Or A Quick Activity to Identify Your Core Values.
As a multipotentialite, I used to abhor the plague my curiosity and imagination inflicted on me. One moment I’m enthralled in reading the Act of ’34 or Human Trafficking Laws for a presentation, the next moment I'm writing SQL queries to analyze data, then I’m planning a company-wide potluck. Indeed, I have the propensity for hyper-focused activities, fast-paced decision making under stressful conditions, and for interpersonal team building and friendship. Until recently I thought my need for diverse projects was a weakness, but increasingly I am grateful for my innate curious because it means I expose myself to intellectual adventures that continue to open doors for me. After a recent hands-on activity in my leaders fellowship I am now able to connect how all aspects of my work appeal to and satisfy these core values as well, allowing me to appreciate my work more without changing a thing. I encourage everyone to do this activity to gain more insight on what motivates you personally by doing this 5 minute activity alone or as a team exercise.
The activity consisted of 26 cards with common values written such as Love, Compassion, Generosity, Innovation, Learning, Power, Money. We were given 60 seconds to choose the 10 that represented our core values. Shuffling through the cards quickly, I immediately identified the values that I feel are expected of me—either by colleagues, loved ones, society or myself, and skipped over them in a gesture of honesty.
After choosing our top 10, we had another minute to reduce them to 5. The leader asked us to recall how we spend our money regularly, how we actually spend our time (not how we want to), how we treat people around us and why. I chose the following as my end all, be all values:
Reflecting on these values repeatedly the past few weeks, the clarity I feel from this activity has been enormously impactful on how I approach my work and interact with colleagues and strangers; the footprint I want to leave in the world. Now that I have a concrete list of my core values, I will consult any idea or decision to ensure it is consistent with these values.
Next phase: complete this activity with my team in hopes it will be as revelational for them as it was for me, and so as a team we can help each other to exemplify each other's core beliefs and priorities.
Side note: Please send me an inmail if you would like a pdf version of the cards to print out and use. I'd be happy to receive the karma from giving them away! PS - They're also a good family activity.
“It’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about happiness without understanding what makes each of us tick. When we find ourselves stuck in unhappy careers—and even unhappy lives—it is often the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of what really motivates us.” – Clayton M. Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” –Roy Disney
“To feel, and think, and learn—learn always: surely that is being alive and young in the real sense.” - Freya Stark
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” –Steve Jobs