One of the best ways to make a decision you won’t regret is to make sure that you are making it in line with your own values.
What is most important to you? The list of values is long: bravery, humility, honesty, justice, love of family, freedom, strength, discipline, kindness, equality, creativity, peace, generosity, achievement, excellence–or something entirely different from these.
Values also may change over time. Right now you might value achievement, for instance, but at some point this might become a less important value to you than generosity. Or these might both be very important values to you, so you feel it’s important to accomplish things with generosity.
It can be very easy to be swayed by other people’s values. We are social creatures, and often required to balance what is important to us with what others believe is most important.
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to fine tune who we are and what is most important to us:
When were you most courageous? What made you act that way? It was probably related to one of your values.
Which decisions by others in your life have you strongly disagreed with? Did you disagree because they were counter to your values? Which ones?
When did you do something that made you feel unsettled? That may have been a time you didn’t follow your values.
When have you stepped forward as a leader?
I believe that having a deep knowledge of our values, and standing by them, will lead us to wiser decisions, stronger leadership, and fewer regrets.