It is important to carefully consider your values for several reasons:
(1) they could guide your life minute by minute towards noble goals, rather than your life being controlled by self-serving motives, customs, accidental occurrences, bad habits, impulses, or emotions. You have to know where you are going before you can get there.
(2) Values and morals can not only guide but inspire and motivate you, giving you energy and a zest for living and for doing something meaningful.
(3) Sensitivity to a failure to live up to your basic values may lead to unproductive guilt or to constructive self-dissatisfaction which motivates you to improve.
(4) High values and some success meeting those goals are necessary for high self-esteem.
(5) Professed but unused values are worthless or worse--phony goodness and rationalizations for not changing. We must be honest with ourselves, recognizing the difference between pretended (verbalized) values and operational (acted on) values.
Of course, no one lives up to all their ideals, but values that only make us look or feel good (including being religious) and do not help us act more morally must be recognized as self-serving hypocrisy.
Thus, self-help is not just for overcoming problems; it also involves learning to become what you truly value, achieving your greatest potential. That is why your values and strengths should be considered along with your problems.
For every fault or weakness you want to lose, you have a valuable strength to gain; for every crude emotion to control, you have an opposing good feeling to experience; for every awkwardness, a helpful skill to acquire; for every denial, a truth to be found.
Optimally, you will identify your problems, as in chapter 2, but also decide on lofty goals that are worthy of your life. I would like to help you find out where you truly want to go.
Then, I hope you and I become sufficiently discontent with our shortcomings and dedicated to our highest...