He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.
If you understand that your beliefs and values dictate your behaviour. If you understand that free will does not exist. Then surely you would also see the value in understanding your own specific values and the values of those you interact with.
The problem is that most of us have a story or an idea in our minds of who we are and what we believe. In reality however, our behaviour paints a very different picture. In a clinical environment a practitioner must go though a series of detailed questions to understand the client's unique mental terrain. However, another simple way to gain insight is to have a good hard look at ourselves.
Our actions reveal our values and belief systems. If we wish to understand ourselves it is wise to reflect deeply on our behaviour.
6 questions to determine values
Take pen to paper and try answering the six questions below with deep reflection & honesty. Answering these questions honestly can be difficult. Get someone else involved who knows you really well. Their feedback will help you get more accurate.
1. How do you fill your space?
Look around you, in your bag in your car. What stuff do you always have with you? What do you collect and admire?
2. How do you spend your time?
What do you always have time for? We always make time for that which its highest on our values.
3. How do you spend your energy?
What do you always have the energy to do no matter what? And what experiences give you energy when you're feeling tired or low?
4. How do you spend your money?
Look at your spending habits. What do you spend on without hesitation? What can you always afford?
5. Where are you most organised and disciplined?
We are automatically more organised and disciplined in the areas of life that we value most. Where can you see order and organisation in your own life?
6. What can you talk about at length effortlessly?
We all have topics that we tend to bring up in conversations. These topics reflect our areas of interest and unique values. What do you talk about frequently with friends and loved ones? What topics get you excited and energised? What could you talk about all night?
So now what?
Now you understand yourself or others a little better. Now you understand the core beliefs that are dictating the current behaviour. consider the following:
1) Realise your behaviour and that of others is simply the result of current values and belief systems.
2) You can forgive yourself and others for past behaviour now that you have more insight and understanding. Its not the individual that should be blamed, but their values and beliefs.
3) Any goals or duties outside of these highest values are less likely to be attended to or achieved.
4) If you want to set realistic goals they need to be inline with your current values.
5) If you want to change your behaviour or values you need to do some deep work to shift the scales and create new beliefs and understandings about a given topic. This requires external information, not free will.
I learnt this from Dr John Demartini many years ago. You can check a more thorough questionnaire he created with with 13 questions here