Values – By Martin Grant MSc

Values – By Martin Grant MSc

What do you think of when someone asks you to name an example of a value?  I have often asked myself the same question and I’m sure that like me, you think the traditional values that are commonly mentioned such as loyalty, discipline, integrity and love as examples.

It turns out that values are the specific belief systems that we have about that which is most important to us.  Here is the first dilemma in setting values: you have to be honest with yourself, and if you’re not honest with yourself then you cannot place value on your own values.  Asking yourself to be honest is difficult, as you may not like your own answer.

They are the fundamental, ethical, moral and practical judgments that we make about what is right and wrong.  This is our internal moral compass and it guides us accordingly.  As such, values direct our motivation and, in the same way, can be described as either toward or away from.  Similarly, whether operating at the conscious level or unconscious level, they guide our every decision and ultimately determine our behaviour and results.

What happens, however, if you do not have a clear idea as to what is most important to yourself and what your values are?  As a result of this you may do things and, then afterwards, you find that you are unhappy with yourself.  This is a type of “internal conflict” that arises because of opposing sets of values that conflict with each other.  Although you might take action at one level (conscious), there is a part of you (unconscious) that does not believe that what you are doing is right.

This type of internal conflict invariably results in failure and you end up feeling bad about yourself.  How many times have you not really tried at something and then, when you don’t get the result, you feel bad about yourself?  Not about the result but knowing you could have done better yourself.  This is often the case at work, at school and or perhaps going to the gym as an example.

In order to get the results that we want in our lives, we have to have a clear and fundamental sense of who we are, what really matters.

Values by Martin Grant MSc., Director Learning and Development, was originally published June 29, 2015.  See more about Martin and original post at