a couple of years ago

Your Core Values: The Driving Force of All Your Decisions

Do you know your behaviour is driven by forces you may not even be conscious of? Read on to find out what they are and how you can change them consciously.

The weGrow Meetup topic that night was about core values, so I want to share with you a little bit about what values are and how you can consciously choose yours and why it even matters.

Values are things in life that you value the most. For example Love, Creativity, Prosperity, Joy… and hundreds of others.

Here’s a complete list of values from one of my favourite Personal Development blogs I follow.

If you don’t know your values, that’s fine. You’re going to, after the steps I’m about to show you in this post.

First of all, WHY know your values? Why even bother to change them? Because values unconsciously direct over 95% of your behaviour.

And you know the scary thing about that?

You didn’t even get to choose them in the first place! WHAT?! Yes, I’m serious.

Your environment, social conditioning, family, media, books, and every experience has shaped your values over your lifetime so far.

You want to know the good news? YOU can CHANGE them consciously! You can choose what’s really important to you in your life and then start living by those new values starting today.

There are two types of values: Means Values and End Values. Means values are what you value to get to a certain state of being. End values are that end state you want to feel. All means values eventually lead to end values once you start digging deeper into your thought processes.

Here is the 4 simple step process to change your values:

  1. Discover Your Current Values
  2. Rank Your Values in Order
  3. Add/Remove New Values
  4. Re-Rank & Finalize Your List

Let’s walk through each step…

Discover Your Current Values

Ask yourself – what do you value in your life the most? Keep brainstorming and then for each value, ask yourself – what does this GIVE you? How does this make you feel? This is how to drill down to the end values. Use the list to give you ideas if you can’t think of any.

For example: I value entrepreneurship. But what does that give me? It gives me the freedom of choice. What does the freedom of choice give me? It allows me to fully express myself and grow in the ways I want. I feel alive! The end value would be freedom.

Take your time with this. You want to be as thorough as possible.

Rank Your Values in Order

Now that you have a complete list of your most important values, it’s time to sort them in order of importance. How do you do this? It’s best explained with an example.

Here’s an unsorted list of values:

Creativity
Power
Love
Prosperity
Health

I start with Creativity and compare it to Power. Which one is more important to you?

If creativity wins, compare it to the next one and so on until you reach the end. If Power wins, this is the new current top value and you go through the rest of the list with power. Once you make it through the first pass, write the current top value down in your sorted list as your number one value.

Mark it off the unsorted list. Then repeat the steps for the next one.

Overall you should have 2n – 1 comparisons where n is the number of values in your unsorted list.

Add/Remove New Values

Once you have a sorted list of your current “move-towards” values, it’s time to update your list to be in alignment with what you consciously want. This is when you add or remove values from your current list.

It’s a bit like a shopping spree. You get to “buy” whatever you want! It’s all there for the taking.

When you choose your new values, ask yourself what values would support your goals, ideal lifestyle and the kind of person you want to become. You are now consciously choosing your values.

Also, view your current list of values and remove any values that are not serving you anymore.

Re-Rank & Finalize Your List

The last step is to re-sort your new list of values using the same technique as in (2). Choose the top 5 values to focus on. Any more and the core value integration process will be less effective.

If you’re a kinaesthetic learner, it might help writing each value on a separate piece of small paper and then it will allow you to shuffle it around in order, add new ones, or throw certain ones away. I know Greg used this method to find his values. I prefer paper and pen. Choose what works best for you.

How To Integrate Your New Values Subconsciously

This step involves you creating “rules” for each new value for the purpose of measuring if you’ve lived it in a given day. Make the rules as simple as possible so you get the reward of accomplishment (pleasure) after completing it. This will reinforce the new behaviour (and value) where your brain integrates it as a subconscious thought process worth keeping.

For example: If one of my top values is Happiness, my rule would be something like this: “Anytime I smile”. How simple is that?! Done deal. You can live by your Happiness value every day now.

If you make it complicated like “Anytime I have $1 million” you’re much less likely to achieve it and there’s not much chance to reinforce the value in your life. See what I mean?

Now that you have defined the new values you live by, commit to practicing them every single day.

Have a little business-card sized cardstock with your top 5 values written down on them. Review it several times every day. Memorize them. Repeat them out loud. Ask yourself – what am I doing right now to be <insert your value here>?

My Values

The values I have chosen to live consciously by are:

Freedom
Love
Prosperity
Creativity
Contribution
Joy
Peace
Spirituality
Health
Confidence

I’ll be creating a podcast with Greg in the next few weeks about personal development and business, so stay tuned for that!

What are YOUR new values? Share them with the community in the comments below. Don’t be shy! 😉