My Personal Values

Here is a list of my personal values, in order of priority.

1. Truth

There are many ways to interpret this. There’s Truth with a capital T. Surely that’s important. But in the context of personal values, I’m more focused on truth as it pertains to the information I’m consuming, my beliefs, and the information I’m spreading.

Regarding consumption, I pursue information of the highest quality. I listen to experts. I believe in science. I start every inquiry by seeking the most reputable sources of information. But I don’t worship science. I respect it, but I’m well aware of its limitations. I maintain a healthy skepticism, especially in matters of personal experience, which science has little to say about.

Regarding my beliefs, naturally I prefer not to harbor false beliefs. In a spiritual context, I realize absolute truth doesn’t have room for beliefs; it has no room for language or objects, much less beliefs about them. I’m aware that all beliefs are relative, and none are absolutely true. But as an embodied being in a physical universe, that doesn’t help me. So in a simple, everyday context, I try to reason my way into any given position. If possible, I construct my beliefs from first principles. I am mindful of any beliefs that I’ve adopted from outside influences, e.g., culture, religion, media, etc. I appreciate when my beliefs are challenged, because it’s an opportunity to uncover better truths.

Regarding the information I’m spreading, this means ideally I never have to lie. Lying, to me, is a sign of a larger problem, e.g., I’m associating with the wrong people or I’m not being authentic. The value of Honesty falls under this category.

2. Love

This is a close second to Truth, and in some cases, I might even prioritize it over truth. Love is what life is all about. It is the point of being human, of being alive. I want to give and receive love freely. I want my family and friends to know I love them. Perhaps most importantly, I want to love myself. I place a high value on my personal relationships, and I consider that something that falls under this value of Love.

3. Authenticity

Self-awareness and self-love are very important. Authenticity to me means exploring who I am, facing my shadow, embodying my values, and loving myself enough to be myself. This also means getting in touch with my emotions and expressing them in a healthy way (instead of repressing them).

4. Vulnerability

Without vulnerability, there is no growth and no courage. The depth of one’s relationships is limited by the depth of their vulnerability. I value vulnerability because it is the key to better relationships and personal growth.

5. Growth

Never stop growing, learning, and evolving. You will never have all the answers. Life is a journey, not a destination. Don’t get too comfortable–that’s when you stagnate. Suffering is an opportunity for growth and creativity. Challenge everything; assume nothing. You will be wrong. A lot. Get over it. Remain humble and curious.

6. Integrity

I strive to act in alignment with my values, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.