Core values are your moral compass: what you deeply believe is morally right. What we must remember is that your core values are always believed or perceived to be moral or influenced by morality. However, these fundamental beliefs and guiding principles often trigger and fuel the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that help people realize moments of happiness and positive experiences and, ultimately, progress toward achieving goals, realizing success and self-transcendence.
We know that core values are developed through life experiences, familial patterns, social conditioning and consumption of content, events and opinions. Our beliefs that affirm our core values are often those unquestioned convictions that we accept as truth based on our own current cognition. Aligning and living our core values is where humanity places our feet on the ground running at full speed ahead.
Six Steps To Identify And Align Your Personal Core Values
To uncover what you truly value in life, you must commit to getting real with yourself and not view yourself through a filtered and conditioned lens. We must commit and choose to be deeply cognitive about this process and get vulnerable with the truth. So make sure you give yourself privacy and time or have a trusted advisor or coach working with you to help you define your core values.
Step 1: Write down all the significant moments that taught you something important in your life. Write down the good and bad, the challenging and rewarding, the happy and most difficult.
Step 2: Group and narrow them down. You may have quite a few, and some of them may be reflective of a single word. Spend time to think through your draft list.
Step 3: Place an asterisk (*) next to the ones that represent who you really are and those that support who you want to grow into. Those left unmarked are going to be accessories to your core values list.
Step 4: Select ten or fewer. These are the core values you are and will be demonstrating daily. The values you are intentional with. The values that are deeply meaningful. The values that align with your legacy, relationships, work and cognition.
Step 5: Every 30 days, spend 15 minutes evaluating your core values. Ask the following questions:
• Which values come naturally to me?
• Which values feel misaligned or inauthentic?
• Which values are difficult and hard? Why?
• Are there any values I need to remove, add and/or adjust?
Step 6: Every 12 months, perform a values report. This exercise is not only to evaluate your core values, it is to write a values statement that will serve as a rallying cry for the next year’s motivation and momentum building.
Ask yourself these and any other questions you feel are pertinent to your core values:
• What values drive my behaviors?
• What values drive positive relationships?
• What values drive well-being and good health?
• What values drive financial vitality, etc.?
• Have I done my best to build positive and lasting relationships? Take care of my health and well-being? Be responsible with my finances? etc.
Once you have answered your questions, update your core values list. Write a values statement. Post your core value and values statement in a place that is visible every day: in the bathroom, on your nightstand, at your desk, in your car — wherever you find an opportunity to allow the visual to be a motivator and charge the energy needed to keep the things you think, say and do aligned to your values.
When your personal values align with your workplace values, you are maximizing your ability to be engaged, productive and highly effective, thus realizing more moments of joy and happiness, resulting in more contentment and aligning to your life’s legacy.
Written By: Lori Harris for Forbes Magazine | Sept. 21, 2020