Values are at the core of every decision we make. They are the driving force behind why we choose to do what we do. Let me give you an example.
I love my job. But what I really love is the actual nature of the work. I love teaching, facilitating, coaching, training, speaking, developing curriculum, researching leadership content, and writing. I get to do these activities every day and they release a ton of energy. However, if I were to be aiming or deploying these activities in an environment that did not align with my values, I wouldn’t feel the same energy.
When I aim them at education, a field that emphasizes knowledge for the sake of empowerment and betterment, I feel energized. But if I were to use these talents to boost profits or for any other purpose, I wouldn’t feel the same. Why? Values. At its core, my place of employment aligns really, really well with by belief system.
Many years ago I took a values assessment. From that assessment, I determined that some of the things I value most are belief in others, empowerment, education, and personal development/growth. Based on this, if I align my career with what I value I vastly increase the likelihood that I will feel satisfied and congruent.
So how do you figure out what you value? There are several ways. One of the easiest is to work through a reflection activity that helps to identify values. Another way is to simply think about a time in your life when you felt congruent…a time when the world was right and you felt whole. Now look at this list of words — which was present in your life at that moment? List 2-3, put them in order, and define them.
One of the biggest traps we fall into when identifying values is to lump really complex ideas into a few words. “Accountability” can mean very different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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