Values Vs. Virtues

personal development stoicism May 25, 2020
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Values and virtues are terms frequently confused or conflated. Yet, the distinction between the two is worth teasing apart.

Values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They're aspirational goals that provide you with a moral compass for navigating choices and decisions.

Virtues are your convictions. Values as lived and acted upon. Virtues are experienced and observed.

Put another way, values are theory, and virtues are reality.

For example, wisdom is a worthy virtue. However, if we deny our creativity or execute poor judgment, it is impossible to be seen as, or actually be, truly wise.

Equanimity and a sense of flourishing require harmony between virtues and values. And you can't make exceptions due to expediency or situational cherry-picking of when they apply and when one or the other doesn't.

This is why we feel internal dissonance and discomfort when the way we behave is out of alignment with or contrary to who we are.

What you do in many ways is who you really are.

Values and virtues are both critical, of course. And consonance and calm are achieved when they're integrated.

Are your virtues and values in agreement?

Let's go.


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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