A powerful and valuable exercise that I like to use is from Rick Sapio.
- Write down three people in your life that you most admire or respect, and who you most want to be like.
- From the values below, circle seven or eight values that best describe each of those people.
- Those values that show up repeatedly will be the things that you value.
This simple exercise will bring great clarity to what your values are. From my experience, you will end up with about ten values with which you closely align yourself.
Achievement/Drive, Adaptability, Adding Value, Advancement and Promotion, Adventure, Aesthetic, Affection (love and caring), Affinity, Aliveness, Arts, Attractiveness, Authenticity, Awareness, Beauty, Bliss, Caring, Certainty, Challenging Problems, Change and Variety, Charisma, Charity, Cheerfulness, Chivalry, Clarity, Close Relationships, Coaching, Commitment, Communication, Companionship, Compassion, Competence, Competition, Confidence, Congruence, Connection, Conscientiousness, Considerate, Contribution, Conviction, Cooperation, Courage, Courteousness, Creativity, Decisiveness, Democracy, Dependability, Discernment, Discovery, Ecological Awareness, Economic Security, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Ethical Practice, Empathy, Endurance, Energy, Enthusiasm, Environment, Equality, Excellence, Excitement, Expertise, Expression, Fairness, Fame, Family, Fast Living, Fast-Paced Work, Financial Gain, Flexibility, Focus, Forgiveness, Freedom, Friendship, Fun, Giving, Gratitude, Growth, God, Happiness, Having a Family, Health, Heart, Helping Other People, Helping Society, Honesty, Honor, Inclusive, Independence, Influencing Others, Inner Harmony, Inspiration, Integrity, Intellectual Status, Intelligence, Intention, Intimacy, Involvement, Job Tranquility, Joy, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning, Leverage, Life, Location, Love, Loyalty, Making a difference, Market Position, Meaningful Work, Mentorship, Meditation, Merit, Money/Making Money, Music, Nature, Nurturing, Open and Honest (i.e. being around people who are), Openness, Partnership, Passion, Patience, Peace, Perception, Perseverance, Personal Growth & Development (living up to the fullest potential), Physical Challenge, Playfulness, Pleasure, Power and Authority, Presence, Privacy, Probability, Productivity, Public Service, Purity, Purpose, Quality, Quality Relationships, Rational, Receptivity, Recognition (respect from others, status), Reliability, Religion, Reputation, Resolution, Resolve, Resourcefulness, Respect, Responsibility and accountability, Security, Self-determinism, Self-Respect, Sensitivity, Sensuality, Serenity, Sharing, Simplicity, Sophistication, Soul, Spirit, Spiritual, Spontaneity, Stability, Strength, Status, Success, Supervising Others, Synergy, Team/Teamwork, Technology, Tenderness, Time Freedom, Togetherness, Travel, Trust, Trustworthiness, Truth, Unity, Value, Vigor, Vision, Vitality, Vulnerability, Wealth, and Wisdom.
After you have established your values, do not let anyone into your intimate circle that does not fit with your values. Of course it’s naive to think that you will never have to deal with anyone who doesn’t share exactly the same values, but I’m talking about your inside circle or trust relationships. That means your important hires, your friends, your partnerships. You need to establish a value gatekeeper that you have complete trust in to make sure that your values are honored. These values help you surround yourself with people who alight closely with you.