For the past 25 years, my journey has taken me across the globe, travelling to over 180 countries to uncover the profound influence of values on human behaviours, relationships, and culture. The culmination of these transformative experiences finds its expression in my bestselling book“The Values Compass,” which serves as a guide, inviting readers to navigate the complex terrain of life using the compass of values.

Undoubtedly, external forces leave a mark on nations, yet amid these challenges, there’s a constant, unwavering force – values. Values are the invisible threads weaving through the fabric of a nation, providing continuity, resilience, and a compass that guides individuals and societies through the unpredictable terrain of life.

Have you ever wondered what truly makes for a meaningful life? In her groundbreaking book, “Regrets of the Dying,” Bronnie Ware uncovered a profound truth: the most common regret people share is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Embarking on a journey towards a life that resonates with our authentic selves begins with a crucial exploration of our core values. Understanding who we are at our essence lays the foundation for a life that aligns with our deepest aspirations.

How do values come into play?
Dr Mandeep Rai

1. Inherited foundations. Some values are woven into the fabric of our being from a young age, passed down by our parents, cultural institutions, and peers. These ingrained principles shape the early contours of our identity.

2. A natural expression. Surprisingly, some values are an innate expression of our unique personalities. Studies of twins with near-identical upbringings reveal distinct sets of values and personalities, highlighting the individuality ingrained in each of us.

The first step toward a more intentional life is cultivating awareness of your values, as they subtly guide the trajectory of your choices. Armed with this self-awareness, you can begin to construct the pillars of your purpose and mission, laying the groundwork for a life that is not only true to yourself but deeply meaningful.

Why explore values?

Well, in recent years due to global events the reset button has been emphatically pressed, prompting a surge in the number of us pondering life’s profound questions. For example:

How do I navigate my path in this COVID/post-COVID world?

What does the era of hybrid working truly mean for me?

Am I pursuing a professional journey that ignites my passion?

How can I align myself with what truly matters to me?

Equally, as the winds of change sweep through this dynamic period, companies themselves are seeking clarity. They’re recognizing the importance of crafting decisions rooted in their own well-defined values. The corporate landscape is evolving and understanding and embracing values has become instrumental in navigating these uncharted waters.

A Values Journey
Dr Mandeep Rai

So, are you ready to uncover the unique values that shape your essence? Together, let’s explore how giving attention to these values can propel us toward our highest potential. After all, understanding your values is not just a journey; it’s the compass that directs you toward a life rich with purpose and fulfilment.

Over the coming months, as you immerse yourself in the stories of values, I invite you to grab a pen and jot down the values that resonate most deeply with you. Consider this a personal invitation to examine whether these values mirror something inside you waiting to be expressed further.

Remember that the more authentically we can live our lives, staying true to ourselves and our values, the higher our potential for fulfilment and success.


  • Dr. Mandeep Rai

    World Values Expert, Author, Speaker, Broadcast Journalist, Non Exec Director

    The Values Compass

    Dr. Mandeep Rai is a global authority on values, working with companies, institutions, and individuals around the world. She has traveled to more than 150 countries and reported as a broadcast journalist for the BBC World Service and Reuters, among others. She began her career in private banking at JPMorgan, and later worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, and grassroots NGOs before setting up the UAE’s first media venture capital fund. Mandeep studied philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE), has an MSc in development from the London School of Economics, and completed an MBA at London Business School, with a year at Harvard Business School and MIT. She also holds a PhD in global values.