Values are the concepts that define the way of thinking, behavior and beliefs of an individual or a group of individuals such as an organization. Personal values are the principles and guidelines which a human being lives by and determine the attitude and opinion of the person with regard to various aspects of life. Collectively, the personal values of an individual can be referred to as a personal value system which is a set of the things that they highly regard. They vary greatly form one individual to another and are considered to be based on subjective views of life by the individuals. Personal values of an individual may be sourced from and be influenced over time by one’s personal experiences in life, the media, family, technology and the way they are socialized. However, personal values that are learnt in early childhood may survive the test of time as one grows up and hardly fade away.
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Personal values of people are exhibited in religious beliefs, political affiliations, love for one’s country or family and decision making on personal matters. It is believed that identifying one’s own personal values and applying them in day to day life helps one to live a fulfilling and happy life as they can easily overcome dilemma and conflict of interests. Though some people do not recognize personal values, it does not mean that the values do not influence their life since they do hold views on the aspects of life. It is therefore, very important to identify one’s personal values as early in life as possible as they help us to sail through life with relative ease by understanding ourselves and what we stand for.
Personal values go a long way in shaping our destiny in life and this is the major reason why one should recognize them and making plans and life decisions. Otherwise, one could find themselves in a situation of dilemma, confusion, indecisiveness and conflict of interests. Take for instance a married man with three young children who has a great value and attachment to his family but has takes up a job as a long distance truck driver. This means that he will be away from home majority of the time. He will not be close to his family anymore. With time, he will start to find dissatisfaction in the job because it deprives him of the opportunity to be with his people whom he values more than the job. This may breed conflict of interest and dilemma as he weighs between keeping the job and quitting to be with his family. Consequently, this will affect his performance and productivity at work. Such cases do occur because people make decisions that are not in line with their personal values or, because they overlook their personal value system when making decisions in life.
It is advisable to parents to nurture their kids’ personal values right from early childhood as this will help them to handle life’s complexities with ease and choose a well defined path to their destiny in life. Although factors outside family such as the medial, friends and education play a major role in shaping one’s core personal values, family plays the biggest role since it is where life and molding of a child begins.