Exercises and strategies for living a value-driven life

In the moment

If you are experiencing moral pain because of a violated value, try the following strategy to help yourself.

  1. Take a pause and remind yourself of your values.
  2. Notice: Does your response to this moral pain move you toward or away from those values?
  3. Identify a behaviour that would be more aligned to your values.
  4. Engage in it right there and then.

For example, if something makes you upset, remember that yelling in anger may move you away from your values. Instead, stop and think how you can behave to move yourself toward your true values — then do it.

Reflection and growth


Consider the part of your experience that is morally painful. What value might have been violated? 

For example:

  • Feelings of anger → the violation or desire for justice
  • Feelings of despair → the violation of hope
  • Thoughts like “people are so selfish” → the violation of desire to care for others
  • Thoughts of brokenness → the violation or desire for care
  • Feeling withdrawn → violation of the desire for connection or intimacy

Use the table below to evaluate your moral injury.