Write a List of Your Values and Everything Else Will Follow

Here are the eight core values I live by

Darius Foroux
Forge
Published in
3 min readOct 11, 2019

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A portrait of a happy young woman enjoying the sunlight with the sky as a backdrop.
Photo: Westend61/Getty

What kind of person are you?

Most of us would probably answer the question by listing traits. You might describe yourself, for example, as friendly, creative, confident, independent, meticulous, or calm.

That’s an understandable response. We tend to believe that our personalities or other external characteristics are what define us. And, sure, these traits can stem from who you are. But what truly shapes us, what forms the foundation of our character, are our values.

Values are our fundamental beliefs, informing our thoughts, words, and actions. If we don’t set our own core values, we end up losing ourselves in other people’s values. That’s how we become dependent on our friends, family members, or partners to define us. Our identities are no longer our own.

That’s why I recently wrote a list of my own core values, something I can return to whenever I’m feeling lost. Here are my values and how I define them.

Authenticity

Be the same person regardless of who you’re with — parents, friends, co-workers, in-laws, strangers. Stay true to yourself at all times. And never be afraid of other people’s judgments.

Truthfulness

Tell the truth, especially when it comes to your own life. Don’t have money? Don’t pretend that you’re wealthy. Never went to college? Own it. Be honest about who you are and what you’ve done.

Joyfulness

Never do something you hate for longer than is necessary. Life’s too short for that. Do what brings you joy, including the small things: listening to music, spending time with other people, working out, walking, laying down, reading.

Curiosity

Get to the bottom of everything that interests you, not because it’s required, but because it’s fun to know things. Acknowledge that life is fascinating, and try to understand it. But also know that some things can’t be understood, and that’s beautiful, too.

Responsibility

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Darius Foroux
Forge
Writer for

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