What’s important about life to you? This is one of the most important core-value questions you’ll ever ask yourself. Your values represent, at their deepest levels, what is of uncompromising importance to you. What many people fail to realize, however, is that this list of values is constantly changing as we develop and mature physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
You are not static. You’re dynamic. You’re moving in some direction at all times. Therefore, you will make many adjustments as you hit different benchmarks in your life. What was important to you five years ago may not be as vital to you today. Conversely, what wasn’t so critical five years ago may be of great significance to you now. Let me illustrate.
As a twenty-three-year-old salesperson, money was very important to me. Now, as an older successful business owner, it’s important but less so. At twenty-three, I was unmarried, and therefore time with spouse and children was not important. Now, as a husband with two children, my wife and my kids are extremely important to me. As my values change, the dynamics of my life also change—as does how I allocate my time and resources to them. The same holds true for you—whether you are conscious of the process or not.
When you discipline yourself to clarify your values, you will continually ask yourself this question: What’s important about life to me? Some people never ask themselves this question. Think of this: From now on you are going to ask yourself this exciting, motivating, provocative question again and again—and your answers will never be precisely the same.
Take some time and list out what you truly value in life. Use this as a template to gauge what you value for years to come. It's important to update it annually, because as your life changes, your values might too.