What are values?
Wikipedia defines values as;
A personal value is absolute or relative and ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based.
Some values are physiologically determined and are normally considered objective, such as a desire to avoid physical pain or to seek pleasure. Other values are considered subjective, vary across individuals and cultures, and are in many ways aligned with belief and belief systems. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues. Values have been studied in various disciplines: anthropology, behavioral economics, business ethics, corporate governance, moral philosophy, political sciences, social psychology, sociology and theology to name a few.
Each person has a different path that they take, so therefore each person will have different experiences and form their own values. We must remember that when we meet, work with, share a part of life, or co-create with another person. How we feel, or what we assume for us, in fact may not be the truth of the other person.
This is not right or wrong, it is truth.
As you do this exercise you may learn more about yourself and your own personal experiences.
To begin this exercise you will need 3 to 4 pieces of paper and two colors of pen or pencil to write with. I suggest this be an exercise you do when you have the time to not feel rushed, as well as the space to not be interrupted. The more time and focus you put into this exercise the more you will gain from it.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, relax and connect to your heart. Feel your heart beating and relax into your body.
Take your first piece of paper and write down as many values you can think of. These can be your values, values you have heard from others, values you feel and values you do not feel yet. Make the list flow as best you can and continue to write until you cannot write anymore. I will give an example of some values;
Abundance Joyful Health Build Dependable passionate adventure influence
Calm drama inspire fun dream control risk responsible satisfied
Now continue writing your list until you are out of words and values that flow for you. Make sure you have at least 20 words written on your paper(s) when you finish.
Now take your second color pen and quickly scan through and circle the words that jump out to you as values you are living in your life, or values you want to live in your life.
There is no judgment as you quickly run through the words, not worried about how they feel or what association you may have to that value.
Now take your time to work through the values and pick out 10 values to write on your next piece of paper that call to you. You are either living them or really wish to be living them. Make sure they are words that hold a meaning or call to you. Take your time as you work through each value written in front of you.
Now take your next piece of paper and spend time sitting with each value you wrote out on your 10 values. Write MY TOP FOUR VALUES on the top of the new piece of paper. Take your time and chose the words that you feel make up the truth of how or what you are living in your life right now.
What are the top four words you would say are the top 4 values you live daily and the most in your life right now. Take your time, and no judgments on these. The more truthful you can be with yourself as you do this exercise, the more you will gain from it.
On your last piece of paper, take a moment and write how each one of these words or phrases on your top 4 list makes you feel.
These are your core values, your top 4 values that you live in your life right now. It is amazing how different experiences or aspects of your life that you live that create each value.
This is an exercise you can do in different parts of your life, or when you perhaps feel like you are stuck living in a space you don’t like.