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Values

If you do not know to which port you are sailing, no wind is favorable. - Seneca.

β›© 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 β†’ 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.

Tips:

  • 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.

My values are:

Name of the value:What does that value represent to me:Value Rank
Family

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.

1

Honesty

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.

3

Growth
Responsibility for my life
Achieving my goals
Love
Joy
Belonging
Help
Beauty

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. πŸš€

Personal example

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Story 1: Getting into a university in the UK When I was 19, I realized that getting a Masters's Degree in the UK would be very beneficial for my life. So I set myself a goal β†’ to get into a good university for a master's in business and management. To make it happen I needed a couple of things: amazing grades, great results for English tests, and money. So I've committed and worked extra hard in order to pass all the exams with straight A's. Worked with tutors to boost my English writing skills so I can score high during the test. It required sacrifice β†’ I literally dedicated all my time that year to prepare myself for these exams, as I understood that my life will change completely if I get into the university. I also had to sell my car in order to partially cover my tuition fees. But once I got the results of the exams, and a confirmation that I am admitted to the Master's Program, I vividly remember that joy, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. Summary: what values can we spot in this story? Values: Hard work and commitment, achieving results, growth, knowledge.

Now it's time for you to write your stories and derive your core values from them.

Your stories:

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Your Story 1:
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Your Story 2:
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Your Story 3:
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Your Story 4:
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Your Story 5:

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:

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Your Infuriating moment 1:
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Your Infuriating moment 2:
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Your Infuriating moment 3:
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Your Infuriating moment 4:
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Your Infuriating moment 5:

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.

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This is a super useful exercise to go through with your colleagues and love partners in order to align on the meaning of each word and value.

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:

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New value 1:
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New value 2:
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New value 3:

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.

Rank all of them from 1 to 5 (5 being the most important).
The next step is the process of elimination, or to be specific, crossing them out. Cross out those with 1-2 ranks.
Group the values that are left into categories and give them labels
Leave 5 most important categories/values

VOILA! You have your values! πŸš€

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 ➑️ Principles ⬅️