Personal Values

What Are Values? – and Why are They Important For a Good Life

When I was 19 or so, a good friend of mine came to me complaining that she was being emotionally/verbally bullied by a good friend of mine. I didn’t exactly tell him out rightly to stop bullying her, however, I did softly persuade him to stop it. I didn’t like bullies. For I was in a similar position once.

You could argue that by me standing up to my good friend, I was acting out of my values. Those were my values, and regardless of external circumstances, whether if he’s my good friend or not, I stood up for my values.

So, what are values and how are they important for life-long happiness?

So, What Are Values?

Values comprises largely of intangibles such as: honesty, accountability, empathy and respect.

Values can be said to be internal compasses; they are the judgment about how important something is to us. There are principles that are held internally regardless of external circumstances.

Good values are also usually ensued by strong boundaries. Values are researched to higher self esteem in the long run, makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, and makes your life choices a whole lot easier. There’s research that shows having values contribute to our level of happiness.

In short, they’re awesome.

Why are Values Important For a Good Life?

In modern society, there’s the struggle for sticking by your internal values versus giving up your values for an external metric of success. Through measuring yourself based on internal values, rather than external metrics drives authentic self esteem.

Honesty is an internal value. Honesty is sometimes is brutal. Your honesty may not be appreciated at all. It might involve telling your boss something that he might disagree with but might be better for the company. This may put you at risk of offending him. This can be difficult at times as society at times is a ‘face’ based one, especially so in the Asian culture.

What if a girl you’re interested in treats you badly? What if she’s a no show for three dates straight, and cancels on you last minute every single time? Are you going to stand for that behaviour? Or are you going smile, and pretend nothing happened. Can you uphold the internal value of self respect? Perhaps through calling her out for her negative behaviour, or ditching the idea of dating her at all.

What if your friends are always showing up late and disrespectful of your time? What if you valued your time, and made efforts to be on time for meet ups? Do you hold back calling the person out for the sake of the possibility of not offending him or her?

If you’re holding back from expressing yourself fully, that’s because you’re secretly a people pleaser, a Mr Nice guy, who’s not willing to offend anybody.

People that people pleasing because they crave for attention, affection from the world around them at the cost of their personal integrity and values. They are ultimately putting their needs before other people needs.

Ironically, it’s the sacrifice of their own personal values and integrity that drives needy and unattractive behaviour.

So, How to Iron Out Your Values? 

Ironing out your values can be simple as taking out a piece of paper and writing down what you will, and will not accept in your life. This can range from business decisions, relationship values to all other areas of your life.

The second step is to commit, and be disciplined about it.There’s no point in writing out values’ and not sticking to it right?

Some Good Values to Have:

When I started out, I started out with some of these simple values:

  • I will not hang out with people who doesn’t want to hang out with me
  • I will not date a girl who doesn’t want to date me
  • I will not text a girl who doesn’t want to text me
  • I will directly express my interest to girl regardless of the outcome

Ironing Out Dating and Relationship Values

So, couple of years ago, when I started getting good with girls, I needed to iron out my dating values. What I will, and will not accept from women, or people in general. This not only helped my self esteem, but it also made my dating choices much easier.

I stopped texting girls who didn’t want to text me back, I stopped worrying about girls who didn’t want to go out on dates with me. It made my dating choices much much easier. Yeah, I get rejected a lot, however, it saved me the heartache from the smokes and games that most people play.

Values with Women:

This plays an important role when I go out with a girl. I’m not looking to impress her. I’m not looking to win her over. I’m going out with her to see if she matches my values, and not the other way round.

If you’re wondering what I value in women:

  • Physical Traits (I can’t lie)
  • Empathy
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Honesty
  • Nurturance
  • Accountability

From personal experience, I’m much more motivated, willing to give up a lot more time and effort to and to pursue a girl who has better qualities physically. I like short skirts and I can’t lie.

If she’s hot but has selfie problem, sure, I’ll be more tolerant of it. If she’s hot but is slightly emotionally erratic, sure, I’ll take it. I’m willing to give up many superficial nuances that tick me off. It’s a trade off.

However, I’m not willing to give up self-respect and personal boundaries just to pursue someone who is hot. There are other values that I’m not willing to give up. If she disrespects me or hates on my friends, I am going to call her out on it. If she continues to do that, then I’ll simply drop her. That’s because it’s a personal value of mine to not be around disrespectful people in general.

Business Values

I once worked for an insurance company in Singapore. Whilst the career prospects were good, I hated it. Why so? That’s because the way the business was ran went against my value of providing a competitive and ethical service to society.

Business deals were done over drinks, Karaoke pubs, and everyone was merely playing mind games with everyone, attempting to look rich, attempting to blow smoke up each other asses.

Despite having career prospects in the firm, I couldn’t do it. I had to iron out my values at a certain point of time.

So, I ironed it out:

  • I will only run a business that provides an ethical product or service to consumers
  • The systems and products have to work without any overt form of bootlicking (Imagine only making sales if you’re able to please someone or are nice to some other boss of some company)
  • I’m not going to work with or for someone who is afraid of ‘keeping face’ all the time
  • I’m not going to work with or for anyone who uses his network or relationships as a ‘stronghold’ (I don’t give two fucks if you tell me your father is a billionaire, you’re my business partner, not your father)

Ironing out these values made my career choices much simpler. I will only provide an ethical service for consumers in my choice of work. Out went the spammy marketing strategies, out went the nights of drinking just for the sake of clinching a deal.

Since I had these values in place, it freed me up to learn more about marketing, branding, and ethical business practices that align with my values.

How I Defined New Values For Myself

  • I went hard on people that people that owed me money, I wasn’t nice to them, I told them to pay up in a stern manner, this includes friends. I had a slight argument with a good friend I had for many years due to year repeated behavior on this. I can’t respect people who don’t respect these basic values in life. It’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to return the money you owe.
  • I was willing to lose two of my closest friendships and called them out. Why? They have been showing up late, being disrespect, and not being accountable to the friendship. There isn’t a friendship in place anymore in the first place.
  • I said fuck it to some of my business relationships. I didn’t want to rely on ‘Guan Xi’ to do business. I know that the Singapore business culture (on a billionaire or multi-millionaire level) is reliant on relationships. I made it a point for my businesses to be self-reliant for sales, leads and etc.
  • I said fuck it to fixing family relationships. I had spent the last 4 years chasing truths about my family. I decided recently it wasn’t worth the effort. My parents are going to continuously be fucked in their own ways. Why am I making the efforts to communicate better, when they are not? Fuck it.
  • I made it a point to go back to University, put effort in my school work, alongside with writing and building business projects. I also made it a point to take part in school activities twice a week.
  • I also made it a point to find like-minded individuals to hang out with. I met a guy (who’s actually cool, one of the rare ones) from the pick up artist community.

How to Establish Your Values Without Being an Asshole?

So the one thing about values that people (and I myself) get confused is that you got to be an asshole when expressing your values

Having strong values doesn’t mean that you go around calling others out on their ‘poor values’ or ‘lack of values’. It just means recognising that you have different values than them, are some times it’s just a lack of compatibility in a relationship. Nothing else.

The first step to establish your values is to make it known. If the girl you’re dating shows up late, you don’t have to scream at her for showing up late. Just making it known and calling her out on it is enough. Perhaps, then saying that: hey, I hope you won’t be this late the next time we meet. In a respectful and genuine manner.

I used to think, if my friends aren’t into self improvement, then fuck them. If my friends don’t want to go with you to meet girls, then fuck them as well.

Everyone has different values, and value different things at different points of their life. You can be flexible about values as well. Not everyone is perfect. If you’ve got a good friend who you know who’s forever late, and that’s because of his bad habit, not because he intended so, then you can be flexible your values accordingly, taking into account that you value your friendship with him.

What Happens When You Change Your Values?

In the book Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, the author mentioned that if your personal values change, your old relationships are going to blow up in your face.

This might be expressed from not accepting certain behaviour from old friends. It may tick them off the wrong way initially.

For Eg. When I see my old friend going “fuck school and fuck society”, I no longer cheer him on. It’s a new value of mine to value education. Society isn’t also all that bad.

When you shift you values, long term relationships are going to be the hardest. Do they have to go? Absolutely not. I value old friendships.  here’s no need to completely cut out a person because of a difference in values. Despite a difference in values, there will be an overlap in values

However, if we’re going to constantly disagree on worldviews and choose completely different lifestyle choices, then perhaps, it’s inevitable. The loss of a relationships might not be a completely negative thing. It’s an opportunity to re-invent yourself. It’s an opportunity to take steps that you’ve never taken before for fear of judgement from the people around you.

It’s important to straighten out values from time to time. Then never build a strong identity because they don’t have values. Hence, values are something I stress on as a Singapore dating coach.

You Are Your Values, So Be careful of What You Value

Through the years, I realized that people are going to have different values as you do, at different point of their lives. This goes right up to your parents, your best childhood friends, your boss, your pet gold fish, and your colleagues.

It’s a harsh truth, however, I learned that relationships, at times, don’t have to last forever.

It’s values that ultimately bring people together and tear people apart. You’re going to be what you value. Choose your values wisely.

Works Cited

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Values (Ethics). Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Manson, M. (n.d.). Where Are Your F***king Values . Retrieved from




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