A lot of guides to living your life with values talk as if you should just have your values at the tip of your tongue, and all that’s needed is to write them down and refer to the list frequently. If your values really are that present, why wouldn’t you already be following them? I think that most people are not in touch with their values. The better guides have introspection exercises to reveal them.
Introspection is untrustworthy: a lot of crazy philosophy, psychology and religion has come out of very smart people doing introspection. I especially don’t trust introspection for this kind of thing. It will yield a combination of society’s values (the metanarrative), the unrealistic person you’d like to be (superman’s values) and values that other people are pushing on you (mom’s values).
I don’t believe that people have intrinsic, unchanging values, but introspection will not even give insight to your socially-constructed self. Postmodernism says that not only is the self not fixed, but it’s fuzzier and less solid than we think it is. (And we think that our selves are sharp and solid because of introspection.)
Instead, you need to observe yourself to reveal values in your behavior. Rather than identifying the values you’d like to live by, I think it’s better to identify the values you actually are living by. Observing yourself without falling into the trap of introspection is hard: it’s easier to observe other people and get other people to observe you.