Happiness comes from knowing oneself well or at least better. Introspection is hard, takes work and can one ever be really sure that they’ve got an objective view? This year I spent a lot of time thinking about and understanding my values, strengths, areas of development. The benefit of knowing your values is that they can guide your decision making. Values may change – you may have different values at different stages of life.
If you are figuring out your values or want to have a go at it, Escape the City Online career change course (free with code ESCAPE at the moment) has the following cool exercise:
Do any of these values resonate strongly with you?
We need to get it down to 2-3 key words. If that’s all you’ve got, great. More likely you’ve got 10, 15, 20 (or more) on your piece of paper. So, to refine it, it’s helpful to get imaginative. On your list, look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” Visualize a situation where you’d have to make that choice – e.g. if you’re comparing the values of service and stability, imagine that you have to decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work, or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home. Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with the value next to it. Keep moving the ‘winners’ to the top, until your list is in the correct order.
Now, take a look at your top 3. Do they feel right? Would you stand up for them, even if it put you in the minority? Would you be proud to tell them to someone you admire? Refine your top 3 until you’re happy with them.
My values are: Creativity (fun, joy), Peace (health, calm) and Impact (kindness). What are yours?