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Know Thy Core Values

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"To thine own self be true"

Core Values are at the heart of who we are and how we want to be known. This Hamlet quote takes an interesting twist when viewed through the lens of core values.

When our values are being met, life is great. When they they are not, life sucks.

What if you could orchestrate situations where your wants, expectations AND core values are fulfilled?

The key is to pursue your personal core values in all your activities and relationships, and then support other people to do the same.

But first, you must know your core values.

Know Thy Core Values

The life changing events and major milestones from your life point directly to your core values. You can easily find your core values by noticing which values are touched upon or triggered when remembering the high and low experiences from your past.

1. Consider times at work or in your personal life, where you were deeply satisfied and happy. Look for "peak experiences" and memories you cherish. What deep values were being met at the time?

Write down each event along with the values fulfilled by the experience.

2. Consider other times when you were deeply saddened, hurt or disappointed. These are the kinds of events that you may have promised, "I'll never do that again!" What values were not being met, or possibly violated, that made it such a miserable experience for you?

Write down each event along with the values missing from the experience.

3. In both the high and low moments, look past the emotions, feelings, and thoughts you had at the time, to find the values. True "core" values are intrinsic and of vital importance to you.

4. Go back through your lists of experience and pull the top 3-5 essential values that really light you up: the things you just must have to be happy and fulfilled.

Which qualities would you consider central to your life and career?

Now, you can live your life, "to thine own core values be true."

Download "Mountains and Valleys" Core Values Exercise

The above tip is an abridged version of a fun and unique Core Values processes we call "Mountains and Valleys."

Read about Tony Hsieh's (CEO of Zappos.com) experience with the "Mountains and Valleys" process. See the diagram from his own "Mountains and Valleys" journey and his own core values.

While you are there you can also signup to download a copy of the exercise for yourself.

Needle Moving Challenge

After you have done the exercise and know your personal core values, walk a friend or associate through the same process. Share with each other your life experiences and your core values.  You will have a much deeper understanding and appreciation of what is important to them.

If you consciously look for ways to fulfill other people's core values. you will be laying the foundation of a Stage Four environment.

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