For some people it is a circular path of never quite feeling like they are getting what they want from life. Let’s imagine Sasha. She has a good job but she doesn’t feel it’s really what she wants to do long term. She comes home feeling unhappy, and her body usually feels tense. She wants some relief from this, to feel better. She doesn’t want to leave a good job, but she isn’t sure what sort of job will help her feel more fulfilled. She probably needs more training but she’s not even sure what course to take. She’s feeling lost.
Chocolate is the answer, right?
Chloe, who recently attending our Live Life Your Way event, described how powerful it is to know these core values. Presented with a list of values, she cut it down to just six. And then came a moment of realisation: “these things are really important and true to myself! Just by looking at these six words, I realised who I am and how I want to manage myself in my life.” She says these values as describe her “Deep Me,” especially when you then whittle it down to just the three core values. What new life and clarity this brings!
When a life choice conflicts with a core value, there can be problems. Say you are looking to change your career. If your core values are around money and the new job offer is lucrative, then you will of course accept. But if being near family is one of your very important core values, and the job is far away from family, this might cause problems later. If you accept the job and move away and don't get to see your family, you will subconsciously resent the job. You might even sabotage your opportunity to advance in the company because staying there does not line up with who you are and what you need from life.
Our team member Alejandro also relates to values changing over time. “I had looked at my values before, but when I did the exercise again recently at the Live Life Your Way training, here were some changes. It's good to take a moment to look at things again and notice where you are at this point in time.”
Sometimes it is the little things that catch our attention, or jar with our experience of living. Laura has a core value around sustainability. She also likes to order coffee. Recently she misplaced her metal coffee cup which she uses when she orders a latte. This meant she started ordering coffees in the take-away cups. “I was really unhappy drinking my coffee from these cups,” she reported. “I had to stop ordering coffee until I got another reusable mug! Which of course I did quickly because sustainable consumption is really important to me, but so is coffee!”
Then I started to feel like I wasn't being myself with them, and maybe I couldn't really be myself with them. So I decided that being myself was really more important than being with other people,
and I decided not to spend more time with those people. Instead I enjoyed my time alone, and had some conversations meeting new people.”
Living life without knowing your core values is a bit like trying to take a journey using a map with no place names... you don't know where you are or where you are going. But once you know these core values, you can navigate much more easily with a more complete map – your journey becomes much more joyful and fulfilling!
Heidi is a writer and editor who uses storytelling and journalistic tools to create great messages that make the world a better place.
Contact her on writerwithboots [at] gmail.com