Maybe you’re tired of following the crowd like a lost sheep.
Maybe you’re tired of feeling guilty.
Maybe you’re wondering if this is all there is.
Maybe you’re just tired.
Maybe you’re wondering why you do what you do. (‘Cause I want to is not an answer.)
Maybe you just need to know your Core Values… those things you hold closest to yourself and are yours alone.
Knowing what you stand for so you can make choices that make sense is a big deal. Giving your life purpose and direction… intentionally moving yourself toward your goals is a big deal. Knowing who you really are (instead of believing what other people think you are) is a big deal.
Figuring this stuff out is not easy. It’s a task many ignore because it’s not magic where you get to wave your little wooden wand and everything will be better. In this society, there is an expectation that instant gratification is somehow better. That most things can be accomplished with little work. That figuring out who you are involves no time, effort, digging, exploring and making conscious well thought decisions.
There are myriad people who will sell you a quick fix; snake oil in a bottle. There are many more people who set goals, write affirmations, make beautiful, art worthy vision boards and ultimately skip the most important part why.
Have you ever wondered why you do or want certain things?
What Are Core Values?
The happiness of your child does not carry the same weight as buying the shoes or eating chocolate cake whenever you want or showing off your new boat to friends.
Your values carry weight and what is really important to you has value. If you don’t know what those values are and what they mean to you, you may well be one of those people who chooses the shoes or boat simply because you think it’s what you want. What you are really getting is a momentary hit of pleasure that will likely have negative consequences later… with feelings of guilt… and inadequacy… and the underlying question, “Why did I do that?”
Do You Want to Play a Game?
· It’s okay to go to bed without having brushed your teeth.
· Same sex marriages should be legal in every country worldwide.
· It’s totally acceptable to pick your nose in a public place.
· Life should mean life with regard to a prison sentence.
· An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.
· Eye contact must be made at all times.
· Money doesn’t buy happiness.
· All politicians are liars.
· All religions cause wars.
· It’s survival of the fittest.
Even as you read through this exercise, your internal rating system is using your values to judge the usefulness of this article.
At this point, if you are scoffing at this article and huffing and puffing about how it is useless drivel and I already know plenty, thank you very much, then there is nothing I can do to help. You’re done. Go back to the sports scores and the shopping channel and buying shoes and racing around in your motor boat. I can’t help you until you choose to help yourself.
More Stuff Please
Core Values are a system in perfect working order; working even now as you read this. They are the central headquarters of how you choose and what you decide; how you behave & how you act.
You’ll look around (sometimes unconsciously) to seek evidence that your values are the right ones. It is not a matter of right or wrong. It is a matter of feeling they are right.
Where Do They Come From?
Try these questions:
· How do you feel about your name?
· Where were you born? How has that shaped you?
· Where did you grow up? How do you feel about it today?
· What did your parents (main care givers) teach you?
· What sex are you? How do you feel about that?
· What behaviour do not you tolerate in others?
· And do you tolerate it with your closest family?
· What did your peers teach you about life at age 10?
What’s the Difference Between Core Values and Values?
What about your life, career, business?
Core Values do matter.
Knowledge is power.
Discover your core values. Know them, learn from them, embrace the ones that serve you and move away from the ones that do not serve. They will show you why you behave and act in certain ways. They will help you manage conflict. They will help you see other people more clearly. They will shed light on what really matters to you. They will explain to you why you feel what you feel and do what you do.
They will help clear your mind of clutter and feel more confident.
When you are working through the workbook, you can do it alone and my suggestion will be to do it with someone else. A coach helps tremendously as does a fellow “seeker”. You may feel like working through it alone. That’s fine. Just know that in my experience, having another person to bounce your ideas off of seems to help.