Learning what motivates us, knowing what we truly value, gives us valuable gifts. First, it gives us the gift of Clarity – it allows us to focus. Second, it Empowers us, giving us the ability to prioritize things which really make a difference for us. Thirdly, values clarification ignites Momentum – it propels us into Action!
Ready? Let’s GO!
Take a few moments to consider three of your favorite people. Why are they your favorites? What is it you like about them? Make a list of all the personal and physical characteristics you admire. Be thorough.
Once you’ve completed the list of attributes describing your favorite people, set a timer for one minute. In one minute, list the characteristics that are most important to you. For example: sincere, confident, organized, attractive, well-groomed, funny, adventurous, easygoing, agile, etc. When the timer goes off, Stop. Look at what you’ve listed and choose the top 10 most important.
On a fresh sheet of paper, list in no particular order the top 10 characteristics you chose. Now number them from 1 to 10 (you’re not rating them but numbering them for practical help with the next step).
Here’s where we get to the ‘nitty gritty’ – the core of what you truly value most.
Take word number 1 and write it beside each of the other words (2-10). Look at each pair of words and choose ONE as more important (cross out the other). This can be challenging so allow yourself to consider: if I can only have one, which one do I prefer? Do this step with each of the words on your list that has not been crossed out. You will eventually have only one word left. This is the thing/concept/attribute you value the most. This one thing drives and motivates you above all else.
I recommend removing that one most important value from the list and repeating the elimination process to discover value number two. Then, removing value number two, repeating the process and uncovering value number three. Knowing your three most important motivators will save time, money and energy, clearing the way for you to focus on and prioritize things that matter the most.
*Sometimes what we value in our personal life is different than what we value in business. Use this tool with a specific setting or goal in mind. Try doing this exercise twice – once for professional purposes and once for personal purposes.