If you do not know to which port you are sailing, no wind is favorable. - Seneca.
⛩ What are "values"?
Values denote the degree of importance with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live. Value systems affect your behaviors and activities.
Personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, and constructive. In other words, they serve as a compass 🧭 when it comes to making decisions and actions.
🤨 Why are values important?
Each one of us already has a set of values, which we tend to use as an internal compass to guide our lives. They are formed intentionally and unintentionally as we go through life, and we evaluate most events, situations, and people according to these - whether we are aware of it or not.
The objective here today is to clarify what are our primary values, and how do they affect us on a daily basis, so we can we become more intentional in using them in a smart way.
Values can be aspirational. You can modify your current values and add new ones that support the ultimate vision of your life and who you want to be.
⚡️ The Action
Define your own 5 core values.
If you are one of those who already did this exercise - that's amazing! Please list them here:
If you'd like to define your values → let's do it now!
🧐 How to define my Values?
STEP 1: Set aside at least 30-60 minutes of your time.
Make sure that you are in a good mood and state of mind because if you are frustrated or tired, it might influence how you choose your values.
STEP 2: Answer the question "What is truly important to me?"
You can do this in the form below, or in a physical journal, either will do. If you do it in a journal, make sure that you add the outcome in the table below later on.
Your goal is to write everything that comes into your mind, after you read the question below.
- Think about the following question, and try to get as many as 50 answers
- Focus on simple words or short phrases (like love, family, honesty, trust, growth, etc).
Add all things that are important to you to this table. I've added some examples to help you get started.
|Name of the value:||What does that value represent to me:||Value Rank|
It's a number one priority to me. They are the people that will always be there for me no matter what. And when push comes to shove, they will be my main focus.
It's crucial to me, that people that are close to me, are super honest, and don't hold things back. This is the foundation of trust.
Responsibility for my life
Achieving my goals
STEP 3: Write down the 5 most meaningful and joyful moments of your life.
This exercise is also called the "Peak states" exercise. Could you remember the times when you were most happy, most joyful, or experienced the strongest emotions? Let's write them all down and relive those experiences and emotions. 🚀
Now it's time for you to write your stories and derive your core values from them.
STEP 4: Which values do those moments represent? Add them to the list.
The emotions we experience are connected to our values. Look at all these stories and try to find which values each story represents. Add them to the list above.
STEP 5: Describe 5 most infuriating moments of your life.
The moments you were triggered:
STEP 6: Write down the values that were attacked in each of those moments.
If you experience strong negative emotions, that means that your values are attacked. It's an easy way to define the values that are under attack and write them down. They are important to you. Add them to the table.
STEP 7: "What does each VALUE actually mean to me?"
Once you have defined things that you believe are important to you, the next step is to define what exactly do those values represent.
The why: The goal here is to specify it for yourself and try to explain it. The main reason for this is so you can confirm the exact meaning of something. You see, if both you and I added the word LOVE as our primary value, the first impression would be that we are thinking about the same thing, but your and my experience can be quite different, and we might attach different meanings to that word.
STEP 8: Add values that support your ultimate life vision.
Whenever you are in life now, your values brought them there. The great news about values is that we can use them to shape ourselves and our future. They can be aspirational. In other words, we can decide what future we want to have, and what person to be. Look at our current values, and add those values that the future self would have to half to live that ultimate dream life.
List 3 values that will help you achieve your perfect vision of life:
Add them to the table above.
STEP 9: Group those values, stack rank them, and select the main 5.
Okay, now you have a lot of values, and what do each one of them represent to you. Now it's time to select the most important ones that will guide your decisions and actions.
VOILA! You have your values! 🚀
Credit: Big thanks to Dmitri Sarle for helping create this exercise. For deep dive into the Values exercise please follow the link. He assembled a Trello board with 500 values to choose from.
Your next step ➡️ Principles ⬅️