Self Analysis of My Values

Values form the foundations of our lives, dictate the choices we make, determine the direction of our lives, and can help answer the question of why we are the person that we are. However, very few people end up choosing their own values. Instead, they adopt the dominant values of society and the values of the people that raised them. Most of the time the values that you internalized as a child stay with you throughout your adult life and help to shape you into the person you are at this very moment. This was not completely the case for me. Unlike many of the people that I know, I am the way that I am because of everything the world around me was not. I rejected the values of my upbringing and recognized what was lacking. In this sense, certain milestones that occurred in my personal influenced my values, beliefs, and overall way of seeing myself and others more than the ethnic or cultural heritage in my family life. My core values are not static; they have changed throughout my life and I know they will change again but for the purpose of this paper I would like to focus on three that are a big part of my life right now. The core values I’d like to focus on are education, stability, and gratitude.

Education was never a core value in my life growing up. My parents did not give it importance and the highest level of education they reached was high school. Because of this, as a kid, I just went with the flow and didn’t have academic plans for my future. I remember a certain moment in high school that I believe to be the moment that changed my views on education. A friend in my class got in trouble with their parents for bringing home a bad grade. I began to think in that moment about how I didn’t feel lucky for not getting in trouble due to my parents lack of interest in my education, I actually envied these kids. Me wanting my parents to care about my education made me realize that I did in fact care about my own education. I wanted more from life and I quickly became aware that the only way to achieve this was through education. From this moment on education became important to me. Once this value was instilled into me my performance in school was directly affected. I entered into community college with a different outlook on education after having barely graduated high school. I recognized that when I genuinely enjoyed school the opportunities came flowing in. I ended up at one of the top schools in the country Getting accepted into the University of California, Berkeley reinforced my belief that education is important and this would have never happened if I did not put education at the core of my values. The value that I give to education shapes every decision I make in the present and every decision I made regarding my future.

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I value the stability that I did not have in my childhood because I grew up in an unconventional family. I define stability as a lifestyle that is characterized by well-thought-out decisions, a routine, consistent behavior, and balanced relationships. From the looks of it, when I was a child, my home was quite unstable. I was raised by my mother and my grandma. My father leaving when I was young was the milestone and made stability became important to me. Since I did not get to live and spend time in a secure and stable environment growing up, I created this environment for myself as I got older, knowing that a stable environment was crucial when it came to mental health. I find stability in my friendships. I have had the same friends for many years and they value stability just as much as I do. We are honest with each other and I can count on them relentlessly. I believe that my friends have given me the stable environment that my family could not. I also find stability in my everyday routine. I find what makes me happy, for example, exercising or reading before bed, and I make sure I incorporate these things into each and every day. Putting stability at the core of my values has allowed me to live a life where I feel more at peace, make better decisions, and where I am the most productive version of myself.

At this point in my life gratitude is my number one core value. I define gratitude as an appreciation for what is meaningful to me and a representation of a general state of appreciation. When I was a kid I tended to see the glass half empty. This negative mindset played out in all aspects of my life, whether that be school or my relationships, and it was truly exhausting. I was convinced that I was powerless to my situation and it was not something that I could change. I would spend all day focused on things I didn’t have instead of what I do have. I had a neighbor when I was younger who also happened to my best friend. We became so close because we had a strikingly similar background but we lost touch when we ended up at different high schools. My mom called me one day shortly after I began my freshman year and said he had been taken to jail. This was a defining moment for me. We shared the same background, so I questioned why he went down the wrong path while I was having a relatively normal high school experience. I realized that things could always be worse and I should be grateful of my situation. From that point on gratitude became increasingly important to me and it is now a central component of my happiness. Being grateful makes me appreciate what I already have, which reduces so much stress. I have built my routine on habits that revolve around gratitude. Every morning I write down two things I am grateful for and I ask the people closest to me what they are grateful for. This has shown me how contagious gratitude is. Valuing gratitude has completely transformed my mindset. I no longer look at the glass as half empty; it’s always half full. Because of his value I live a generally positive life that I never would have imagined living before.

My current values are certainly not the ones that I grew up with. I made a conscious decision to discard certain values from my upbringing and adopt ones that were missing and this turned me into the person I am today. My family not valuing education led me to question the importance of it and form my own opinion. I knew that I wanted more for my life than my parents wanted for theirs and I learned that education was the solution to this. From then it became one of the most important parts of my life. Growing up in an unstable environment made me value stability once I was older. I was able to find stability in my friends and in my routine. More importantly, I was able to find stability within myself because I found it in things other than my family. Lastly, gratitude has become the absolute most important part of my everyday life because of my childhood. No matter how unconventional it was, I wouldn’t change a thing because it led me to appreciate my life. Even though reflecting on where you came from is difficult, I think it’s important to evaluate why you have the belief system that you do. To feel a sense of fulfillment it’s often necessary to re-evaluate and modify the values that were instilled in you early on and come to your own conclusions.

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Self Analysis of My Values. (2021, Oct 28). Retrieved from