By now you’ve discovered what drives your life and are beginning to let go of the external bags. Now you should be ready to begin to identify the values that make up your internal core. When you begin to acknowledge your values, life is much easier because you’re able to start making plans and decisions that honor them. For example, if you discover that family is one of your core values but you work 70-hours a week and have no time for family, you’re outside doesn’t align with your inside. You’ll have to make some adjustments in order to be happy. Another example, if competition is one of your values and you’re a salesman who will never be able to rank with the best in your job, it might be time to change jobs or ask to be mentored.
Core values are your priorities and when you take the time to understand what they are, you’re able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals. As your personal definition to success changes so do your values, so it’s important to keep in touch with your values as a lifelong exercise. Whenever you feel unbalanced, revisit your core values.
- Review this list of core values and circle at least 10 that are important to you. Don’t circle the things you think you should be or that other people want you to be. Ask yourself; what’s really important to “me?”
- Narrow your list down to 10. My list was; balance, continuous improvement, creativity, family, growth, hard work, leadership, making a difference, order and teamwork.
- Review and pair the common values. My list was paired as; family and teamwork, balance and order, continuous improvement and growth, creativity and hard work, leadership and making a difference.
- Order the pairs based on priority. My list was prioritized as such; continuous improvement and growth, family and teamwork, leadership and making a difference, balance and order, creativity and hard work.
- Take the top three pairs and select the preferred word from each and write a personal statement which describes who you are. My personal “who I am” statement is; I am relentlessly committed to personal growth, family, and making a difference. If I want to sound more professional though, like for a career objective on a resume, I might say; I am relentlessly committed to continuous improvement, teamwork and leadership.
Knowing who you are is the first step in taking control of your life. Until you can describe who you are, you’ll never know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You’ll end up somewhere you never wanted to be. Let go of the external bags, identify your internal core, and begin directing the path of your existence. Subscribe to my column and be sure to catch the next article on discovering your strengths.