Be a Better You in 365 Days Challenge – DAY 17 Discover Your Values

This is Day 17 of How to Be a Better Person in 365 Days (365 Challenge) October 2011 Challenge. View list of tasks: 365 Challenge Overview

Matin bonne Everyone!

Welcome to Day 17 of “How to Become a Better Person in 365 Days Challenge” (365 Challenge)! Over the weekend for Days 15-16, we allowed ourselves time to catch up on the core tasks, enjoy ourselves and have a Kit-Kat.

How was your weekend?

I absolutely enjoyed mine. I spent the WHOLE weekend helping out a friend move furniture, then went out on Saturday night dancing, laughing and having a few drinks till 12:30am (Sunday morning). And then, got up at 10am, had bacon and eggs with a hangover. Then finally off to move more furniture at 2pm and drive back and forth to Broadwater to Miami and then Miami to Palm Beach… Then back home at 6pm. WOW! What a busy weekend, hanging out with friends, sharing the kindness and charity. I couldn’t ask for any more.

We worked on discovering and setting our mission statement. Many of you set your very own statements for your life for the first time. Some of you clarified and refined on statements you set from the past. Some of you feedback that it’s the hardest task to date. Some of you faced blockages and resistance while doing it.

Resistances, doubts and fears that you may have experienced in Days 1-4 tasks represent things that were not explored previously. Don’t feel daunted by them; rather, understand them and why they’re there. These doubts/fears have been there all along. Running or hiding from them isn’t going to make them disappear. If you can understand them and why they’re there, you can then work through them and finally gain power over them.

While we’re at Day 17 now, feel free to go back to your tasks from Day 1-4, review them and refine them further. I’ve created a 365 Challenge overview page that lists all tasks to date and participants’ blogs for the Challenge. Continue to post your comments on previous days’ tasks too.

Today is Day 17 – are you ready?  Friday, you set your mission statement, and that helps you to be clear of what you want to make out of your life. It’s the direction and focus to move in. The next step now is to identify what you stand for, as a person. Today, we’ll be working on setting your values.

Day 17 – Identifying Your Values

Today’s task will take about an hour.

 Do you know what your values are?

Values are the qualities we deem most important to us. For example, integrity, responsibility and honesty are values to most people. Diligence is a dominant value of Asian culture. Compassion is clearly a value for Mother Theresa. Success and excellence are values of achievers like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

By setting your mission statement, it sets in place the direction to live your life to the fullest. Your values are the qualities you want to uphold so you become the best person you can ever be. For example, if your values are honesty, integrity and love, it means your best self is someone is fully honest to self and others, full of integrity (never lying, putting others down, etc) and love (showing compassion in everything you do; spreading abundance and joy). If your values are responsibility, generosity and selflessness, your best self is someone who is fully responsible, is generous with his/her emotions/actions and puts others before self.

Everyone has a set of values that subconsciously guides one in one’s everyday life – it’s a matter of whether you know them or not. The easiest way to think about your values is to think about your ideal self. What does it mean to be the best person you can be? Someone with integrity? Trustworthy? Friendly? Confident? Compassionate? Outspoken? Courageous? Kind? Inspirational? Knowledgeable? Patient? Smart? Selfless? Excellent? What qualities do you want to embody? What do you want to represent in this world? See: Virtues to Being a Better Person a full list of virtues to help you get started…

Because your values represent what’s important to you, they are also the things that you’ll fight dearly for, at the expense of everything else. Imagine a soldier willing to die for his country in war. That’s the value of patriotism. An employee who often puts in extra hours just to get the best work done. Those are values of diligence and commitment. A parent who works hard every day so his/her family can live in abundance and happiness. Those are values of love and kinship in play.

Your Task

Part 1: Identify Your Values (40 min)

  1. Start on a new page of your 30DLBL workbook. On top, label “My Values”
  2. Values brainstorming.  When I work with my 1-1 clients, we come up with an initial list of at least 20-30. Some participants below wrote over 50! Below are 3 helping points:
  1. Picture your ideal self. Who is the real you? What does it mean to be your highest self, the best you in the world? What are the traits you want to embody? Write as many as possible. The more you can write, the better.
  2. Moments of annoyance. What were the incidences when you were annoyed in the past period? Why were you annoyed?
    • Incidences when you were annoyed/irritated/pissed off/angry are when your values were violated. They have to matter for you to feel emotionally triggered. For me, if anyone were to violate my 5 core values, I would slice and dice them.
    • For example, I hate hypocritical people because they violate my #5 core value of authenticity. I also hate it when people try to skive and laze off, as it violates my value of excellence.
    • For your incidences, what were the values that were violated that caused you to feel that way?
  3. Moments of happiness. Were there any moments in the past period where you were extremely happy/excited/proud of yourself? Why? What was it about the situation that made you feel this way?
  • Pick the top 10. Once you are done, pick out the 10 most important values out of the list. You’ll find some values are similar to others. If so, just group them together and pick an adjective that best represents this set.
  • Choose the top 5. Now, pick the 5 most important. While all of us can have a lot of qualities we value as important, the most important is to know the top 5 values. That’s because the other values are usually represented in some way by the top 5 values. You can group sub-values under these 5. Once we live true to these 5 values, we’re in fact living true to all other qualities we hold dear. They are like the big rocks that hold everything.
  • Rank the 5 values in order of 1-5. This makes it clear to you what is the #1 value you want to embody, followed by #2, and so on. Congratulations; you have found your 5 core values. These are your 5 core values that will help you be the highest you in this world.
  • Define your core values. Each core value will have its own representation and meaning. Write down what each core values represent to you. Each core value will also be an umbrella to other sub-values, so feel free to write the sub-values under them. (Refer to the values map below on what I mean)

Why 5 Values?

While all of us can have a lot of qualities we value as important, the most important is to know the top 5 values. That’s because the other values are usually represented in some way by the top 5 values. Once we live true to these 5 values, we’re in fact living true to all other qualities we hold dear. They are like the big rocks that hold everything.

Trying to remember 10, 15 values makes it a jumbled process. Just focus on your 5 most important values. Even living just a little closer to them already results in dramatic changes in your quality of life.

I see these 5 values as 5 points of a star too – each essential to what you stand for. As for the star itself, that would be you of course :D.

Part 2: Integrating Values into Your Life (20 min)

  1. Assess yourself on your values. On a scale of 1-10, how are you doing in each value currently? Why? How can you embody every one of your value 100% starting now?
  2. Find an easy way to remember the values. Your values are you, so you should be able to readily remember them no matter where you are. One thing I did was pick the first letter of each value to create a 5-letter acronym. EPTCA for Excellence, Passion, Truth, Courage, Authenticity. The acronymn itself doesn’t make any sense but it’s easy to remember. After that, I would use it as the proxy to recall my values.
  3. Recite your values daily. As you start your day, recite your values. Do it throughout the day as well, till you can remember your values by heart. When I first started I would recite my values once every hour. Then I’ll recall what each value stands for to me, whether I’m living to it 101% and how I embody it even more. Today, my values are a natural part of who I am and I know them off my head, so there’s no need for me to recite them anymore.
  4. Live true to your values. Picture yourself embodying these 5 values 100% all the time. As someone who embodies these 5 values, what will you do? How will you behave? What will you say? What can you do to align myself even more to my values? Be true to them.
  5. Use your values as a compass. Whenever you are in a fix, use your values as your guide on what to do. What is the decision that is most aligned to your values? What action should you take that best matches your values?
  6. Add to your vision board. Now that you’ve created your values, add it to your vision board, below your mission statement. You can also find new pictures that represent these 5 values to add to the board.

Review your values regularly. Once every 3 months will be great. Check to ensure these values represent the best person you want to be.

Day 17 of Your 30 Day Action Plan

Refer to the 365 Challenge actions you set for Day 5 and perform them with excellence today. How has your progress from Days 1-4 been? Is there anything that’s lagging behind? Can you get any of them in place today? How can you rearrange your upcoming week such that you can get them done? Since it’s the weekend now, take the chance to regroup and get on any backlog that may have piled up from the previous week.

Day 17 Discover Your Values Reflection

  1. Is there anything you learned today?
  2. If so, what is it? Write it down.

Share Your Feedback!

Share your feedback for 365 Challenge (refer to Part 3 of today’s task above) in the comments area. Thanks – I really appreciate it!