During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a significant number of people break away from the traditional 9-5 job lifestyle to pursue their own dreams or leave work altogether in the hopes of discovering and fulfilling a purpose that would have otherwise eluded them. In this pursuit of living a purposeful life, an influx of clients have been asking me the same question, “How do I find my purpose?”
As a coach, my role is NOT to provide the right answers, but to act as a vehicle for the client to navigate towards their north star and see a plethora of possibilities where they have previously felt limited. One way to get clients from a state of feeling like there are “no possibilities” to “ok, here’s a possible new path forward”, is by exploring their core values.
Core values can help us assess why we hold certain perspectives of the world. And even deeper, our understanding of our core values allows us to extract some of our motivations for why we love someone, work toward goals, challenge norms, or even make personal life choices. Our purpose can be derived from the understanding of these core values.
If I know my motivations, then maybe I can connect to the things that truly motivate me.
But, how do we understand our core values? I learned a technique from a former colleague named Ray, which has transformed my life and the lives of hundreds of others that I have had the pleasure to share this with. This technique is also available in Chapter V of my book “Change Your Perspective,” which you can find on Amazon and Kindle.
Shameless plug aside, here’s a simple way to understand one core value of yours today.
- STEP 1: What’s your unforgettable story? Recall and tell a story of a moment in your life that you simply will not forget, whether simple or complex. It could be about a time when you won something, or when you fell off of your bike. Tell a 2-3 minute version of that story to a friend.
- STEP 2: Ask your friend to summarize the story you told. See if they can capture the essence of the story into 1-2 sentences.
- STEP 3: Both of you should decide on 1 value word that really captures the full story. If you need help thinking of a word that summarizes the story, you can start with a basic list like this: https://www.saturdaygift.com/core-values-list/
Repeat this process to learn more and more about the values that emerge.
For me, “play” is a core value. I don’t want to be at a job or in a relationship with anyone that doesn’t involve play because of an experience I had in sixth grade that cemented this value for me. It was one of the most joyful times of my life.
Let’s get clear on our core values and our unforgettable stories so that we can live more purposeful lives. Cheers to purposeful living, my friend.