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What are Core Values and Why They Matter in Life

What are Core Values and Why They Matter in Life

Dec 31, 2023

Dwight Johnson Jr

In the quest for personal growth and meaningful living, understanding your core values is essential. But what exactly are core values, and why do they hold such significance in our lives?

What Are Core Values? 

Core values are the fundamental beliefs that deeply influence our behavior and perspective on life. They are the guiding principles that dictate our actions and reactions in various situations. Whether we're aware of them or not, everyone operates based on a set of core values. Our core values are what differentiates us from others and makes us unique, shaping our identity and interactions with the world.

The Importance of Core Values

  • Decision Making: Core values serve as a personal compass, guiding our choices and ensuring they align with our true selves.
  • Personal Growth: They are the foundation upon which we build our character and pursue our life's aspirations.
  • Relationships: Our core values shape how we interact with others and determine the nature of the relationships we form.
  • Career: They influence our career choices, guiding us towards roles and environments that resonate with our beliefs.


List of Core Values

  1. Acceptance: to be open to and accepting of myself, others, life etc
  2. Adventure: to be adventurous; to actively seek, create, or explore novel or stimulating experiences
  3. Assertiveness: to respectfully stand up for my rights and request what I want
  4. Authenticity: to be authentic, genuine, real; to be true to myself
  5. Beauty: to appreciate, create, nurture or cultivate beauty in myself, others, the environment etc
  6. Caring: to be caring towards myself, others, the environment etc
  7. Challenge: to keep challenging myself to grow, learn, improve
  8. Compassion: to act with kindness towards those who are suffering
  9. Connection: to engage fully in whatever I am doing, and be fully present with others
  10. Contribution: to contribute, help, assist, or make a positive difference to myself or others
  11. Conformity: to be respectful and obedient of rules and obligations
  12. Cooperation: to be cooperative and collaborative with others
  13. Courage: to be courageous or brave; to persist in the face of fear, threat, or difficulty
  14. Creativity: to be creative or innovative
  15. Curiosity: to be curious, open-minded and interested; to explore and discover
  16. Encouragement: to encourage and reward behavior that I value in myself or others
  17. Equality: to treat others as equal to myself, and vice-versa
  18. Excitement: to seek, create and engage in activities that are exciting, stimulating or thrilling
  19. Fairness: to be fair to myself or others
  20. Fitness: to maintain or improve my fitness; to look after my physical and mental
    health and wellbeing
  21. Flexibility: to adjust and adapt readily to changing circumstances
  22. Freedom: to live freely; to choose how I live and behave, or help others do likewise
  23. Friendliness: to be friendly, companionable, or agreeable towards others
  24. Forgiveness: to be forgiving towards myself or others
  25. Fun: to be fun-loving; to seek, create, and engage in fun-filled activities
  26. Generosity: to be generous, sharing and giving, to myself or others
  27. Gratitude: to be grateful for and appreciative of the positive aspects of myself, others and life
  28. Honesty: to be honest, truthful, and sincere with myself and others
  29. Humor: to see and appreciate the humorous side of life
  30. Humility: to be humble or modest; to let my achievements speak for themselves
  31. Industry: to be industrious, hard-working, dedicated
  32. Independence: to be self-supportive, and choose my own way of doing things
  33. Intimacy: to open up, reveal, and share myself -- emotionally or physically – in my
    close personal relationships
  34. Justice: to uphold justice and fairness
  35. Kindness: to be kind, compassionate, considerate, nurturing or caring towards myself or others
  36. Love: to act lovingly or affectionately towards myself or others
  37. Mindfulness: to be conscious of, open to, and curious about my here-and-now
  38. Order: to be orderly and organized
  39. Open-mindedness: to think things through, see things from others points of view, and weigh evidence fairly.
  40. Patience: to wait calmly for what I want
  41. Persistence: to continue resolutely, despite problems or difficulties.
  42. Pleasure: to create and give pleasure to myself or others
  43. Power: to strongly influence or wield authority over others, e.g. taking charge,
    leading, organizing
  44. Reciprocity: to build relationships in which there is a fair balance of giving and taking
  45. Respect: to be respectful towards myself or others; to be polite, considerate and show positive regard
  46. Responsibility: to be responsible and accountable for my actions
  47. Romance: to be romantic; to display and express love or strong affection
  48. Safety: to secure, protect, or ensure safety of myself or others
  49. Self-awareness: to be aware of my own thoughts, feelings and actions
  50. Self-care: to look after my health and wellbeing, and get my needs met
  51. Self-development: to keep growing, advancing or improving in knowledge, skills,
    character, or life experience.
  52. Self-control: to act in accordance with my own ideals
  53. Sensuality: to create, explore and enjoy experiences that stimulate the five senses
  54. Sexuality: to explore or express my sexuality
  55. Spirituality: to connect with things bigger than myself
  56. Skillfulness: to continually practice and improve my skills, and apply myself fully
    when using them
  57. Supportiveness: to be supportive, helpful, encouraging, and available to myself others
  58. Trust: to be trustworthy; to be loyal, faithful, sincere, and reliable

Identifying Your Core Values

Identifying your core values involves introspection and honesty. Reflect on the times you felt happiest or most proud, and consider the underlying values that led to those feelings and select your top 5. Or you can take a test.

My top 5 core values are:

  1. Fitness
  2. Freedom
  3. Self-development
  4. Intimacy
  5. Challenge

Live Your Core Values

Living in accordance with your core values means making choices that consistently align with them. This alignment leads to a more fulfilling and authentic life. Core values are more than just ideals; they are the essence of who we are. Understanding and embracing them is key to living a life that is true to ourselves.

Plan Pursue Protect

Tailored Tip

Align your life's compass with your core values for a journey that's authentically yours.