This is something I have been developing for a few months 1.

Human is not a rational agent

Human is rational agent only withing the scenario he/she is in aka local minima.

By not choosing a set of guidelines/principles/values once chooses to be nothing. One has to give up the idea of being everyhing. And rather be something.

Values simplify decision making

Values are things that you regard highly and that you don’t compromise on. They can act as rough guidelines for making decisions. And also serve as a standard to judge your actions on.

Every individual is different, therefore it is important to build your own set of values to follow. Don’t borrow someone’s values. Define your own.

To have your values articulated, means you can use them much more easily into making decisions.

While this post talks about personal values, same can be applied to businesses.

“Core values are choices you make”

Some use cases for values

You can compare your core values with someone to see how aligned you are. Usually of you are aligned things to smoothly. 2

You can usually pick up other’s value if you listen to them cuz most people essentially speak the same things over and over again.

If you have a particularly bad event, you can verify your actions on your values. You may find that you might not have lived up to your values fully. Or it maybe time to tweak your value a bit.

Tips for Finding and Picking Values

These are some of my tips for picking values:

Pick only a few values at first

  • I would recommend 3-4 at first and then adding a few overtime as need arises.
  • To pick the most personalized values, look at your past events. What motivated you make certain decisions?

Shorter the length of each value the easier you can remember. Lesser the number of values, more you can remember.

Reframe your values to fit perfectly

  • Test and modify for your values. Maybe adding a few words would solidify a value which was previously too vague.
  • I have renamed my values multiple times where they essentially mean the same thing but with words that make more sense.

Keep them as abstract as possible

  • The more abstract your values, the more decisions you can slot in to them.

Compress. Don’t add a new value unless you absolutely need it

  • Value discovery is like finding new elements. You don’t want to add a new element if a value already exists.

Build habits around them

You want your core values to be second nature. Build habits around each of them so that they stick long term. Habits need not be long, they need to be second nature.

Here are a few things I discovered:

  • I can develop habits around my values. -> Identity Level Change
  • I can have a few people to look up to for each of my values. This is because visualizing becomes easier.
  • I can make my core values my standard.
  • While trying to decide if should follow a value, I can think og the best thing that would habppend and the worst thing that would happen.
  • All values boil down to choosing long term over short term.2
  1. The inspiration for this post of Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport 

  2. Naval Ravikant  2