Putting Your Values to Work … For You in 3 Steps

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese proverb

By now, if you have done the values clarification exercise, you are crystal clear about your most sacredly held values. Those three values without which you can’t live well; your personal brass tacks. You are more self-aware, are better positioned to prioritize tasks, make choices inline with your ethics and live as your fully authentic self. The deep self-awareness that comes from values clarification, provides an opportunity to step back and see what story you are telling through your life. That is, to understand how people perceive you, how you perceive yourself and how you would like to be perceived. You have the opportunity to identify the personal qualities that you would like to enhance and which you would like to change.

I bet you are already more mindful of your decisions and actions. Now let’s keep your momentum going so you get results from your efforts. There is an adage “You get more of what you look for…” You start thinking about red cars and suddenly there are red cars all over the road, or if you live in a place like I do, you start thinking about deer and suddenly they are left and right on the road. So how to you get the “red car” you want?

Here’s an exercise for you to make decisions about exactly what actions you can and are willing to take to put your values to work for you. Print out the table below as model and create a blank three column for you to use.

  1. Go back to your list of three most important Values.  Write these in the left hand column of the table.
  2. Then take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions to fill in the middle column: Where are these values showing up in your life? How are they showing up? Are you finding them frequently enough? Are you satisfied with how frequently these are showing up in your life?  What do you want more of?
  3. Finally, how will you increase the ways in which and/or strength with which your most important values are expressed in your life?  Write your response in the right hand column.
Value Expression Actions
Example: Making a difference Creating an environment where all are welcomeGet more corporate clients so that I can offer more pro-bono services Community Garden committee Create a low risk corporate program

On a scale of 1 (lowest) – 10 (highest) how committed are you to taking the actions you have listed?

On a scale of 1 (lowest) – 10 (highest) how confident are you to taking the actions you have listed?

If you answered less than a 7 to either of these questions, take a bit more time to consider what revisions you can make to move up the scale to at least a 7, and then get out there and put your values in action and make them work for you.


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