Know Your Values, Increase Your Happiness

I watched a reality TV show last night featuring couples who are experiencing marital issues. At one point I found myself nodding my head and smiling wryly.

One of the partners in a couple featured on the programme was engaged in a one on one discussion with a relationship coach.

The coach asked her to sum up the nub of the relationship problem, to which she answered: “We just seem to have different values.” The coach probed for more information: “What exactly are your top values?”

At this point, the woman started to stutter and stammer before, in a questioning manner, finally spitting out a few generic values, while eyeing the coach for approval.

“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.”

– Roy E. Disney

Know your values

Knowing your values (continued)



In my experience, people like to bandy the word ‘values’ around and even pass judgement on the values of others, without ever really having done any deep introspection into their own values.

Many people believe that their values are a product of how they are raised and are therefore cast in stone. Some consider values to be a kind of unwritten moral code that good people should live up to.

In fact these are, at best, part-truths.

The concept of values is far more simple.

Values play a pivotal role

Your values, quite simply, reflect what you consider to be most important in life. Your values are neither cast in stone nor are they beyond your control to change.

As every person is unique, so too are their values. In an ideal world, values would never be judged, or labelled as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Values are what they are. After all, in a world of free will, who has the right to tell someone what it is they should or should not find most important in life?

For all of this, one’s values do play a pivotal role in guiding one’s actions and behaviours and it is therefore important to get to know what they are and to adapt or substitute them if they are not serving you in leading the life you want.

Perhaps surprisingly, as I mentioned earlier, most people have only a subconscious connection with their values.

Bringing values into conscious awareness

Many values are taken on board during one’s upbringing and formative education and are never questioned or revisited after that. But, as life advances, what is most important to people changes … and the disparity can, unknowingly, become a source of serious internal conflict.

New Insights life coaching places great importance on bringing client’s values into their conscious awareness, in the knowledge that awareness must precede positive action.

Conducting a deep introspection into your most important values, how you took them on board and whether they are still appropriate to guide you in leading the life you wish to lead, is in most cases both eye-opening and liberating.

A realisation that is a source of great joy

In our experience, many clients are left bemused by the fact that they had never consciously questioned or thought to change their values. The realisation that they do indeed have the free will to design their own value systems to enhance their lives, is usually a source of great joy!

When your life has changed or moved on, subconsciously trying to live up to outdated values – that were foisted on you by well meaning parents, teachers, peers or communities – can take its toll.

If you regularly find yourself expressing or thinking about what it is you ‘ought’ to do or how you ‘ought’ to act, without feeling emotionally invested in such action, then this may be a symptom.

Invest in life coaching

Please, do yourself a favour. Invest in life coaching. Uncover your top authentic values and the priority you assign to them and then find out how to live your life such that you regularly and consistently experience that which you value so highly!

In a follow up post I’ll explain why consciously knowing and choosing your values, while vital, is not enough to guarantee a happy life. I’ll introduce you to a concept that represents the direct opposite of your values, that, if not come to terms with, can block your efforts without you realising it!

This is the official Blog for New Insights Life Coach Training. Find out more about life coaching and becoming a life coach here:



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  1. Brightness
    Feb 2, 2018

    It is quite enlightening how as life coaches can encompass the whole notion of value systems and how certain values can enhance or impede a client into moving forward in positive direction. Values may change or even violated when faced with life-altering situations or experiences. How can this knowledge be brought to light to client in an encouraging way.

    Thank you Bill for making us realise how values can have an impact in how we conduct coaching with clients.

  2. Brightness
    Feb 2, 2018

    It is quite enlightening how as life coaches can encompass the whole notion of value systems and how certain values can enhance or impede a client into moving forward in positive direction. Values may change or even violated when faced with life-altering situations or experiences. How can this knowledge be brought to light in a client

  3. Lindiwe
    Dec 6, 2017

    Thank you Bill. I will certainly remember this piece on importance of values when I commence with my coaching sessions.

  4. Mashilo makola
    Nov 2, 2017

    Great stuff! I used the concept of values with one of my clients who came to her values session confused about conflicting appointments/commitments. After taking her through the concept of values and how she can use her values to prioritise her appointments/commitments she was excited about how simple it was to make a choice on her conflicting commitments

  5. Nomase
    Nov 2, 2017

    Thank you Bill , great article for a call to action from a marketing perspective. You make us look really good with these insightful pearls of wisdom for sharing via our social platforms.
    Looking forward to the follow-up piece.

    Real appreciate the ‘value’ of belonging to the NI community .

    • Bill
      Nov 2, 2017

      I’m please it adds value for you Nomase!

  6. Wendy Winter Bowman
    Nov 1, 2017

    My little granddaughters are now in nursery school and grade O and are very responsive to my suggestions. Being kind, understanding that unpleasant people are really sad, taking the lead….all those things and many more fall on fertile ground at this stage. The basics of coaching are the most satisfying things I have found in my life and I had an awful lot of religious schooling.

    • Bill
      Nov 1, 2017

      Thanks Wendy 🙂

  7. Billy Theunissen
    Nov 1, 2017

    I spent many years in turmoil about values and of late have explored the value system based on the Biblical teaching in the Bible. I finally get a grasp on the value system and base my teaching to my customers by setting Attitudes right to core values. Reading your blog on the importance of bringing them to realisation and to constantly remind yourself of them is a great inspiration to myself. We all know that Christianity has a set value system far from the worldly ones and bases on our belief system on can not force change on individuals but one can certainly influence change by convincing individuals of how by setting personal experience in core values.
    Bill thanks for the insight on identifying core values and developing life patterns around the core value system.

    • Bill
      Nov 1, 2017

      You’re very welcome Billy!

  8. Karen
    Oct 18, 2017

    The time spent reflecting on ones values greatly enhances the value of the New Insights Life Coaching programme. A pivotal session it truly is, Bill. My core values are written in my journal and I find it useful to regularly remind myself of them.

    • Bill
      Oct 18, 2017

      Thanks Karen!!

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