If there’s a quiz floating around FaceBook, I’ve probably taken it. These colorful, simple tests catch my eye with their snappy titles: What Color is Your Aura? (violet); Which Profession Should You Be? (writer); Which Star Wars Character/Harry Potter Character/Dog Breed Would You Be? (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Prof McGonagall/yellow Lab). On and on I go, collecting these bits and pieces of trivia. I even take the ones that test actual knowledge, like Can You Name These 13 Art Masterpieces (yes, with a couple of good guesses) and Can You Identify These 12 Cooking Techniques? (all but one…sweating vegetables?). I’m not picky, I pretty much take them all.
Clearly my mild serious quiz addiction says something about me, and it may not be good! Mostly, though, it says I like to learn about myself, which is probably true for most followers of this blog. In that spirit, I’ll share a powerful exercise I’ve used as a coach and in my leadership development practice. It’s about identifying core values, and I find it gives people useful insight. Plus, it’s fun, in a quiz kind of way.
1. Click here to view a list of 30 values. Each has a standard definition. You may have a definition of your own for the given value. There’s no right or wrong, define it as you wish. Review the list. Choose the 10 values that are most important to you. Write them down on a separate piece of paper, and come back to this page.
2. Do that 1st step before you look ahead. No cheating!
3. Now that you’ve identified your top 10 values, choose from those 10 the 5 that you absolutely can’t live without. This means you’ll have to cross off half of those you checked. Not so easy, right?
4. You are now down to 5 values. Here’s comes the tough part: choose the 3 that most powerfully reflect who you are as a human being. Note the 2 that you “give up”. These 3 remaining values are who you are at your essence.
5. Think back to some memorable moment in your life when you absolutely knew that one (or all) of the three values most defined you. Think of the story that goes along with that moment. Reflect. Take out a piece of paper and write down that story and what you just learned about it.
Bonus question: Are these values part of how you live your life each day? If not, what could you do to better align your life with your essence?
And, now that you’ve all had an epiphany, can someone please explain how to sweat vegetables?