Unless you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, then the answer is likely an emphatic “YES!”
Happiness and success are things we naturally long for, so the thought of having as much of both as possible is exciting.
The good news is, we can all maximize our happiness and success by tapping into our values in life.
That’s right, your values in life directly impact the amount of happiness and success you create in your life.
Below is a list of some of the most important values in life that will allow you to maximize how much of both you create. Here are 20 values to live by.
1. Seek Growth Over Perfection
You’ve heard it said before, that there is no such thing as perfection. Well, there’s a reason people say it so much – because it’s true.
One of the biggest things that hold people back from achieving greater levels of happiness and success is their desire for perfection. But here’s a fun fact for you: seeking perfection is just another form of procrastination. Oftentimes, our pursuit of perfection is rooted in our fear of judgment from others.
The longer you make perfection the goal you’re seeking, the longer you’ll continue to hold yourself back. If you want to increase your levels of happiness and success quickly, shift your focus to growth rather than perfection.
When growth becomes the standard, your definition of success will change, and you’ll start to experience more of it.
2. There’s No Such Thing as Failure
Happiness and success are seemingly the opposite of failure. But what if failure didn’t exist?
While that may initially seem like a stretch, it really is possible for failure not to exist in your life.
A big separator between highly successful people and unsuccessful ones is that people who achieve at higher levels tend to be better at reframing failure.
For most people, failure is a negative thing. But for high achievers, failure is reframed to be a positive learning experience of what not to do.
If you find yourself constantly fearing failure, learn to reframe it, and you’ll notice immediate increases in your levels of happiness and success.
3. Success Is Subjective
One of the greatest values in life is learning that success is supposed to be subjective – meaning that it is what you make it to be. One of the greatest causes of self-loathing and lack of fulfillment is chasing the wrong definition of success.
We have fallen into a pattern of believing that there is some standard definition of what “success” means, which is typically financially focused. Therefore, it becomes very easy for us to fall victim to comparison, thinking that someone else is more successful than we are, simply because they are outperforming us on this standard scale.
The problem with this perspective of success is that we all value different things. While money may be a determinant of success, some people see time, freedom, or some other metric as success
If you want a sure-fire way to achieve more happiness and success, learn to start writing your own definitions of what both happiness and success mean to you, and pursue those.
4. Patience Really Is a Virtue
Lost in the chaos and shuffle of our go-go-go, hyper-achievement focused society is the value of patience. We want it all, and we want it now.
But life doesn’t always work that way. While you’ll certainly have some quick wins and successes if you stick with it, that’s not the norm.
Let me be clear that patience doesn’t mean just sitting around and waiting for success and happiness to find you. High achievers take massive amounts of action to achieve the successes they desire.
But the joy really is in the journey, and patience is a necessary part of crafting a life you love. When you mix patience with calculated action, you set yourself up for great amounts of happiness and success.
5. Have Integrity in All Things
One of the most impactful lessons I learned growing up was, “your word is your bond.” Those simple, yet profound words set the tone for how I went about dealing with both myself and others throughout my life.
When you are an upstanding person who has strong integrity, you become the type of person people want to associate with. Being able to build these stronger relationships opens you up to find greater levels of success and happiness in your life.
6. Take Responsibility
Personal power is essential for living a life of abundance and joy. Or, said differently, if you want to live a life of happiness and success, you have to learn to take responsibility.
Personal responsibility is the key that unlocks personal power. So many people are walking around with a victim mindset, believing that life is happening to them. By choosing to have a victim mindset, a person is essentially admitting that they are powerless to control the circumstances of their life.
On the other hand, by taking personal responsibility for your life in all areas, you are unlocking your power to change it for the better. So, if you want to enjoy more success and happiness, the value of personal responsibility must be present in your life.
7. Start Before You’re Ready
So much time is wasted in life trying to get our ducks in a row. Going back to the first value listed above, because we live with fears of things like failure and the judgment of others, we tend to wait until things are “perfect.”
But again, perfection is not real.
The people who achieve more and create more happiness and success in their lives are the ones who greatly understand the value of starting before you’re ready. Because the truth is, you’re never going to truly be ready.
So, just start!
8. Run Towards Fear
In the prophetic words of Jack Canfield, “everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
Many of the values in life listed here and the activities required to achieve greater levels of success and happiness require one to face their fears.
Tony Robbins once said that the moment something scared him, he knew he was on the right track and was meant to do that thing.
Fear is a necessary part of life; it helps keep us alive and well. However, it does not need to control you and rid you of a life of happiness and success. In fact, if you want to live that kind of life, take note from Tony, and start running towards your fears.
9. Keep Your Circle Small
In many areas of life, the old wisdom quality over quantity is true. Your circle of influence is definitely one of those areas.
As Jim Rohn so famously said, “You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” That means your social circle will significantly impact your happiness, success, and life overall.
So, if you want more happiness and success in your life, you have to surround yourself with people who are happy and successful. Oftentimes, we allow people who value different things than us into our lives, and it negatively impacts our results.
In order to prevent that from happening, you can keep your circle small, and be very selective about who is in it. Life is too short to spend it in the company of people who don’t lift you up and aid you in achieving what you desire. Spend time with people who share your values in life.
10. Be Curious
Growing up, I frequently heard the words, “curiosity killed the cat” regarding some of my sibling’s and my endeavors and exploits. As it pertained to those particular lessons, curiosity probably wasn’t the greatest thing.
However, for life in general, the value of curiosity is something that is so important to creating a life of happiness and success. Curiosity sparks creativity and innovation. It also allows us to discover things about ourselves and life that we otherwise wouldn’t know.
I like to say that curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Curiosity is actually what allowed the cat to discover the lion within.
If you want more success and happiness, the value of curiosity is going to play a big part in that journey.
11. Say “NO” More Often
Time is our most valuable resource. Unlike most other things, it is one resource we can never get more of. But if we’re being honest, most people use their time as if they have an endless supply of it. Because of that, we have to learn to treat our time with more respect than we do.
That’s where the power of “NO” comes into play. In that short but mighty word is the ability to take back control of your time. We spend so much of our time doing things we don’t really enjoy doing for various reasons.
By doing that, people set themselves up for a life they don’t truly enjoy and one lived on other people’s terms.
So, take an inventory of your life, and evaluate where you’re wasting or giving your time away. If it’s an area that is not truly a need or one that fulfills you and brings you closer to the life you want to live, then say no to it.
12. Happiness Is a Choice
Believe it or not, happiness is a choice. Aside from medical issues that may cause a lack of happiness, the people who aren’t happy in life are that way because they chose to be.
The decisions you make about what to spend your life doing and who to spend your life with directly impact your level of happiness. But at the end of the day, whether or not you are happy comes down to whether you choose to be happy or not.
Each day that you wake up, you get to make a simple choice – am I going to choose happiness today, or not? Choose wisely.
13. Be Present
Sadly, we live in an achievement-focused society, where everyone is striving to get to the next level. While that may bode well for creating an abundance of success in life, it also tends to come at the expense of your ability to be present.
There is a reason for sayings like “stop and smell the roses.” It’s because we are meant to enjoy this life that we have, with the people who are most valuable to us.
Like I mentioned earlier, we can never get our time back. So, if you want more happiness and success, learn to value being present more often.
14. Seek Discomfort
As a self-proclaimed gym rat and athlete, I embraced the mantra “no pain, no gain” early on in my sports days.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that saying applies to more areas in life than just the gym. I’ve also realized that there’s great truth in the saying that in order to be successful, one must become comfortable being uncomfortable.
Just like trying to accomplish a physical fitness goal requires you to put your body in a constant state of discomfort, achieving any goal in life requires you to get outside of your comfort zone.
When you can learn to value being uncomfortable and seek it out as a necessary part of your growth process, you’ll open yourself up to the opportunity to create so much more success and happiness in your life.
15. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is such a transformational emotion that can change your life if practiced regularly. Life can be tough at times, and it’s very easy to fall victim to the negativity surrounding us.
But just like happiness is a choice, so is choosing to be grateful rather than focusing on all of the negative. Make gratitude a central value in your life, and you will unquestionably enjoy more happiness and success.
16. Forgive Quickly
Not to continue to harp on the time thing, but it really is relevant when it comes to forgiveness. Whenever we hold on to things, they act like weights that weigh us down. They also take up mental and emotional space within us, which prevents us from using those resources to better live our lives.
And remember, forgiveness is for you, not the person you are forgiving. When you forgive someone, it’s like taking off a heavy weight vest you’ve been wearing long past the time your workout finished.
Free yourself from the weight by learning to forgive quickly, and you’ll free yourself up for more happiness and success in your life.
17. Be Authentic
We are relational beings – there’s no disputing that. A huge part of living a happy, successful life is being in meaningful relationships.
In order to create relationships that thrive, you must learn to be authentic or the true version of who you are. In a world dominated by social media and one where there’s a ton of societal pressure to look, act, think, and feel in certain ways, it can be very easy to lose yourself.
To truly be happy and achieve success that is important to you, you have to know how to show up authentically in your life. Focus on connecting with who you are from a value perspective and what you hold to be most important, and show up in that way every day.
18. Honesty Is the Best Policy
Honesty may be one of the most overlooked values in life. It may be the oldest cliché of all time, but it’s still so true – honesty really is the best policy.
Just think about it. Do you want to spend your time with people who are honest or dishonest? It’s a no brainer.
If you want to live a life filled with an abundance of happiness and success, honesty must be something you value greatly in your life.
19. Respect Yourself
Self-depreciation and personal abuse are common in our society. In fact, I believe that most people treat others better than they treat themselves. But if you want to live a life of happiness and success, that has to change.
Whether it’s learning to speak to yourself more lovingly, taking better care of your body, or raising your friendship/intimate relationship standards, learning to respect yourself is key to living a great life.
20. Find Your Purpose
I’m a firm believer that we are all put on this earth for a reason and that we are each uniquely equipped to create an impact in ways only we can do. But most people aren’t living lives of purpose. In fact, because most people are chasing some generic definition of success, the vast majority of people are unhappy.
This is evident in recent research that shows that 85% of people don’t like their jobs.((Gallup: The World’s Broken Workplace)) That is a sad reality of the world we live in. Although your career isn’t the only piece of your purpose, it is a large portion of it.
If living a life of happiness and success is important to you, then connecting with your true purpose is one of the most important values in life that you should have.
Many factors determine the amount of happiness and success that a person creates in their life. The key is understanding that those things are created, meaning that you have control over them.
Most people go through life feeling like life is happening to them. But the truth is, we all can be in the driver’s seat for how our life plays out. In order to actively take that control, though, you have to identify and set the values in your life.
Whether it’s those listed above or some others you hold near and dear, I challenge you to identify what values in life are most important to you. If you can do that and stick to those values, you will find more happiness and success in life.