What Are Your Values? Find and Live By Them


Earlier in the month of July, I had the privilege of sitting down with renowned Ugandan media personality, Crystal Newman and having an insightful conversation on the Young Eye International Podcast. We discussed a plethora of topics, from her journey, to passion behind media and broadcasting to how her values have shaped her life. I found her thoughts and opinions on values unique, as I have almost never heard of the perspectives that she shared. The one key thing she mentioned was how her values are integral to how she leads her life, values she was both instilled with at a young age, and those she acquired as she paved her way.

In my opinion, as young people, having a value system that governs how we approach life is key to leading fulfilling and purpose-driven lives. It’s not just about what we achieve, but how we achieve it, and the principles we uphold along the way – here are my thoughts supported by numerous conversations, research and personal opinions on values.

What is a Value?


Values are the basis of our lives, shaping the way we perceive the world and interact with it. They are the inner compass that guides our thoughts, actions, and decisions, reflecting what we believe to be right, just, and meaningful.

Values can be thought of as the fundamental beliefs and principles that govern our attitudes, and choices. They are the core pieces of our identity, shaping not only how we see ourselves but also how we interact with others and the world around us. In a nutshell, our values provide us with direction and purpose.

Where Do Values Come From?


Values come from a many sources, each contributing to our unique perspective. Sometimes, our upbringing and family environment play a significant role in instilling values from an early age. The lessons and behaviors shown by our parents usually leave a lasting impact on our value system. Cultural background also deeply influences our values, shaping our attitudes, traditions, and social interactions.

Personal experiences are another powerful source of values. Life’s wins and losses, contribute to the development of our values. These experiences can shape our beliefs about kindness, resilience, sympathy, and more. Additionally, there are educational and external influences, such as the media and influential figures, that can broaden our perspectives and introduce a whole set of values into our lives.

Values originate from a numerous areas, each contributing to our unique perspective:

  1. Upbringing and Family: Our family environment plays a significant role in instilling values from an early age. The lessons and behaviors modeled by our parents or guardians often leave a lasting impact.
  2. Cultural Background: Especially in an African setting, this plays a huge role. Cultural values are deeply ingrained within us, shaping our attitudes, traditions, and social interactions. These values are often shared among people of the same cultural background.
  3. Personal Experiences: Life experiences, both positive and negative, contribute to the development of our values. These experiences can shape our beliefs about kindness, resilience, empathy, working, education and much more.
  4. Education and Influences: Formal education, exposure to literature, media, and influential figures can broaden our perspectives and introduce new values into our lives.

Examples of Values


Values are as diverse and there are so many examples, but here are a few to share, they include:

  1. Integrity: Upholding honesty, transparency, and ethical conduct.
  2. Compassion: Showing empathy and concern for the well-being of others.
  3. Resilience: Overcoming challenges with determination and perseverance.
  4. Freedom: Valuing individual autonomy and the pursuit of personal liberties.
  5. Creativity: Embracing innovation, imagination, and artistic expression.

Why Are Values Important?


Values are not just mere concepts; they play a tangible and significant role in our lives:

  1. Guidance in Decision-Making: Values provide clarity and guidance when making choices. They act as a framework for evaluating options and ensuring that our decisions align with our beliefs.
  2. Sense of Purpose: Living in alignment with our values imparts a sense of purpose and authenticity to our lives. It allows us to engage in activities and pursue goals that resonate with our core principles.
  3. Stronger Relationships: Shared values forge deeper connections with like-minded individuals. When our values align with those of our friends, partners, and colleagues, it enhances our relationships and fosters a sense of belonging. This is why you find people with similar values in the same romantic relationships.
  4. Personal Growth: Continuously aligning our actions with our values supports self-awareness and personal development. It encourages us to confront our strengths and areas for improvement, facilitating growth and self-improvement.

My values are key to what keeps me going, and I recently wrote a blog describing how I fuel the fire: What keeps me going?

In essence, values are the essence of who we are, guiding us through life’s complexities and uncertainties. Rooted in our upbringing, experiences, and introspection, they serve as a lens through which we view the world and make decisions. By recognizing, understanding, and living in accordance with our values, we embark on a journey of authenticity, purpose, and positive impact. As we navigate the intricate tapestry of life, let our values be the guiding stars that illuminate our path.

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