Core values! What is a value? What is valuable? How do I know? Intrigued with the questions? Awesome! Because I have answers.

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man a more clever devil.”

– C.S. Lewis

Anything that is important to you is a value.


Your core values are your own way of organizing:

  • the beliefs you have,
  • your preference for investing, or spending your time,
  • while having a certain mental direction.

All the challenges you face now, are related to your beliefs and mental direction and will disappear when you become aware of what you truly value.

Definitely, you have a very large set of values. However, since not all of them are your own values, and, are borrowed values, or imposed values, they often create conflicts inside you. It is crucially important to know that you will spend your time, all of it, in accordance with what you value. If you force yourself to value more than just what you feel you truly value … you’ll find yourself in trouble.

Conflict alert is how I call it!

Here is an example: You value the development of thinking skills. You realize it is among your most important personal values. Naturally, you want to invest the time to learn. To observe yourself. Change consciously and intentionally. However, you were taught to value a more general and universally accepted set of values.

For example, respect for your family traditions. In this example, by family traditions, I mean, the way your family is doing its routines and habits. However, attaching to the family tradition the expectation that this must be an undeniable truth for everybody. Now, we know that such truths don’t really exist.

Let me show you, my family:

The one I grew up in.

Generally speaking, this is how they sound:

“This is how WE celebrate birthdays, this is what WE do at weddings, this is how WE have dinner, this is how WE do at funerals, this is how WE pray, this is who WE are, etc.”

Or, my wife’s morning routine:

“Eva, WE keep the knife in the right hand!”

As adorable Eva is eating while using the fork with her left hand.

So, this is how my parents and relatives do their stuff! And, know well that they did it even before I was born.

How about you?

How do you do your stuff? These core values are usually imposed by a patriarch-like figure, even in a female body, who is placing these values over the rest of the family. Now, let’s make this example even spicier. Let’s assume that the rest of your family even fears the patriarch a little bit, like most families on Earth do.

Now, do you really want to know why?

If the word “perception” came to you, your assumption is correct! Yes, they also have a mental map of reality. Yes, they also have an old brain scanning the environment in the search of their emotional and physical safety, just like you do. Just like the rest of your family does. Just like the patriarch figure does. They have their own beliefs, too, and they believe you should have the same beliefs, or similar in the worst case, so you keep these we values as well.

Crazy, survival stuff, you see!

“Hey, we are talking about everybody’s values in here! Come on, it’s who we are and how we do things! We all respect it”

This is what they believe. So, if they are not inclined to understand, accept and allow your intentional thinking study, you will steal time to do it, hiding away from them. I’ll stop here with my description, because, my gut feeling tells me you know the rest of this scenario, very well. Let’s just leave it like this. Brief anatomy of a family conflict.

Everybody has them! The good news is that when you master your thinking, meaning when you are consciously aware of yourself, your family, eventually, will see you as if you were just born anew. After you are successful with your study, and it will show on you, they will admire you for your courage and determination, even if in the beginning they may display the very opposite attitude. Families tend to do this kind of things.

It is that old brain, I’m telling you!

Your family’s support may or may not happen. Later, in the “Think Zing!” series, I’ll show you how to practice non-attachment. It’s a natural way to be… And, it’s awesome!

  • Beliefs,
  • Values,
  • Thinking strategies,
  • Mental direction,
  • How you decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore,
  • The way you focus your attention,
  • How you sort, store, categorize, etc.

All this stuff is instantaneously acting together. Everything at the same time. They are all parts of a symbiotic system, a living organism which is:


It is important to find out what you truly value because this is how you will be investing all your time. Remember this idea. It is a key idea! Most of your caregivers from when you were little, didn’t really understand what values are. I can bet almost all of them!

They thought, and probably still think, that values mean only a certain kind of values, such as family values, for example. They didn’t look at values as something that is important to you.

Thus, they have probably nagged you each time you searched and invested your time on what you truly value. We all have a number of things that are important to us. These are our own values. You, too, have your own values, besides what your family thinks you should value.

Here are some random examples of general values.

Each of them is something that could be important to a person:

  • Family.
  • Freedom.
  • Fun.
  • Money.
  • Learning.
  • Safety.
  • Comedy.
  • Love.
  • Relationships.
  • Respect.
  • Integrity.
  • Career.
  • Education.
  • Free time.
  • Friends.
  • Winning.
  • A challenge.
  • Relaxing.
  • Work.
  • Health.
  • Inner peace.
  • Compassion.
  • Solitude.
  • Creativity.
  • Self-expression.
  • Dancing.
  • The outdoors.
  • Being in control.
  • Sex.
  • Intimacy.
  • Boundaries.
  • Health.
  • Spirituality, and so on.

The list can go on endlessly, since anything that is important to you or anyone else, is a value.

Let’s go back to conflicts generated by core values.

We’ll look again at family values since these seem to generate some of the biggest conflicts between people.

Once upon a time, there was a young man, named Romeo Montague who fell in love with a young woman: Juliette Capulet. Both their families were very strong in family values and, as families, hated each other’s guts. Tuff people to be around! Nevertheless, on an individual level, the younger members of these two families, Romeo from the Montague’s and Juliette from the Capulet’s, have discovered that they value love.

Especially their love for each other, with no apparent major attraction to their own family values, otherwise.

Their own discovered value – love – was naturally stronger.

In other words, love was more important for them as human beings, than the values of their families, which is the community they were coming from.

In this story the conflicts between them two, Romeo and Juliette, and their families, generated through a series of interesting events, their own death; Romeo’s death and Juliette’s death, too.

Killer family values, in their case!

As you understand, values tell us what is important for us. You see, your beliefs are just your ideas about what is true regarding important areas of life and what the rules are about them. When you think something is true, you’ll figure out a way to be right about it. Or, at least, make it look like you’re right.

Your values are important to what you create in life because your values tell you what is important to you. This is the definition of values: anything that is important to you. So, your values determine how you invest your time, as I have said before.

The core values are one of your mains sources of motivation because you are motivated to invest time on what is important to you. When you are not motivated to do something, it means you don’t value it. In other words, it is not important to you. People may tell you that you should value something, but if you don’t feel the motivation, if it is not important for you, even when you start to do anything that other people believe is valuable…

… you’ll find a way to stop it.

Values arouse motivation. Motivation is an emotion. An emotion is a result of a thinking strategy. A thinking strategy is a string of thoughts arranged in a specific sequence related to something you value. Therefore, the value in itself arouses the emotion that makes you move. Act.

Your values provide motivation. They determine how you invest your time. Also, they determine how you feel about how you invest your time. It is like a stock of internal pictures, movies and sounds of many things that you consider to be important.

Every time you are thinking about doing something new, you compare your own stored internal representations of it, (which are stored as mental pictures or movies, and represent what is important to you) with new thoughts. The new thoughts are the newly received information. It is filtered and interpreted by stimuli and impulses that you transform in internal moving pictures and sounds.

You compare these internal representations with what is already stored within you and became motivated to act. Or not.

Then, you perceive the whole thing as daily life.

When the images match, you feel motivated, and you act. If they don’t match you can’t feel motivated to act. It is not important for you. Or, it is not into your top 5-10 personal core values. That means that other things are more important for you and will take all your time. Values determine how you invest your time!

This is an automatic and mostly unconscious process that is going on inside you, right now. However, it’s a process that you can approach deliberately.

Your values are arranged, as part of your paradigm, in a hierarchy. The most important value at the top of the hierarchy is followed by the next most important value, then the third, the fourth, and so on. So, depending on what aspect of your life you are thinking about, you have values about it.

The values motivate you to act! Or, not!

Also, they may be standing in your way when they are in conflict with each other. When two values are in conflict, you are motivated by one of them some of the time, and by the other one at other times.

Every time you feel bad after you do something, it is a conflict between the value that motivated you to act and another value with which later you have evaluated your action.

Let’s say you value your free time. Free time means party, let’s say. In this example we’ll represent the word party as the image of you, having drinks, smokes and fun, just like in the movies. All night long. You also value freedom.

Let’s say freedom is represented inside your mind by an image of you, being free to do whatever, whenever and with whomever you want. You see yourself in your imagination as some kind of rock star, movie star, you know the type. These first two values, in combination, mean that you see yourself as being free to party. Drink and smoke, for as long as you want, whenever, wherever and with whomever, you want to party.

You also value health.

Health is represented inside by the image of you, vibrating with health. Feeling strong. Fast. Working out. Radiating efficiency. Productivity. Self-reliance. Assertiveness. Also, feeling clear headed. You also value your family. Let’s say, the idea of family is represented inside by images of authority figures and a wide range of restrictions.

Can you see the possible conflicts just from this hierarchy of the top 4 values?

Let’s continue and put money on 5, relationships on 6, and let’s say work/a job is not in your top 10. Just for this example, work is on 14.

Now let’s see how your life looks like with this set of values, in the hierarchy we have outlined below.

  • Free time – 1
  • Freedom – 2
  • Health – 3
  • Family – 4
  • Money – 5
  • Relationships – 6
  • Work/a job – 14

Let’s see results!

You are motivated to party, obviously.

However, you feel guilty because you have an appetite for toxic stuff, too. Also, working out and physical fitness, in general, is very appealing to you. But, you’re going to have to handle with just the energy that is left over after the party lifestyle. You love your family. However, but you might see them in your way of being free and do whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Also, you have some relationships. Some friends mostly derived from parties or family, I presume. You like to spend money, but you may end up in conflict with them, too. Probably your money is coming through the relationship channel since work/a job is not even in your top 10. Most likely you don’t have a real job; the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday kind of idea. At best, you take freelance projects, whenever…

This little example here was similar to a version of me…

… not too long ago

Today, however, since I understood the vital importance of core values into one’s life, I’ve deliberately decided to re-arranged my values hierarchy. To say the least; things are very different, now. Therefore, I highly recommend you do what I did. If you feel like it, see our Transformation Inside-Out online course. 

It is taking you much deeper into working deliberately and owning your inner mechanics. Also, it is very affordable.

Plus, you’ll get to work with me, directly.

Transformation Inside-Out is coming to you with e-mail access to me, and more if necessary, for our lifetime. However, and most importantly, it is what I did, and, consistently have in my conscious, daily, attention.

In the coming episode, we’ll see how did we get the core values we hold inside us, while being completely unaware of them, in most cases.

Until then, be well.

You can find all the episodes of the “Think Zing!” series hosted at The Zingnificent Show.

Sandi Dragoi

Informal Educator, Author of "Think Zing! How to be YOU!", "Transformation Inside-Out" online course, and other self-awareness courses and books. The Host of The Zingnificent Show, Speaker & Personal Instructor. Above everything, Dad, in Love! ❤️

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