I went down a rabbit hole on this one.
I knew intuitively that identifying core values was one important way to get grounded again when you’re flailing in life, i.e. living in a state of anomie. But, wow, everybody has an opinion on this, and who knew how many core values are out there?! I chuckled at this website: The Only 216 Values You’ll Ever Need. Only 216? Ha.
Still, this is a really big deal…figuring out the “internal compass of fundamental principles that drive your life.”
Let me back up a bit.
Over the last month, in my blog and newsletter I have been exploring anomie…its symptoms and solutions. Anomie is, in essence, the state of being unanchored. Other descriptors: unmoored, ungrounded, adrift. It’s a condition that is leaving many of us depressed, hopeless, confused, anxious and just plain lost. Please go back and read my previous posts and add a comment or two!
Last week I suggested there are three prime ways to restore the foundation of your life. Three anchors. Three solutions to anomie.
- I will be anchored as I do the hard work of determining my core values.
- I will be anchored as I identify my tribe, the community that loves and believes in me.
- I will be anchored as I clarify my purpose in life, the calling that moves me from acquisition to contribution.
Tackling that first solution led me down the rabbit hole. Identifying your core values is deep and complex and not something to be entered into lightly. This is energy worthy. So I’m going to take a couple of weeks to unpack it.
Let’s start with these general questions:
What are your beliefs that help you know the difference between right and wrong?
What is your internal compass of principles that drive your life?
What standards motivate your decisions and behavior?
What values define your success and well-being?
Whew…those are deep! But until you do the soulish work of answering them you might continue to find yourself unmoored.
Next week I will offer a laundry list of good questions to help guide your values exploration, but for now here’s where you might want to start looking. Core values arise out of…
- Your life story (the wonders and the tragedies)
- The people who have influenced you (good guys and bad guys)
- Your personality
- Your learning (formal and informal)
Better get yourself a cup of coffee, a journal and a pen and start thinking. This is a good thing to do! I believe that with every value that emerges you’ll feel just a little more anchored and a little less lost.