The next step is to prioritize your list. This is usually the most time consuming and difficult step because it requires some intense thinking.
My preferred method of prioritizing my values list is to identify the top value, then the second highest value, and so on until I’ve rebuilt the whole list in order of priority from the top to the bottom.
So you may begin by asking yourself these questions:
Which of these values is truly the most important to me in life?
If I could only satisfy one of these values, which one would it be?
The answer to this question is your number one or strongest value.
Then move down the list and ask which remaining value is the next most important to you, and so on, until you’ve sorted the whole list in priority order.
Sometimes the highest priority value will be obvious to you. Other times you’ll have it narrowed down to a few choices but will have a hard time figuring out which one is really the most important among those. When that happens here’s what I recommend. Invent a scenario for each value, and then compare those scenarios.
For example, if you’re trying to decide which is more important to you, learning or peace, then ask yourself, “Which would I rather do – read a book or meditate?” This example assumes that reading a book would satisfy your value of learning and that meditating would satisfy your value of peace, each to roughly the same degree.
I usually find that when I create scenarios for the tough-to-prioritize values, the ordering becomes clear.