Well, I’ve spent a lot of the last week thinking about my values. From lots of the websites I looked at (whether meant for school planning or changing careers or mindfulness) the basic idea seems to be to look at bunches of lists of values and see what resonates with you; what is most important to you.
Someone said they figured out their core values by asking themselves “what is the thing I want in X area of my life?” Then they asked “why do I want that?”. After asking why a few times they figured out their core values.
Some friends were kind enough to share theirs with me to give me thoughts on what they considered important.
And a while back an artist wanted to make me a picture as thanks for supporting her work and asked me a bunch of questions including: “use three words to describe your personality.”
I turned to three of my closest friends for help. I told them the first three that came to mind for me were: curious, kind, stubborn. They suggested changing “stubborn” to “determined”; and added: thoughtful, ‘often slightly drunk’, and generous.
I asked Toby and Q as well. Without hesitation Q said that his family and friends were the most important things to him. Then added health. Toby agreed with this and his first thought was ‘kindness’ – which I think is kinda sweet because it was definitely one of the first ones I thought of.
So back to figuring out my own values. I approached it like I do most everything really – I threw a bunch of stuff on the page and tried to figure out what should stay 😊
THE BIG LIST
Family – there should be no doubt that Toby and Q are my world.
Security / Stability
After a bunch of thought and to-ing and fro-ing (just me, or does that just always look wrong? toing and froing is no better), I decided that the ones in bold are the most important to me. Apparently you’re supposed to narrow it down to two eventually but I figure these are a pretty good start. I might write more in the future about what they all mean to me (like generosity isn’t just donating money and maybe over time I’ll become more comfortable with generosity or kindness and only keep one of them bold) but this is where I am now.
Here are some lists of values for you to look at if you like:
Brene Brown – PDF link: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Values.pdf
Psychology Today online list: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/click-here-happiness/201807/39-core-values-and-how-live-them
The University of California Berkeley has a checklist too (lots of other unis do if you poke around a little). https://career.berkeley.edu/Plan/Values The nifty thing about the Berkeley page is it also as an “end of career” activity which asks two questions:
How do you want to be remembered? Similarly, what do you want to be remembered for?
What evidence (e.g. accomplishments, relationships, achievements, etc.) would exist to prove that you led a meaningful life and a successful career?
I thought that was a pretty interesting framework. Especially the first question.