What is decision-making based on values?
Merriam-Webster defines decision-making as the act or process of deciding something especially with a group of people.
Each one of us walks our own path through life. We are individuals with unique beliefs, views, experiences, and desires. We receive plenty of recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, and others with good intentions to help improve our lives.
Applying these recommendations may indeed result in some level of success. However, during our Financial Independence journey we will face life-altering decisions – critical decisions that will require more than an anecdote or an example from an online article to make with confidence.
What if there was a more fundamental way of making decisions?
What if there was a method that moves you closer to who you really are and allows you to live a more authentic life? Well, there is such a method known as values-based decision-making.
The four main features of values-based decision-making as described in The Six Modes of Decision-Making are:
- Thought precedes action—we reflect on the values that we believe will allow us to get our needs met and make decisions accordingly.
- The decisions that are made are not based on past experiences. They are based on the future we want to create.
- We are in control of our action and behaviors.
- We can consult with others to support and enhance our decision-making.
You make values-based decisions so that you consciously create the future you want to experience. For example, if you value trust, then you should make decisions that allow you to display trust. If you value accountability, then you make decisions that allow you to display accountability.
Identify your values and begin making decisions based on them.
- What Are Your Values? Deciding What’s Most Important in Life by The Mind Tools Content Team of mindtools.com
- Let Your Values Drive Your Choices by James Clear of jamesclear.com
- 3 Steps To Figuring Out Your Core Values by Carrie Green on YouTube
- What Matters Most in Life? by Dennis Prager of prageru.com
- Using the Mind Tools process above, determine your top values. Record them somewhere you will see often. A folded 3×5 index card kept in your purse or wallet may work well. As you are faced with decisions, major decisions in particular, keep these in mind. Continue to validate or reaffirm your values over time. Sharing these values with your significant other can also help them understand why you make the decisions you do. Encourage them to determine their values using the same process and share with you. In the comment section below, feel free to share your top 3-5 values.
- A Valuist: Intentional Living by FI Monkey of choosefi.com
- How To Determine Your Core Life Values by Project Life Mastery on YouTube
“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” – Dian Fossey