In the game of life, values are the most important driving forces in everything that you do, from the way you live to the way you work and everything in between.

Having a clear understanding of your deepest values and how they influence your present moment and future opportunities can help you live with sense of purpose, happiness, and a life filled with joy.

The best way to illustrate this is with the following example.

Let’s take two people, James and John. They are both the same age, the same sex, they’re both educated; they have the same training and they both work extremely hard toward the realization of their most important goals in life. Let’s assume that one of their most important goals is to achieve financial independence. However, there is a seemingly small difference between them. They have a different sets of values that govern their lives.

James is upright in everything he does. He shows respect for human dignity no matter where in the world he is. He is humble and always grateful for what he has. On the other hand, John is a self-centered person and willing to achieve his goal by any means necessary.

James is highly ethical with good moral standards that he had set for himself, and he wants to rise to the top with honesty even if it is a little harder and even if it takes a little longer. John on the other hand grabs every opportunity he can take – whether it is the right one or not – to fulfill his needs and desires.

It is obvious that John is more likely to achieve his goals and become financially independent in the shortest amount of time possible than James.  However, by having a lousy philosophy, he’s also more likely to end up in jail and ruin his reputation and future opportunities.

To attain the highest level of satisfaction in life, you should always be aware of the true values that are governing your life on a daily basis. And the best way to do that is to define your most important values in the most important areas of your life. That’s the way most successful people do.

The best way to do that is to determine your top governing values for each of the most important areas of your life.

For example,

For your personal life they could be:

  • Awareness
  • Compassion
  • Gratitude
  • Humbleness
  • Openness

Your career or professional life could be

  • Expertise
  • Professionalism
  • Organization
  • Strategy
  • Efficiency

For your financial life they could be:

  • Passive Income
  • Financial Independence
  • Frugality
  • Simplicity
  • Thrifty

For your spiritual life they could be:

  • Inner growth
  • Balance
  • Purpose
  • Meditation
  • Soul searching

The more segmented and organized you think about your values, the more effective you’ll be as a person in managing your life in all the most important areas.

Going back to the above scenario about John and James, the beauty of having conscious, good, and positive values rely in the fact that even if you don’t achieve a goal – in this case, financial independence – just by having such values that alone could lead to living a more happy and fulfilling life.

For example, James has a habit of being grateful. By having this value, he will be content with what he has rather than focusing on what he doesn’t which subsequently leads to having the highest level of satisfaction when you achieve your goals and a sense of joy when you don’t.

A great place to start developing a good set of values is by increasing your level of awareness by observing your own set of values as well as those around you and start making necessary changes to support the lifestyle you want.