Nov 02

Personal Values Education – Knowing What You Need and How to Get It

Tag: * Top Rated,Happiness,Personal Growth,Self EsteemBeth and Neill @ 7:45 am

To Get What You Need You Have to Know What You Value

magnifying-glass-valuesDo you ever find yourself unsure of what you “need” in a situation or what would be the “best” thing to do? Would you like more confidence that the decisions you make are not sowing the seeds of regret? If so, you may be intrigued by our response to this question from our community: “What’s the difference between [tag-tec]values and needs[/tag-tec]?” This is our attempt at a very brief education about [tag-tec]core human values[/tag-tec] and a look at how to develop what we call your [tag-tec]Values Intelligence[/tag-tec], or V-IQ.

[tag-tec]Values Intelligence[/tag-tec]

Let’s start by defining what we mean by [tag-tec]core human values[/tag-tec].

The word value originates from the Latin word “valere“, which means “be strong, be well, be of value,” and is also the root of the word “valiant.

We define [tag-tec]human values[/tag-tec] as:

What’s most deeply important to a person, without reference to specific people, places, actions or times.

Human values are the landmarks that guide a person’s choices so their actions are in harmony with what is most meaningful to them. They are what a person finds most important or motivating at the deepest level.

[tag-tec]Examples of Core Human Values[/tag-tec]

To be clear about this. here’s a very brief list of things we would describe as [tag-tec]basic human values[/tag-tec].

Accomplishment Discovery Leadership
Adventure Enjoyment Mastery
Autonomy Experience Play
Beauty Harmony Pleasure
Compassion Health Relatedness
Connection Inspiration Self Expression
Contribution Integrity Spirituality
Creativity Inter-Reliance Support

Again, this is a very brief list of examples of core values. Your most important [tag-tec]personal values[/tag-tec] may exclude some that are on this list, and may include many others which don’t appear here.

You may notice that things such as: air, food, water, shelter, etc. are not on this list. That’s because these are not what we would call exclusively “[tag-tec]human values[/tag-tec].” These fall more in the category of things that are valuable for sustaining life in whatever form.

The important thing to pay attention to when reviewing this list is the last part of our definition. You’ll notice that each of the words in the values list describes something “without reference to specific people, places, actions or times.” If they did, we would call these “strategies” rather than “values.”

This distinction plays an important role in answering the next question.

What’s the Difference Between [tag-tec]Values and Needs[/tag-tec]?

By definition, a need is: a lack of something useful, required, or desired. Therefore, if we don’t consider something useful, required, or desired, we can never be in need of it. As a corollary to this, we cannot “need” something unless it is lacking.

In short: you can’t need it if you don’t value it or if you’ve already got it.

There are a few benefits from shifting our understanding of these words in these ways. One is that by using these definitions we naturally turn our attention to what we value that’s missing in a situation, rather than dwelling on what is lacking that we “need.” This turns our attention from what we don’t have to what we want, which is a much more powerful perspective for identifying our options.

Second, we all know how quickly someone can become “one to avoid” if they always express themselves in terms of their needs. Have you ever heard someone describe someone else by saying, “They’re just too needy!”

But expressing what we want in terms of what we value allows others to relate to us in terms they can identify with. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone reacting negatively to someone “valuing” everything in the [tag-tec]examples of values[/tag-tec] listed above. You’ll probably never hear someone say, “They’re just too valuey!”

The Importance of Knowing What You Value

Everything we’ve covered so far was intended to bring us to this point. We can now take a look at the critical importance of being able to identify your own, [tag-tec]personal core values[/tag-tec], which is this.

If you misidentify what you value, it’s likely you’ll misidentify what you need, which makes it likely that you’ll develop strategies that will satisfy neither what you need nor what you value.

This is why we believe it’s so important that people begin to develop their [tag-tec]Values Intelligence[/tag-tec], or V-IQ. We understand this as your ability to:

  1. Know what you value
  2. Identify what you value that’s missing in a situation
  3. Develop concrete, actionable strategies to begin experiencing what you value
  4. Take only actions that are in harmony with your values
  5. Measure your success by whether you’re experiencing more of what you value

In this process, identifying your personal values is the first step in knowing the most valiant actions you can take in any situation. In fact, we’ve found no better way for a person to begin experiencing a truly “valuable life” than developing their V-IQ.

If you’re new to our work you may be interested in knowing that we offer a free values exercise worksheet.

This is designed so you can use it in any situation or relationship in your life to determine what you value most–the first characteristic of [tag-tec]values intelligence[/tag-tec].

If you’re interested in developing the other four aspects, subscribe to this blog, read our articles, or visit our store. Helping people with their “[tag-tec]values education[/tag-tec]” is a core part of what we do.

10 Responses to “Personal Values Education – Knowing What You Need and How to Get It”

  1. Eloy Courseault says:

    The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

  2. dev says:

    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

  3. Jackelyn Broadus says:

    Okay article. I just became aware of your blog and desired to say I have really enjoyed reading your opinions. Any way I¡¯ll be subscribing in your feed and Lets hope you post again soon.

  4. Emanuel Landrie says:

    I hope you will keep updating your content constantly as you have one dedicated reader here.

  5. dan says:

    I think I need sometimes more then I value. It’s easier to need then to say the word value. Value is such a respectable word, where the word need is just easy. It’s easier to need something then it is to value something. Value comes from many different inner places, and maybe when it’s not getting met, we tend to need more of those things. Just my personal opionion.

  6. Monica says:

    I think values and needs fluctuate depending on 1.) What are our economic conditions 2.) What are our emotional conditions . 3.) Our past

    One with very low income (barely can afford a piece of bread) NEEDS money, thus VALUE his employers (which dosent mean he respects them), more than someone who is relaxed with his life. (read – never worked).

    If the first man (the poor guy) wins a 10 mln$ in lotto, hes values and needs will change immediately.
    The exact same thing happens when a richman becomes poor.

    Their needs will change but NOT swap because of their past living style.

    Just my thoughts, but maybe – at the end of the day, we are all the same ?

  7. Tim Lyon says:

    Fantastic article. I don’t see this being very different than Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once you get past the “Safety Category”—(Security of body, resources, morality, the family, health; and property).

    I believe whatever you need must also be valued in order for it to manifest itself in your life. Such as: relationship with friends, family, achievement; personal growth, independence; etc. However, something you value doesn’t necessarily have to be a need such as: certain foods you eat, formal education, a particular religion; athletics, etc. Thanks for an interesting, thought-provoking post.

  8. James says:

    I think a lot of our younger generation is not aware of the difference between values and need. It is best that we should teach our children values that they need to practice. We should be a good example to our children the importance of NEED and WANTS.

  9. David says:

    Great well written article – personal values education is more important than college education IMO

  10. Scott Bennett says:

    It is refreshing to see an articulate and well thought out presentation of a new IQ category. Much like emotional intelligence, these attributes tend to be most difficult to measure, yet they do, in my opinion, form the most important criteria for measuring IQ. Fantastic article!