The Value In 30 Challenge

Time to read: 6-9 Minutes
References: 5

A Review From James Madison University titled, “Personality, Values, and Motivation,” beautifully labels values in this statement:

“Values are not,  for example, attitudes – attitudes are specifically related to a given event, person, behavior, situation, etc. Values are more ingrained, more stable, and more general than attitudes (England & Lee, 1974). Additionally, values are ordered by importance, such that one will tend to act according to the more important value when two values are in conflict. For example, consider a man who values hedonism (pursuit of pleasure) more than benevolence (concern for relationships). If forced to choose between golfing and helping his brother move, he would be more likely to golf, because he places greater importance on fulfilling personal desires than on his relationships with others.”

The authors are bringing forth the theory popularized by Shalom H. Schwartz in which he sets forth a theory of human values. Below is a graphic example to give you a visual guideline.

Schwartz goes further to explain and has refined the descriptions in the paraphrasing below.

1. Conformity: Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms.
2. Tradition: Respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas that one’s culture or religion provides.
3. Benevolence: Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact.
4. Universalism: Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.
5. Self-Direction: Independent thought and action—choosing, creating, exploring.
6. Stimulation: Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
7. Hedonism: Pleasure or sensuous gratification for oneself.
8. Achievement: Personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards.
9. Power: Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
10. Security: Safety, harmony, and stability of society, of relationships, and of self.

So the question is, what do you value? Security? Power? Self-Pleasure? Benevolence?

Value and Motivations

You’d be surprised that not understanding your values contributes to the lack of nurturing your motivations.

Motivations are different than values in that they drive action. Think of it as values being the reasons and motivations being the charge to them.

I had a brief conversation or perhaps a philosophical waxing about this very thing a few days ago. I stated measuring of willpower in a research setting was difficult and possibly unethical due to the lack of not being able to fabricate value and motivation in the studies. I was then thoughtfully asked (something to the effect of) if I thought Viktor E. Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, was right when he said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’?”

I said, “Basically, yes.”

We can be motivated to do anything with the right values attached to it. We can move a car off of a loved one. We can outrun an attack. We can not fold when it counts.

Want to know your life? Know your values.

Want to change your life? You might need to change your values or at the very the least accept them for what they are.

Looking at the above you might question, “How can you possibly come up with a “basic” challenge everyone can take part in or remotely tie into our value system?” I’ve likely failed but I’m doing so with flair and gumption.

Value In 30 Challenge

You have 30 days to fit in these ten challenges below. This is a public post and can be done anytime you find this. I’m elaborating on all of this for a book I’m working on. In the meantime, my members and I will be conducting this challenge for the next 30 days. You can play along outside or inside the group. The only difference is that I will be talking with them about each one of these values individually instead of the basic bullets you see below. In short, they get to read more of my yapping that may or may not be worth the price of admission.

The Value 10 

1. Get hungry on purpose
2. Read spiritual text
3. Help someone you love
4. Donate or give time to charity
5. Physically write uncensored free-flowing thoughts for one minute
6. Go somewhere new
7. Spoil yourself
8. Complete a project and share what you did with people
9. Brag publicly
10. Train your body

How to Use the Above In the Challenge

The goal of this challenge is to determine your values and motivations on a deeper level. To realize, perhaps for the first time, what drives you the most. In doing that you can learn what you should nurture. In this, you can also get more comfortable with all aspects of the “wheel” presented before you. You can do each one of these things one time in 30 days. You can do multiple ones in a day. You can do them more than once throughout the 30 days. There is no right or wrong way to do this challenge. For members, I will post my thoughts in the group about what each of these things means to me. However, I think you can decipher them on your own. I welcome your thoughts (member or not).

Share this with people.

Test your values and boundaries.


England, G. W., & Lee, R.
 The relationship between managerial values and managerial success in the United States, Japan, India, and Australia. Journal ofApplied Psychology, 59,411–41 (1974)

Parks L., Russell P. Guay.
 "Personality, values, and motivation"
 Personality and Individual Differences 47  675–684 (2009)

Schwartz, S. H.
 Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 1–65). San Diego, CA: Academic Press (1992)

Schwartz, S. H. Basic values: How they motivate and inhibit prosocial behavior. In M. Mikulincer & P. Shaver (Eds.)(2010)

Sheldon, K. M., & Elliot, A. J.
 Goal striving, need satisfaction, and longitudinal well-being: The self-concordance model. Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology, 76, 482–497. (1999)