A few weeks ago week we talked about what exactly core values are. To see the blog entry “What exactly is a “Core Value” click here.
Since I feel so strongly that knowing your core values is the foundation to everything, I want to be able to help you identify yours.
When you live in accordance with your core values you will make better and easier decisions, your communication and persuasion skills will improve and you will live a happier life. I know these are big claims, but I know this to be true. I have seen huge change for clients after they have identified their values.
When you know and understand your values, you gain insight into yourself. It can be very difficult to figure out what your values are. You can work on this alone, but you might find it more productive to brainstorm with a coach, therapist, trusted friend, close family member, business mentor, or a religious or spiritual leader.
Exercise: Which Films Inspire You Most?
Here is an exercise to help you begin to explore your values. Start by listing a few films that have inspired you over the years. Once you’ve identified the films, make a list of the qualities that you relate to in each film. If films aren’t your thing, you can carry out the exercise with TV shows, books, songs, or whatever touches you the most.
For instance, here is my honest list:
- Monsoon Wedding: heritage, respect, beauty, honour
- Platoon: honour, nobility, tenacity
- Alice in Wonderland: free abandon, freedom
- The Blind Side: resilience, persistence, love, family
- Cars: friendship, loyalty, fun
- Schindler’s List: respect, compassion, vision
- Argo: triumph, honour, creativity
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: fun, edginess, kitsch
- Lawrence of Arabia: maverick, grandeur, spectacle
From this list I would say my values include: freedom (maverick & edginess), tenacity (honour, persistence, resilience & loyalty), beauty (fun, creativity, grandeur & spectacle) and communication (vision, compassion & respect)
Now take a look at your list of films and qualities. Do any of them resonate with you? Could they be your values? Pick and choose from them wisely and carefully, but also be honest and stretch yourself. Often a few might fall in the same category and maybe you need to find a better (or more inclusive and specific) word to describe your values.
Now that you are closer to figuring out what your values are… in the next blog entry we will look at how you can use your values as a road map in decision making.