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Know Thyself: Know Your Values to Enhance Your Life


Ever wonder what drives you to think, believe or do something? The answer is your values! Values are each person’s North Star that helps guide, make sense, and maneuver through life. In this blog you will learn what values are, what are the “four agreements” and a call to action!


A value is what a person deems to be important: the weight placed on a value is determined by each individual’s life experiences, upbringing, and cultural background. When we stay true to our values we may feel like our heart, mind and actions are in alignment. When we don’t acknowledge, communicate, or act in accordance with one’s values a person may feel tension and dismay. Hence it is important to have clarity about your values, and to illustrate them through your actions.

  • Terminal Values are the long term goals that one is striving for such as financial security, freedom (ex. more time, and options to choose from), and wisdom. 

  • Instrumental Values are the daily habits that help one to accomplish what they want in the present moment, and pave the way for the terminal values. Examples of instrumental values include being responsible, forgiveness, and courage. 

  • Example of Values

    • Ambition

    • Boldness

    • Compassion

    • Determination

    • Empowerment

    • Family

    • Generosity

    • Humor

    • Integrity

    • Justice

    • Kindness

    • Love

    • Motivation

    • Neatness

    • Optimism

    • Patience

    • Quality

    • Respect

    • Sensitivity

    • Thankfulness

    • Unity

    • Vision

    • Wealth

    • Xenopile

    • Yielder

    • Zeal



woman enjoying nature

The Four Agreements

As an example of values and the importance of them, we are going to discuss the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, which highlights four core values, standards, the Toltec’s lived their lives. The Toltec’s was a civilization that lived in central and southern Mexico before the 12th century. The Four agreements consist of: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personal, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. 

1st-Be Impeccable with Your Word- Words have the power to give life or death; to inspire or to demotivate. Don Miguel Ruiz compares words to a virus; he shared that when we gossip or speak ill it infects ourselves and those around us. It is important to be more intentional about the choice of words one uses in their self-talk, and when communicating with others. We get to choose if we are going to plant a garden of weeds or flowers that are rooted in love. 

2nd-Don’t Take Anything Personal- No matter what someone says or does it has nothing to do with you. To reference Michael Corleone in the movie The GodFather, “It’s not personal. It is strictly business.” Each person operates due to their own values, triggers, agenda, and so forth. This value challenges us as human beings to practice humility, because it’s a reminder the world doesn’t revolve around us. The benefit of this value is that we can be liberated from dwelling on trying to answer how someone behaved in a certain way, and keep the focus on one’s self (the only person you do have control over and have knowledge of). 

3rd-Don’t Make Assumptions- Don Miguel Ruiz said, “The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions.” Assuming is a shortcut way of trying to get an answer about ourselves, or someone else without having sufficient information. Assumptions are typically wrong, because there can be an infinite amount of reasons someone says or does something. When we assume it unfortunately deprives us from getting to know ourselves or others. The opposite action of assuming is being curious and communicating. 

4th- Always Do Your Best- We are invited to be intentional in doing our best in everything that we do. Our best will look different when we are sick versus feeling healthy or when we are doing something we are passionate about versus something we don’t particularly enjoy, etc. Doing one’s best helps us to live our lives more authentically, and helps promote the opportunity to grow. “Do your best and forget about the rest.”

Now that you have gained more knowledge about what are values and the four agreements, we invite you to ask yourself: What are your values and how do you implement them in your life? 

  • Make a list of values you connect with and identify what are the top 5 most meaningful values to you. 

  • Turning values into action by identifying what is important to you and implementing it throughout your week. For example if you value family: being creative to see small ways you can connect with them (ex. calling/texting, or eating a meal with them). 

  • First Agreement: Be more intentional about observing the choice of words you use with yourself, keep using/expanding on your current positive vocabulary, and replace your unhelpful words with more helpful words. 

  • Second Agreement: Do your best to begin to limit the amount of time taking things personally from others behaviors, and bring the focus back on you.

  • Third Agreement: Ask, Ask, and Ask more questions! When in doubt ask more questions to avoid assuming. 

  • Fourth Agreement: See how you can have fun and put forth effort in all that you do no matter how big or small; because what you do matters. 

In conclusion in the words of Albert Einstein, “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value. For more resources like this, please check out our other tips here .  You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services.

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