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Your first assignment was to complete the 5 Step Values Exercise. If you haven’t reviewed the instructions yet and attempted to start, go do it now. I’ll wait.
On the other hand…
if you have reviewed the instructions,
you’re stuck in execution, or
you want an example of how to do it…
here you go…
One Person’s Results From Doing The 5 Step Values Exercise
Here is how my results played out as I did the exercise, step by step.
1. Values I Lived By
I saw I lived by the values of duty, service, family, money, and security. I went to work every day and loyally provided for my family. My single-minded focus on money and security and providing for others left me not taking care of myself and feeling like a victim, serving everyone else in my life. I was boring and uninteresting because all I cared about was doing my job and fulfilling the mission implied by these 5 values. I didn’t have others’ consent that topics I cared about were valuable, so I ignored my own interests. My relationships were in tatters. My wife resented me. Members of my staff and my boss didn’t like me. I was unhappy, unfulfilled, miserable, deeply in debt, and not doing a great job meeting goals that would be consistent with these values.
2. Values I Wanted To Live By
The values that inspired me were fantastic relationships, health, fitness, service, and objectivity. To live by these values, I:
- nurtured my relationships with others in a way I never had.
- spent time with others in non-work situations.
- cared for my health and well-being.
- saw things from others’ points of view, became coachable, and took personal development classes that weren’t directly related to my professional role or relationships.
- spent time with friends and people I enjoy, and spent less time with people and doing things I don’t enjoy.
- shared authentically and spontaneously about my health and fitness, in a way I never would have before because I didn’t have a clear conversation ongoing with others about these things.
- enjoy the conversations and friendships I now have that blossomed when I shared.
Retrospectively, I see how I could have lived my life by these values back in step 1. I also see that I could have had more fun and been more fun to be around. I could have been more inspired by my situation and my roles, instead of a victim in them.
3. Activities Or Interests
My list of interests included the following:
- being open to guidance and advice from others.
- sharing what was important to me, in a safe, supportive, non-adversarial environment.
- resolving chronic conditions that affected me since childhood.
- athletic activities like triathlon, cycling, running, and obstacle course races.
- travel, camping, and bicycle tours.
- public speaking.
In that list of interests, I saw a sense of adventure. I saw a commitment to health and fitness, and making things last for the long-term. I saw a willingness, even a need, to serve, which requires the ability to see things from others’ points of view.
4. Revised List
Over time, I’ve refined the list. As I’ve done so, I’ve found the values that inspire me most are adventure, health ,fitness, service, and sustainability. (Go here to learn more about how I interpret these values and how I narrowed an initial list of a dozen to just these 5.)
To live by these values, I:
- take on challenges and risks where uncertainty is present. I find them exciting and enlivening, instead of a frightening obligation. I do things I want to do, and I do them just for fun.
- care for my health and well-being in a way I never would have before, in a way few people do.
- spend more time with friends and people I enjoy, and I spend less time doing things I don’t enjoy.
- take a long view that I’m now discussing, where I formerly cared about the future and the long-term, but rarely discussed it. I had no explicit reason nor outlet to do so.
- enjoy the conversations and friendships I now have, that blossomed when I shared what I really care about.
- see things from others’ points of view, and I’ve become coachable, instead of remaining rigidly focused on an interpretation of my situation and my obligations, that derives from the 5 limiting values I named in step 1.
- have a blast! I see possibility and opportunity I never imagined.
- have plans to live in to the future now, instead of having a dream and no idea how to make it happen.
I shared with parents and siblings, coworkers, members of my running team, and triathletes I’ve met out on the course! I’ve joined professional organizations and shared with members there. This web site, and this very article, arose out of my intention to share. My interests are now highly visible all over my life. It’s impossible for people not to know what I’m up to and what I care about. My life hasn’t fallen apart: it gets better every day. We have fun!