It Sucks To “Kind of” Know Your Values.

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Here is a simple mind exercise that will help. It’s like the plank, but for the brain: It’s simple to do, tough while doing it, and afterwards your core will be stronger, and we know that’s a good thing …

We know if we experience and do things that align with what we care about the most, we tend to be more content.

“ My boss is asking me to hit a deadline, and basically asking me not to be thorough. My life sucks.”

This exercise isn’t anything sophisticated. It just gifts us the time and permission to go deeper and find them. Your life will be better. Guaranteed.

5 steps:

  1. Look at them.
  2. Rank them.
  3. Rank again.
  4. Use them.
  5. Rinse, and repeat.

Let’s go deeper.

  1. Look at them.

Find a list of personal values, from the internet, whatever. Here is an example of the list I have used. Feel free to add values that dont’ appear in the list.

Gift yourself the time to think through them.

Tip: Have a dictionary ready, look up the words often. It’s always good to make sure you understand these words as they are defined.

2. Rank them.

Circle as many as you want. Then push yourself to narrow it down to the top 10 values of yours.

Gift yourself the time to think through them.

Tip: Ask this question often, “What makes me feel (value)?”. It might open you up to deeper values. Let’s use “happiness” as an example. When you ask yourself, “What makes me feel happy?”, you might actually uncover the underlying values (e.g. family? Being useful? Calmness?).

3. Rank them again.

Here is the fun part. After you get to the top 10, now force yourself you trim to down to … 3.

Yes. This is a very critical step. This will also be the most challenging step. 3.

Gift yourself the time to think through them.

Tip: Use these questions. They might help:

“Think back to a time you were most proud.”

“When in your life were you the most happy?”

Semi-pro-tip: Challenge yourself to tell a detailed story or two from the above questions. Seriously. Imagine you need to share this story with … your kid/partner/whatever. Do it. It will help.

4. Use them.

Now you have your top three values. Great. Now it’s time to put them to the test. Here are a few suggestions of how you can use them:

Tell someone about your values, and ask them to be your partners as you go on with life with these values.

When you feel happy, ask yourself, “How do my top 3 personal values line up with whatever you are doing/seeing/experiencing?”

When you feel unhappy/frustrated/not motivated, ask yourself, “What do my top 3 personal values line up with whatever you are doing/seeing/experiencing?”

5. Rinse, and repeat.

Every year, or 6 months, or whatever, gift yourself the time to review your values again. It’s okay if they have evolved. It’s okay if they are the same. The aim here, is to improve your own understanding of yourself. Nothing judgemental, nothing critical.

Gift yourself the time, and permission (self-hug), to think through them, and or update them.

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