Becoming A Person of Value

“Try not to become a person of success but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein

Every person has intrinsic value. Your very existence is a gift to the world, in ways you are not even aware of. This post is not about that kind of value. Rather it is about the conscious values you live by, which determine your character.

What are your values

“We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.” – Gloria Steinem

If asked what our values are, most of us give textbook answers. “God, family, and hard work.” “Contributing to my community.” However, our real values are not what we think they are. They are what guide our actual decisions. Here’s how to examine your true values.

1. Your expenditure

What are your top three expenditure items? We put our money where our hearts lie, and so what you choose to spend on are the things that are really important to you. If you spend a ton on books and courses, your value may be self-education and improvement. If the money went to clothes and handbags, you value appearance more.

2. Your time:

Look at your schedule. The things you set aside time for are those that really matter to you. Some parents are shocked when they realise they have not put aside any scheduled time for their children, even though they say their kids mean everything to them.

3. Your thoughts:

If you keep a journal, scan through your entries quickly see what has occupied your thoughts in the past few months. Or look at your goals in life. If you are aiming for career-related success, then financial well-being or social status could be your desired values.

Perceived and actual values

I used to think I valued time with my family. But a quick look in my journal revealed that I was spending my free time at Starbucks reading a book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. I just came to realise that I really valued “me” time more.

There is nothing wrong with valuing “me” time. The underlying philosophy is that if I can sort myself out and be happy, that’s one person less the rest of the world needs to worry about. My love of reading and improvements to my thinking that brings about will also hopefully help someone someday.

“You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself.” – Marcus T Cicero

Be a person of value

Accept yourself for whatever real values you hold. They are what make you who you are. Don’t feel that you “should” have other values instead.

At the same time, see if you want to make some lifestyle adjustments to follow more closely the values you hold dear. I now make it a point to schedule time with family, and brew my own coffee at home!

For a more detailed guide on how you can live a life of value, read The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life.

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39 replies on “Becoming A Person of Value”

I humbly thank you so much for the teaching. And continue doing what you are doing.

Hi Liara,

That’s an interesting comment. It can take time to discern our true values, and these also change over time. Yours is a profound thought – that words may not be enough to capture something as core to our being as values. Thanks for this comment.

@ Evelyn, I too find that values make decisions much easier and faster. If a person routinely has problems making decisions, it usually boils down to not having clear values. Thanks for this wise comment.

@ Arswino, it’s always a pleasure to have you here and leaving your very positive comments. I appreciate it.

@ Trey, it’s great that your values matched up. I find that people in your position tend to be happy and fulfilled in life, so well done on your part! Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

I think that this is a great exercise.

For the most part, my true values matched what I thought they were. But there’s more I can do to find a common ground in between.

Thank you for this, Daphne!

Hi Jennifer,

I must apologise that your comment has only just appeared. It went into the moderation queue, which I find inexplicable.

Your post on the Charles Hobb book was excellent. I love the advice to write it in the action tense and elaborate in a paragraph what this means. I will do that with my blog motto soon.

Great minds think alike? Of course! 🙂 After all, your principles for peace help people to live joyful days! I’m delighted that we have found this synergy between our blogs. You’re more than welcome for the link love – I should thank you for that post which was perfect for me to link to in this post.

Thank you very much for the comment and Stumble, Jennifer.

@ Alik, welcome to Joyful Days! Thank you for visiting and commenting. I agree with you that values are the basis of all our major decisions, including blogging!

@ Liara, you are absolutely right. We do not have to try to be anything. Just knowing who we really are is sometimes enough. I appreciate your kind words.

Hi Daphne, great reflection here. I love the way you wrote. You have reminded me about my value.
Thanks for sharing, Daphne. 🙂

Having a set of values is definitely important to help us navigate our way. They keep us grounded. In the event when we need to make a decision, we can always go back to our values and check if an option resonates.

Hi Mark,

I am grateful that you understood my intent fully – not to judge but to be more aware of our stated values as they are expressed in our actions. I like your use of the word ‘expressed values’ in this context. Thank you for this comment, Mark. It made my day.

Hi Davina,

Good on you for already living your values! And for the humility to keep reading till the end anyway. That’s the spirit of a true learner and I really admire that. Even I sometimes skim through my own posts! 😉

Glad you liked the Cicero quote – he said it beautifully, didn’t he? And Davina, you are already of value to yourself and I know that you are to others as well.

Hi Snigdha,

Why am I not surprised to hear that you’ve already done this exercise? 😉 I’m impressed that you actually quit your job after doing it… truly walking the talk. And that you’re still thinking about it as a paost-time is great. Thanks for sharing this!

Daphne, you are giving the world value by sharing great posts like this and sharing joy with so many.

Thank you for this reminder. This is such an important lesson and one that I needed to revisit. Actually, I’ve kind of been doing that over the last couple of days. This gives me more to think about. I came across something very similar to this a while back in the book, Time Power, by Charles Hobbs. It was a little more thorough, but very similar.

OK, this is getting a little scary. This is like the second time we have written about the same thing. What’s the saying?? – “Great minds think alike.” 🙂

Thanks so much for the link love also. I’ve been working on my “shoulds.” I think this lesson on values and the shoulds really do go hand in hand. When we live our values and goals there are no shoulds in our lives – no guilt.

I’m gonna give this a stumble.

Values are the basis for me in everything:
– family
– work and career
– creative interests
– personal development
– friendship
– love
– blogging

It is great writeup stressing once more that values are the basis for anything. Bad values or lack of it cannot get any good results. That is my take.

I love how you presented this exercise on values. This is truly valuable to all of us and it is non-judgmental. There is no right or wrong value, simply a question do we live as we think, that is, what are our expressed values compared to our perceived values. Excellent! I will be using this.

@ Vikum, you made a good point about our loved ones reflecting our deepest values, and perhaps could even tell us what our values are because they can observe us more objectively from a distance. That’s a great point, one I didn’t think of. Thanks for the thought. I’m glad you find value in my posts, and thank you for saying so. I am grateful.

@ Tess, you certainly walk the talk, and little Henri benefits from your deep sense of personal integrity! That’s so heartwarming to know that you dropped everything for family – that’s truly living your value. I’m full of respect, and am working on being able to do that myself. Thanks for the inspiring sharing, Tess.

@ Stacey, you do strike me as being a fun person, while at the time getting some serious stuff done. That’s a delightful combination. Yes we bring different things to the table and should celebrate our unique selves and values. You clearly love yourself, your values and your life. That shines through and your upbeat spirit lifts everyone around! Thank you for being here.

@ Sara, welcome to Joyful Days! I appreciate your specific explanation of what you liked about this post – it will help me in my future writing. I wandered over to your blog rightaway since I knew someone who could write this specifically and succinctly would be well worth reading. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment, Sara!

Hi Daphne. This exercise surprised me! I learned that I’m spending most of my time living my 3 values: honesty, creativity, and community. But… I still read through to the end of the post anyway 🙂

I loved that Marcus T Cicero quote you used!

hey… got me thinking, I swear … not so much on what my values are ( that has been my favourite pastime for quite sometime now, one of the realisations which made me quit my job) but on the results when I carried out the exercise suggested by you !! Thanks for this eye-opener .


I loved this post. You combined just the right ingredients – a dash of humor, lots of thought-provoking information about our values, flavorful quotes – to make this post a wonderful meal well worth consuming.


Excellent questions – ones I’ve asked recently. It is important to live true to your values no matter what they are. We’re all different, and bring different things to the table. I value family, health, volunteering. I see my family quite often, I’m very on top of my health and I volunteer in a number of women’s organizations. I love every minute of how I spend my time. In addition I value fun!

@ Lance, if you have some work to do, imagine the labour before me! Other things have a way of demanding priority over what we really value, and it’s a balancing act to keep coming back. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Lance.

@ Jay, congratulations on writing down your values! Putting things in black and white is usually the first step to getting them done so you’re on your way. And I’m glad the long sentence worked for me – it was kind of an experiment! Thanks for the feedback, appreciate it!

@ Juliet, thank you for sharing the post on Stumble. I’m always humbled when someone finds my post useful enough to share. I am grateful.


Mine are spirituality, family and health. I have a new grandson in MI and my daughter’s nanny quit. I live in AZ and told her last month if she ever needs me I’m available.

Two weeks after making the promise I flew back and stayed for the week. I dreaded going to the snow and cold but also new I would get to know Henri. What a lovely week we had!

She called yesterday and said he was cranky all day on Sat. I replied, “He must have missed me.”

Life is wonderful when we are committed to walking our talk!

Hi Daphne 🙂 ,

Your valuable ideas of finding our real values urged me to think about it further. And I think, by observing our closest ones also we’ll be able to find our real values.I mean we can understand what are we mean to them and what are they love most about us.
Plus I think you are very good at personal spirituality posts.Because every time I read them, I find them inspiring me. Thanks a lot.

@ CG, your comments are always full of good cheer and positive vibes. Thank you, and blessings to you too!

@ Broderick, good point that we often try hard to be somebody we’re not. We can try to improve, but with who we really are as a starting point. Thanks for your insightful comment!

@ Julie, I’m so glad you liked the post! I’m happy to share it because it helped me so much in accepting myself and moving on from there. And you’re right, it’s a challenge to be completely honest with ourselves. Thank you very much for your lovely comment.

@ Karl, you’re going a great job on your blog, just by setting the standard. If we reached our aim most of the time, the target is probably too low anyway. Bravo on using your blog to pursue a value that’s important to you. Successful people succeed a little everyday by taking small steps in the right direction, and you look like you’re doing that!

@ Carla, it’s always a pleasure seeing you here. The exercise was eye-opening for me too. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


Wow Daphne-
What a wonderful post. I have written down my values and try looking at them often to make sure I am being true to them. It is funny how life can take you off course sometimes. I love your sentence to distract people from moving on- it worked for me. 🙂

Hi Daphne,
Excellent and thought-provoking post! It has me thinking of where I’m at on this continuum. Am I really living up to the values that I say matter the most? Or are there other things that, in reality, take priority? Doing this, I can see that I have some work to do.

Thank you for this today.

This is definitely an eye opening post. Though I try my best to live up to my values, its good to have this very well thought out, well written reminder. Thank you for this post.

It’s funny how we think we are living our values, but once we see them down on paper it doesn’t quite add up. I write about work happiness at my blog. I love the topic, but I don’t always follow my advice.

I’m working on living up to my values, but it’s not easy. If we set the bar high, of course they will be tough to reach. That’s what successful people do.

Hi, Daphne: I just wanted to say I loved this post, very much. There’s so much value in your thinking tool (which is much harder to do than it sounds, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves) and in your advice and wisdom. Thanks so much for sharing it!! ~ Julie

You’re right on point with this post. I was hearing similar messages on values when New Years came around and experts were talking about why people fail and give up so easily on their resolutions. If we want a real change, a good place to start is our true values.

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