Well-being and prosperity

Values Vs Roles

After seeking expert advice for an unresolved issue, I was told that I had enmeshed my roles with my identities.  In essence it meant that I drew my self-worth from my roles (such as husband, father, child worker, leader, teacher ...) instead of my values (authenticity, visionary, strategic, compassionate ...) and this seemed somewhat counter-intuitive to the idea of goal-setting and building self-esteem through setting and achieving goals.

Furthermore, how can one express a value without a role?  Even when I am walking down the street, I play a role as a pedestrian by obeying certain rules and etiquette and I then apply my values to it. I guess that the key is to generate my self-esteem or self worth through the expression of my core values, not through the recognition of others of them by expressing appreciation.

The difference of the two approaches is like the difference of a wealth mentality to the poverty mentality.  The rich mentality is to materialize values through roles and to create infinite wealth since the values do not run out.  The poor mentality is to try and gain recognition from others of performing a role.

Many websites have lists of values and said to prioritize them.  I came up with about 20-40 values and I found this simple approach was insufficient to gain any meaningful results.

I also have attended a seminar that discussed the concept of value-based goals as opposed to achievement based goals.  In theory this sounded great but when I started trying to apply this I became stuck very quickly indeed.

With so many values in my list, I needed to group the values, so I needed a layer of abstraction.  The abstraction has no meaning in itself apart from being a high-level idea.  For those computer programming geeks and perhaps for some professionals this is a walk in the park, since abstraction is used to create repeatable patterns,  It means that the pattern can be created without having to worry too much about the detail.

This means that you and I can both follow the list of abstract values, but we implement specifics quite differently.

My list of abstract values are:

  • Truth
  • Planning
  • Connection
  • Effort
  • Attitude


Truth values are things like authenticity, trustworthy, honest, committed.  They are your values around right from wrong.  This allows me to prioritize a truth value.  Of course people all have truth values but perhaps the priority is different.  The process is also there to help identify flaws in values.  If, for example, you will not commit to yourself for your own timetable (say eating healthy and exercising regularly)  but put your family's needs first then it may mean that you have a low value on authenticity but a high level of commitment.

Planning values relate to all of the time management,  goal-setting and  visionary skills.  They define what's important to you to envision, plan and control your life.  For me, I am a visionary and a dreamer.  I think strategically and am innovative with my ideas.  Not everyone has this as their main values so things like goals, budgeting, timetables and keeping things in order might be planning values.  

Connection values are what is important to us in connecting with other people.  Be careful not to drop straight into roles when assessing this. My no 1 connection value is companionship and compassion.  Below those come friendship, romance, caring, loving and empathy.  

Effort values obviously map into a career or school but also are relevant in any organization that you play a role in.  They define what you value most in applying effort to a task.  My effort values are leader and team player, followed by diligence, determination and excellence.  

Attitude values are the way you approach each role.  My attitude is laid-back and respectful followed by quiet, consistent, courteous and fun.



The idea here is that I can drop in most of my roles into the abstract values and it will work and fit well with my own identity.  It doesn't mean that every role will take on every abstract statement but most of them should fit well.



I am a committed <role> and I am trustworthy and honest.  I like who I am.


I am a visionary who dreams of a better future and I am a creative <role>


I am a compassionate <role> caring and loving <object> and showing empathy for them.  I am a great companion, taking time to know and understand <object>.  I choose my <friends> carefully.  (I am a romantic at times).  I guard and protect my companions.


I am a natural leader as a <role> and I work as a team player diligently to achieve excellence.


I am a laid back and respectful <role>.  I am quiet, consistent, courteous and fun with a dark sense of humour.




The idea of Self Acceptance is close to the Self Concept

Now that I have created my abstract values and tested them by slotting my main roles into the template, I am comfortable that the abstract values are who I am.  The next step I am making is a self acceptance statement.  The self acceptance statement is something that I can repeat regularly to reinforce my core values and to validate why I am worthwhile as a person, regardless of any of my roles.


1. I accept and love my mind, body and spirit unconditionally. I am grateful for the gifts and talents given to me.

2. I forgive myself unconditionally for all past mistakes and have learned from them to become a better person.

3. I like the fact that I am authentic, committed, trustworthy and honest.

4. I am proud of being a visionary, to dream of a better future and to be creative.

5. I love being compassionate and caring and I am a great companion, taking time to know and understand my friends, who I choose carefully.

6. I am proud to lead and work effectively and diligently in a team, striving for excellence.

7. I love to be laid back and respectful, quiet, consistent and courteous.  I am fun with a dark sense of humor.

8. I enjoy the journey of life and I am careful not to attach strongly to the outcome of any process so that I may be blessed with what I need in any form that it may come.

Self Concept:

Self concept is used in the belief/emotion/actions cycle.  The Self concept reinforces a belief, that in turn affects our emotions.  The emotions affect our actions to reinforce the belief.  

I am attractive, endearing, compassionate, insightful, team player, leader and visionary.  I'm quiet but fun to be around.  I'm encouraging to others and a valuable friend.

I am nice, happy, ambitious and generous.  I have reslience, encouraging and creative





Okay, so I'm not going to list every possible role but in the planning process I just need to identify the most important ones to me.  

Here is a list of roles that I play in order of importance:

  • Self
  • Husband
  • Father
  • Leader
  • Companion
  • Worker
  • Friend
  • Investor
  • Trainer
  • Sportsman
  • Child
  • Neighbor


You can see, for example, that I value my role as Child quite low but Father as high so clearly my priority is towards my children and not so much to my parents.  I expect that the importance of the Child role diminishes for me over time.

I slot the roles into my abstract values statement to see if they are mostly valid.