Since Dr. Beverly Chiodo is returning to the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit to encourage us to pursue character driven success, I am inspired to talk about core values in today’s column.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~ Martin Luther King

Our core values are the true representation of our authentic selves.  Unfortunately, our authenticity is not always what we present to the world.  The bright beacon of core values may dim under clouds other people and circumstances cast over them.  That is why it is important to know and stand firm on what your core values are.  If you put a small value on your core values, I can assure you that the world will not raise your price.

It doesn’t take years of soul searching and self-reflection to find your core values.  The following exercise can help you start living your best life according to your core values in 30 minutes or less.

Grab a pen and piece of paper and let’s go!

1.  Determine your core values. From the list below, choose and write down every core value that resonates with you.  Do not overthink your selection.  As you read through the list, simply write down the words that feel like a core value to you personally.  If you think of a value you possess that is not on the list, write it down.

Abundance
Acceptance
Accountability
Achievement
Adventure
Advocacy
Ambition
Appreciation
Attractiveness
Autonomy
Balance
Being the Best
Benevolence
Boldness
Brilliance
Calmness
Caring
Challenge
Charity
Cheerfulness
Cleverness
Community
Commitment
Compassion
Cooperation
Collaboration
Consistency
Contribution
Creativity
Credibility
Curiosity
Daring
Decisiveness
Dedication
Dependability
Diversity
Empathy
Encouragement
Enthusiasm
Ethics
Excellence
Expressiveness
Fairness
Family
Friendships
Flexibility
Freedom
Fun
Generosity
Grace
Growth
Flexibility
Happiness
Health
Honesty
Humility
Humor
Inclusiveness
Independence
Individuality
Innovation
Inspiration
Intelligence
Intuition
Joy 

 

Kindness
Knowledge
Leadership
Learning
Love
Loyalty
Making a Difference
Mindfulness
Motivation
Optimism
Open-Mindedness
Originality
Passion
Performance
Personal Development
Proactive
Professionalism
Quality
Recognition
Risk Taking
Safety
Security
Service
Spirituality
Stability
Peace
Perfection
Playfulness
Popularity
Power
Preparedness
Proactivity
Professionalism
Punctuality
Relationships
Reliability
Resilience
Resourcefulness
Responsibility
Responsiveness
Security
Self-Control
Selflessness
Simplicity
Stability
Success
Teamwork
Thankfulness
Thoughtfulness
Traditionalism
Trustworthiness
Understanding
Uniqueness
Usefulness
Versatility
Vision
Warmth
Wealth
Well-Being
Wisdom
Zeal

 

2.  Group all similar values together from the list of values you just created. Group them in a way that makes sense to you, personally.  Create a maximum of five groupings.  If you have more than five groupings, drop the least important grouping(s).  See the example below.

Abundance Acceptance Appreciation Balance Cheerfulness
Growth Compassion Encouragement Health Fun
Wealth Inclusiveness Thankfulness Personal Development Happiness
Security Intuition Thoughtfulness Spirituality Humor
Freedom Kindness Mindfulness Well-being Inspiration
Independence Love Joy
Flexibility Making a Difference Optimism
Peace Open-Mindedness Playfulness
Trustworthiness
Relationships

 

3. Choose one word within each grouping that represents the label for the entire group. Again, do not overthink your labels – there are no right or wrong answers.  You are defining the answer that is right for you. See the example below – the label chosen for the grouping is bolded.

Abundance Acceptance Appreciation Balance Cheerfulness
Growth Compassion Encouragement Health Fun
Wealth Inclusiveness Thankfulness Personal Development Happiness
Security Intuition Thoughtfulness Spirituality Humor
Freedom Kindness Mindfulness Well-being Inspiration
Independence Love Joy
Flexibility Making a Difference Optimism
Peace Open-Mindedness Playfulness
Trustworthiness
Relationships

 

4. Add a verb to each value so you can see what it looks like as a actionable core value, for example:

Live in freedom.

Seek opportunities for making a difference.

Act with mindfulness.

Promote well-being.

Multiply happiness.

This will guide you in the actions you need to take to feel like you are truly living on purpose.

 

5.  Finally, write your core values in order of priority in your planner, so they are available as an easy reference when you are faced with decisions.  For example:

1. Live in freedom.

2. Act with mindfulness.

3. Promote well-being.

4. Multiply happiness.

5. Seek opportunities for making a difference.

If we can get to the place where we show up as our genuine selves, and let each other see who we really are, the awe-inspiring ripple effect will change the world. ~ Terrie M. Williams

The most important thing you can do for your personal success today is to know your core values, and use them to guide and lead you.  Knowing core values is important because when we need to choose or decide something, we can do so easily by simply determining if the choice lines up with our true values.  A life lined-up with personal values is a well-lived, purpose-filled life.

If you are interested in learning more about how to achieve character-driven success, make plans now to attend the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, March 18 – 22, 2013 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.