Early last month I felt I’d lost some direction in life and decided to get back in touch with my Values. That’s when I remembered I’d bought Tim Brownson’s Aligning with your Core Values some time back when it was on sale.
Tim writes with an open frankness that never feels over-bearing or arrogant. He peppers his book with case studies and examples from his own experience as a Life Coach which makes what he presents relate-able and real.
By reading this book (and doing the exercises in it) you will walk away with an ordered list of your unique Values. And what do you do with said list? Well, it could help explain some of the frustrations you have in life particularly those that recur again and again. It could also help clarify your next step in life or a bigger picture of what you want to ultimately be up to in life.
Keep in mind that your Values can change over time. In fact, this was the second time I’d gone through these exercises to elicit my list of values. Here is my list as of May 2014:
- Fun (tie with Harmony)
- Harmony (tie with Fun)
And here’s the list when I did it in September 2011:
You will no doubt notice some parallels between both lists: Trust tops both, Integrity appears on each list and some words were changed but have the same underlying meaning (for example Commitment became Dedication while Nurturing became Caring). I am not so sure about Fun coming in at #2 because it coincided with the time I was consciously making sure I had more fun in life.
Remember how I said that Values can help explain some of the frustrations one encounters in life? Trust seems to be a particularly important value and recently some “friends” of mine did something that broke the Trust. Needless to say I was very upset and even lost sleep over it.
I wonder though, if Values can be used to explain experiences, could they also be used to justify them? One the one hand I can say that what my “friends” did hurt me because Trust is important to me (i.e. an Explanation). On the other hand I could easily use Trust as an excuse to keep myself a victim and continue being upset at my “friends” (i.e. a Justification). Just something to be wary of, I suppose.