“Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value.” Albert Einstein
What are values?
Values are a fundamental part of what makes us strive for anything in life. They are our raison d’etre and inform our goals and influence our behaviours. It is more important to define our values than our goals as our values form the foundations as well as the core motivations for all of our goals. Values are a way of being that sits above what we have or do – if we are being the person we want to be, it is less important what outcomes are achieved.
What impact do they have?
When we are living life in accordance with our values we tend to feel satisfied and fulfilled. Conversely, when we continually strive for goals, or perform tasks, that are not congruent to our values, this leads us to feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
There are two types of values – core and aspirational ones. Core values drive our behaviours, whereas aspirational values are those that we would like to have or feel we should have We are not always consciously aware of our core values and if asked to define them may highlight aspirational values. If we ensure we meet our aspirational values and these are not the same as our core values this may explain why we feel out of balance within ourselves.
Core values can be identified through exploring our patterns of behaviour and life experiences as well as using our conscious mind to identify them and testing these with our emotional response.
Work on defining your values to:
- Understand the true objectives that sit behind your behaviours and goals
- Enable you to build effective and valuable relationships through aligning your values
- Provide a context for all key decisions
This simple to use tool includes a pre-prepared list of possible values to get you started.
Simply download this values selection exercise, review the list of values provided and consider which words represent what you feel most strongly about in living your life – or describe how you live your life.
When do you feel fulfilled and satisfied?
Create Your Ideal Day
This create your ideal day exercise helps you to uncover your values through exploring the key motivations featuring in your ideal day.
Use it to explore an experience that has already happened as well as an aspirational dream for the future – this will help you to discover and compare your core values with your aspirational values.
Values With Meaning
This values with meaning exercise provides more depth and meaning to the value words recognising that words hold different connotations to different people.
It is important to clarify the exact meaning for you so that you can align your goals and activities with your values to make them more motivating.
This values elicitation exercise explores the core values that have driven your behaviours and actions in the past. It needs to be facilitated by a coach, or person that is well-versed in spotting values and knows when to keep digging deeper as you need to let your mind be opened for exploration and if you are ‘thinking’ too much you will remain in your conscious mind.