Why Do Personal Core Values Matter?

Why Do Personal Core Values Matter?

I recently just started working in sales… and let me tell you: the attitudes and ideals in the sales world are drastically different that what I want to carry into the rest of my life. Without a grounded sense of who we are and where we’re headed, it’s easy to get lost in busyness, stress, and the stronger ideals of others.

Why do personal core values matter? Personal core values matter because they act like a compass for the direction we want our life to go. They allow us to dream the ideal life we want to live and to create real ways we can achieve it.

Core values can seem like glowing ideals that a company talks about and never follows through on. Maybe you have a bad impression of core values because they feel too vague. But, core values, if created correctly, have the power to shape your relationships, jobs, family, and overall direction in life.

What Are Personal Core Values?

Personal core values are the ideas and concepts that we say are valuable to a life well-lived. They’re aspects of life that you believe are worth pursing and fighting for. They allow you to live a life where you have joy and peace and energy.

The best way to think of core values is as a guide .

Personal core values are guiding principles that dictate our behavior.

They guide how we think, feel, and behave. They allow us to imaging a way of living where we find the most freedom and creativity to be ourselves.

And, personal core values unlock and reinforce your individuality. They challenge us to consider what makes us unique. And the special way we’re here to impact the people around us.

And, personal core values unlock and reinforce your individuality. They challenge us to consider what makes us unique. And the special way we’re here to impact the people around us.

Personal core values can be difficult to come across, though. Mainly because we’re constantly growing as people.

The environments we’re in and the experiences we’re a part of continue to shape what we value in life. So, the best way to think of personal core values is as a guide for this moment: a collection of ideas you cherish in your world and want to see more of.

Why Do We Need Core Values?

Without personal core values, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos and normalcy of life. Even if you don’t have a “list” of core values that you study each morning, every single person has core values that they follow either consciously or unconsciously.

As children, we’re mostly taught core values through introjection. And as we mature and develop, we have the opportunity to test those values directly against what we’re experiencing to see if they hold true…

So, without continually evaluating what we value, it’s very easy for life to change what we value. Sometimes for the worse. Sometimes for the better.

I work as a mortgage advisor. It’s a sales job in the real estate industry. And so many of the people that I talk to are just interested in the best way to make more commission.

Most real estate teachers focus on persuasion and manipulation techniques to get people to say “yes”. Their idea of a successful career is “grinding” and working endless, exhausting hours.

Jumping into the field was a bit of a shock. I felt like the things I valued were not valued in the industry. And, honestly, it’s difficult to learn a new job and skillset when your values don’t match with what’s being taught.

If I didn’t have a very clear idea of what I believe about myself and people and the world, it would be incredible easy for me to get swept up into the ideals of most sales trainers.

But, personal core values allow me to take a breath and refocus on what I value and want to see more of in the world. It allows me to turn my conversations with agents from sales into meaning.

We need core values to help guide us through environment and events that don’t align with where we’re heading.

We need personal core values as a way to make sure we’re on track with the vision we have for ourselves. And they help us find wisdom and discernment in complex situations.

What Starbucks Teaches Us About Following Through With Core Values

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks – Time

Starbucks is a prime example of a company using core values well. They perfectly illustrate how to take a simple phrase and turn it into tangible action and change.

Here’s an example of Starbucks’ core values:

  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
  • We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

For a company, core values help them see every decision and problem through the lens of their core values.

The intention is that core values are the map for everything else that happens in the company.

So, for Starbucks, what does “acting with courage, challenging the status quo” actually mean for the company? In the book Pour Your Heart Into It, Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz, talks about how most coffee companies treated coffee (and the farmers) as a cheap commodity.

They paid minimum prices for coffee which created hardships for many coffee famers and their family.

What was the courageous move that Starbucks did? They started paying a fair price for the coffee they sourced. And, as a result, had to raise the price of coffee in their stores.

Starbucks dared to charge a premium to their consumers and risk losing market-share so they could ensure coffee farmers were given a wage they could reasonably live on.

Now, Starbucks could have put out some cute phrases and said these are our core values and never acted on them. But, they challenged themselves to view every decision from the foundation of their core values. And it’s led to their wild success as a global brand because they stayed authentic to their values.

Personal Versus Company Core Values

Personal and company core values are very similar in how they cast a vision for the way life should look.

Company core values mainly focus on how employees and customers are treated and the values that will not be comprimised by the company.

Personal core value mainly focus on the way we treat people and creative ways we uniquely contribute to our culture.

When you’re constructing your personal core values, feel free to research some of your favorite companies and the core values they have. Start to analyze what you like about that organization and how their values shape their decisions about how they create products, treat people, and empower their environment.

I love this line from Apple’s core values: “We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.”

You can you insight from organizations you value to inspire your own core values.

A company’s core values are all about how they’re showing up in their place in the market. And the unique things they contribute to their marketplace.

Similarly, your personal core values are all about how you show up to the culture you’re in. How are you interacting with the people around you. And in what specific way do you impact the world.

How To Practice Core Values So They Actually Create Change

Core values are meant to be practiced. The point of core values is not to encapsulate ideals that you already live out perfectly.

They’re meant to be values that can always be pursued; not something static to be accomplished. Core values always guide us into deeper aspects of what it means to be human.

To best practice core values, we first need to find values that are worth practicing. You could list thousands of honorable core values that people could have, but we have to identify the ones that resonate with us. The ones that beg us to enter into.

To star: think through both challenging and joyful life events… what has matter the most through those times when life was less than casual? This might give you a clue into what you value.

(Near the end of this article I have a list of 60 core values to help you brainstorm)

Now, core values are “soft skills”. And they can be difficult to practice. So, what Scott and I have done is create a concept call the Rhythm Calendar. We go into more detail of it in the course, but for now, let’s keep it basic.

We’ve found that the best way to practice core values is to first find your top 5-7 core values. Then, assign each one to a day. Make each day have a core value “theme” for the day.

For example, on the Rhythm Calendar above, Monday would be about practicing honesty. So, in the morning, maybe I wake up and spend 5 minutes in silence thinking about what honesty means to me and the people around me.

And how can I spend Monday getting better at honesty? I could practice by swearing off white lies on Monday. Or maybe I need to call someone and confess something I lied about. Maybe I need to find a way to be more transparent about the work I do.

Breaking down your core values into days with themes allows you to slowly practice your core values. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to try to assemble values and automatically start living them.

Core values won’t change you or the world you create unless you actively practice them.

60 Personal Core Values To Get Started With

Here is a list of some core value themes. Use this list as a way to start brainstorming the values that matter most to you.





























































4 Steps To Start Living Your Core Values Now

  1. Pick your top 5-7 core value themes: use this phrase to help you narrow the list “What is essential to a life well-lived?”
  2. Assign a day for each core value: maybe you only have 5 and you just do weekdays… that’s perfectly fine. Just focus a day of the week on a core value them.
  3. In the morning, spend some time contemplating the core value: think about ways you could live out that core value more, journal a list of ways that value could improve your life and the lives around you, maybe read an article or watch a video about that core value
  4. Do at least one thing to practice that value: find a small way to practice that core value. It doesn’t have to be monumental or cause drastic change.

This is all about slow growth over time. Becoming a genuine person takes thousands of small moments of generosity. And finding courage takes hundreds of courageous moments, both big and small.

As you practice values, you might find that they change and flex and reflect more of the change you want to see in the world.

The values you can bring to the people around you are unique to only you. We need more of you chasing after your best growth and joy.

The world becomes a better place when you start practicing what matters most to you.


Co-Creator – Uncover Your Purpose

Kyle Seagraves

I exist to help people explore their identity and connect their unique story to culture. I’m an avid learner and am endlessly curious about the world around me (YouTube has taught me everything I know). When I’m not lost in a book, I’m usually brewing naturally-processed black coffee and picking up strange and unusual flavor notes.

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