When you hear about core values, it’s easy to default to thinking about businesses and their grandiose ways of looking relatable to the general public. But core values in life aren’t limited to big corporations, and in fact, should hold a lot more weight to each of us individually.


What are core values in life?

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“Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person. These guiding principles dictate behaviour and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help […] determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide.”Your Dictionary

Core values in life are your bedrock.

They’re the cement foundations of the house you call life that you wish to build. Self-development, your outlook, and your experiences are the materials that build upwards from your core values in life.

If this bedrock is unsteady, or even rotten, the house isn’t going to last for long. You’d be building on top of the dodgy ground, and that’s being busy in the hope it hides the mess. Having your ground zero allows you to begin designing your life https://www.creativelive.com/class/designing-your-life-how-to-build-a-well-lived-joyful-life-bill-burnett-dave-evans  in an honest way, straight along the path you’d like to go.

Who are you? Truly? Matching the TLL logo, core values are like a compass, and it points you in the direction that you want to go.


Discovering your core values in life

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You’ll find that as soon as your life starts matching your core values, things feel a lot better.

This is in all aspects. The words you speak. The experiences you have. Even your thoughts. When you’re not in alignment, something feels ‘off’. That can manifest itself in a lot of different forms, none of which improve your life.

It would be easy to say “oh just meditate and look deep within”. But for most of us, it’s not that simple. Meditation is not a magical window that will open and you can find all the answers inside. It takes work. Honest, determined work, and to realise that the process could be an uncomfortable one.

You’ll have to ask yourself a few tough questions, and then the meaning beneath your answers, a few of which are below:


Questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s most important to you? How do you live your life? Do you have a code of conduct or things you stick to? What do you cherish most?


  • What were the best times of your life? Think back and question what do you look back on fondly? Moments filled with happy memories that you always refer to?


  • What were the worst times of your life? What are the down points? Who or what caused them? What don’t you want to feel again and why?


  • Do you rate yourself? What characteristics do you like about yourself? If you believe you care too much, do you realise you have understanding and empathy? If you think you’re stubborn, do you recognise you have a strong-willed determination? Go deeper than the first level.


  • What do you look for in people? In your opinion, what makes a good friend? What can you relate to? What type of people do you vibe with?


  • Question what attributes you like in people? People who you admire, why do you? What characteristics do they have that you like?


  • What do you love/hate doing? Think of activities that bring you joy. What emotions do you feel when you do them? What do you despise and why?


  • Describe an ideal final day – If you had one day left on Earth, what would you fill it with?


A lot of these questions tend to stir up answers of emotions, or characteristics, on the surface. But then start going deeper on each. Drill them right down and label them. What you feel, think, expect, demand, and need tend to reveal a lot about who you are and what your core values in life are.

If you love drawing, creating things, and trying new stuff, then you can group them under creativity. If you find you love sports, want to always keep yourself healthy, and value clean living, then health & fitness could be one of your core values in life.

By answering honestly and understanding those answers, you can begin to create your foundations and design your life.


Examples of core values in life

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If living against your core values in life means you’ll have a raft of negative feelings, then it’s pretty hard to sort that if you don’t know them.

Once you’ve begun to realise what your core values in life are, you can consciously live with them in mind and allow them to influence your day-to-day. Your self-aligning yourself to what you want, so you can see why they’re important to know.

For those who still need a few examples on how to group up your answers, you can find a list below. It’s important to realise that these core values in life below are just to get the creative juices going. This is a mixture of discovery and design, not influence. Don’t allow this article, nor anyone, influence what you feel deep down.

Without that honesty, you’re back at square one; building a house on a dodgy base. Get down to the bedrock of who you are, then begin.


  • Honesty
  • Dependability
  • Open-Minded
  • Loyalty
  • Reliability
  • Integrity
  • Positivity
  • Spirituality
  • Awareness
  • Balance
  • Compassion/empathy
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Perseverance/Determination
  • Gratitude
  • Love
  • Purpose
  • Service


It’s the beginning of a journey into self-understanding, but an important one.

There’s no way simply knowing your core-values in life will answer all your problems. I don’t want to trivialise your traumas, your experiences or the environment that shaped who you’ve become. There’s nothing you can do to change the past. But you can learn from it, learn from yourself, and take better control of today.

The quicker you begin to understand yourself, the quicker you’ll begin aligning with a life you’d rather live.


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