Goals, Purpose, Values: What Are My Core Values?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Businessman pointing 2014 business conceptThis week, I’ve been focusing on how being clear about your purpose and values in life will help you create your goals for the upcoming year.  This is because the best personal goals to set for yourself are the ones that are most closely aligned with your purpose and values.

What Are Your Top Values?

In my last post, I suggested you take the time to actually sit down and identify your core values.  I researched and compiled a spreadsheet containing 300 basic human values and then provided you with the following link to download and work with this list yourself:

http://ormanstressrelief.com/values

I suggested you narrow this down to only those values on the list that resonated with you the most.  Then, I suggested you score this smaller list of values by assigning a number from 1-5 to each value, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important.

When I did this exercise myself, I came up with 170 values that were important to me.  I then sorted all the values scored as “1” (top-top values) and “2” (top values) into the following two lists with a combined 90 values.  These are the values that I consider most important in my life. I’m not sure there’s much real difference in the hierarchy of these two lists—all of these values are important to me—but that’s how I scored them, so the first group must be a little more important than the values in the second group (although many of them could be top-top values as well).

My Top-Top Values (Score = 1)

achievement enrollment making a difference
authorship fun mastery
awareness happiness open-mindedness
caring healing results
choice health-vitality teaching
clarity helping others truth
contentment honesty understanding
contribution humility winning
creativity humor wisdom
discipline insight writing
distinctions joy

My Top Values (Score = 2)

accuracy intelligence responsibility
adaptability kindness safety
authenticity knowledge security
calm laughter self-motivation
cheerfulness leadership service
concern for others learning simplicity
confidence money sincerity
cooperation patience solitude
credibility peace of mind sports
dependability perseverance success
determination persistence support
enlightenment philosophy tranquility
entertainment playfulness trustworthiness
excellence psychology vision
flexibility public speaking wealth
imagination purpose well-being
inner peace relationships wellness
innovation reliability working
integrity resourcefulness

 

What Did I Learn From This?

I had never done this type of exercise before and I was truly surprised by several things.  First, I was amazed at how many different values I actually had and that were strong guiding forces in my life.  I had always thought of core values in terms of tiny lists (8-12) of “big ticket” items, like honesty, integrity, humility, humor, etc.  I was blown away to see the sheer magnitude of the 170 values that were part of me, as well as both the breadth and depth of the top 90 values that most strongly resonated with me (above).

Second, I was struck by how accurately this list of 90 top values captures the heart of who I am as a human being today.  Yes, these are all positive values and none of my negatives or weaknesses are reflected in this list.  And yes, there are likely many other values that are part of me, over and above the full set of 170 values I started with.

But I very much liked this “paint by values” process and the “self-portrait” that eventually emerged from it.  So if you haven’t done this exercise yourself, I invite you to click on the link above and begin painting your own picture of your key core values.  Enjoy.

NOTE:  To receive a free weekly digest of all future posts on this blog, sent directly to your email every Sunday, please use the sign up form at the top of this page.

Also, if you’d like to view all of my stress relief Kindle books on Amazon, simply click on the link below:

http://ormanstressrelief.com/kindlebooks

 

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