Published on June 16, 2020

20 Values in Life That Will Lead You to Happiness and Success

20 Values in Life That Will Lead You to Happiness and Success

Would you like more happiness and success in your life?

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.[1] 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.

More to Know About Values in Life

Featured photo credit: Fa Barboza via


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Justin Aldridge

Success Coach, Author, and Speaker helping people wake up to their potential to create lives better than their wildest dreams.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.


In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.


Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.


It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.


If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.


There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

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