excellence.

3. Live the Life You Want

Some people have different views toward greatness. A large part of living meaningfully is leading the lifestyle that you want. Just because everyone around you works a 9-5 job doesn’t mean you must follow suit.

After all, the world is your oyster. Nothing is preventing you from paving your own path to success.

Do you see yourself jumping around after making 1 million sales from your ecommerce business? Or do you dream of carefreely traveling the world, making a living with a camera in hand?

Before you embark on your journey, start envisioning the ideal destination first. Otherwise, you’ll be mindlessly walking around with no purpose.

4. Start Investing in a Better Future

Investments are more than just stocks and bonds. When you consciously invest in your well-being, career, and interests, you set yourself up for success.

That can come in different forms, but to give you a few ideas:

Create the foundations for a proper work-life balance. Choose how you use your time and energy wisely. When you invest in yourself, you make lifestyle changes that push you further to a brighter future.

5. Have the Patience to Play the Long Game

It’s not possible to achieve your ideal lifestyle overnight. Most people search endlessly for a quick remedy to all their problems. Sorry to tell you, but it doesn’t exist.

Instead, you should expect to take things step by step. If you are starting a fledgling business, you will likely need to wait years before any rewards come to fruition.

Unfortunately, we live in a society obsessed with instant gratification, shifting our focus away from hard work.

be your ideal self

There is no shortcut to becoming the best version of yourself. Looking around, you’ll see that success requires nothing short of a transformation.

Tips to Live By Your Values

Finding your core values and actually living by them is a whole different story. Here are several tips to give you a helping hand:

  1. Define your goals: The first step to living by your values is to define your goals. What do you want to attain in life? What kind of person do you want to be? Answering these questions will help you to develop a clear vision for your future.
  2. Create a plan: Once you have defined your goals, you need to plan how to achieve them. This plan should include both short-term and long-term goals. For each goal, identify the steps you need to complete it.
  3. Take action: After you have created your plan, it is time to take action! Start working towards your goals, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—they are part of the learning process.
  4. Stay committed: Living according to your values will not always be easy, but it is key to persevering through difficult times. Remember why you are doing this, and keep your eye on the prize.
  5. Enjoy the journey: Being true to your core values is an exciting process leading you to new and beautiful places. So savor every moment and have fun.

Final Thoughts

You’ll only be the ideal version of yourself when you take steps to ask, “What are my personal core values?” You’ll pinpoint areas of weakness that need improvement and boost your chances of reaching your dreams.

With the right amount of sheer grit, you will be closer to the life you truly want. When you finally get unstuck, all your effort will be worthwhile.

Life will no longer be too much of a chore. You’ll surely return to your youth and get a new lease on life, like a withered tree sprouting fresh leaves in spring.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.