Which are you core values?

Values (per Collins English Dictionary) are the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person. Another definition is that a value is a principle or standard, as of behaviour, that is considered important or desirable

Core values

A core value is only a true core value if it has an active influence and if you manage to live by it. Going against a core value shall be rare and require a conscious decision.
Most people consciously or unconsciously use their personal core values when they select friendships, relationships and business partnerships.
Your core values are a natural selection tool. Is this action/person/job aligned with my core values or not?
Our core values can often be deal breakers, if people don’t share them it becomes harder to relate.

Away-from values

An away-from value, for instance dishonesty, is usually something that breaks or blocks trust.

How do you work with this assessment?

1. Pick your core values, no more than five. See list with examples of values below.
2. If you want to, pick some away-from values, what are you not willing to accept. Maximum three.
3. Define what YOU mean for each chosen value, write 1-3 sentences for each.
Why do I state a maximum number? It’s like setting priorities, everything can’t be top priority. Your core values shall be values you live by, things that really matter to you.
Our core values shall be our guiding light and help us stay on a course that’s right for us. Too many core values lead to conflicts of interest, which value overrules another.
Since the values are not unambiguous, we interpret words differently, I want you to explain what the values you have chosen mean to you. It is also a way for yourself to get a deeper understanding of your own core values.

Cluster values

It’s OK to cluster values if you consider some values as integral parts of another value. Make that clear in your description of what your core values mean to you.
To me honesty, authenticity and fairness are integral parts of integrity.
Love to me includes compassion and kindness as well as self-love.
Open-minded to me includes curiosity (inquisitiveness) and a willingness to learn and grow.

Examples definitions

Accountability: Responsibility of your actions
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

Check your values

After you’ve selected your core values it’s time to check them against your life and your vision.

  • Do your selected core values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Can you (and do you) live by them?
  • Would you feel comfortable telling people you respect and value about your core values?
  • Would you stick to your core values even if your choice isn’t popular?

When you consider your core values in decision making you’re true to yourself. It shows integrity, it helps you achieve clarity and you act in line with what really matters to you.
Making choices based on our core values may not always be easy. However, making a choice by our true core values is easier and feels better in the long run.

Do the work

You can download a list of values and the text above here: Value assessment sheet

Habit List app

The app Habit List with the tag line “Build a better you” is an exellent assistant when you want to create new habits or maintain existing habits.

In Strides, Habits and Goals I wrote about my test of the app Strides: Goals & Habits Tracker that I used for a while. The Strides app does more than I need so I returned to using Habit List.

Here’s a list of the habits that I track using Habit List, in no specific order. I limit it to ten habits simply because that’s the maximum I can see at the same time on my phone. For some of the habits I have added time. That time is a goal – it matters more that I at least spend some time on the habit each day.

  • Create 1 hour – write, draw or whatever, something creative
  • Reflect – what works, what doesn’t work, changes needed?
  • Meditation
  • Read books 1 hour
  • Study 1 hour – Udemy and any other courses
  • Gratitude – it’s important (at least to me) to be grateful for what I have and can do
  • Interact & connect – online or offline, it’s important to interact with family, friends etc.
  • Walk daily
  • Exercise daily – gym or my own practice at home
  • Yoga & stretch daily

Those ten habits covers what’s important to me. I revise them now and then, I just replaced two of them.

Habit List is only available for iPhone, similar apps can be found for Android.

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

I posted What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird? where there’s a link to a short video with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about jackhammers and hummingbirds. Now I have found that entire presentation and it’s really worth watching.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion, she talks about what changed her from a promoter of a single passion to a broader view. Watch the video at Elizabeth Gilbert: Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.

I have posts about finding your passion on my sites. Those posts and a single burning passion make sense to many but never really worked for me personally. I’m the hummingbird style and that’s perfectly OK.

What’s YOUR style? Jackhammer or Hummingbird?

This is short video with Elizabeth Gilbert has an important message. You can be a jackhammer or a hummingbird. Neither is better than the other, be yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert: If You Can’t Find Your Passion, Try This

There’s more text at You Might Not Be Built To ‘Follow Your Passion’ — Here’s Why, it’s the same video.

“Jackhammers are people like me,” Gilbert says. “You put a passion in our hands and… we don’t look up, we don’t veer, and we’re just focused on that until the end of time. It’s efficient; you get a lot done. But we tend to be obsessive and fundamentalist and sometimes a little difficult.”

“Hummingbirds spend their lives doing it very differently. They move from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from field to field, trying this, trying that,” Gilbert says. “Two things happen: They create incredibly rich, complex lives for themselves, and they also end up cross-pollinating the world.”

While jackhammers may be built for following one passion in life, hummingbirds provide the world with a very different service.
“Hummingbird person: You bring an idea from here to over here, where you learn something else and you weave it in, then you take it here to the next thing you do,” Gilbert says. “Your perspective ends up keeping the entire culture aerated and mixed up and open to the new.”

I love Elizabeth’s view of curiosity vs passion.

“If you’re willing to just release yourself from the pressure and the anxieties surrounded by passion, and you just humbly and faithfully continue to follow the trail of the hummingbird path… one of these days, you just might look up and realize, ‘Oh, my word, I am exactly where I’m meant to be,'” Gilbert says. “In other words, if you can let go of ‘passion’ and follow your curiosity, your curiosity just might lead you to your passion.”

Me? I am a hummingbird. What about you?

See also Elizabeth Gilbert speaks out AGAINST passion!

Prioritize and Manage Attention

In the post Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning the first tip is “Prioritize and Manage Time.”

Rather than trying to do everything at the same time, the most productive people prioritize and block off their schedules to focus on one task at a time. “The idea is that if you become more efficient in time management, it allows for more spontaneity and creativity in the day, every day,” Levitin said.

I squirm at the words “time management” since no one can manage time. We can manage our attention though, what shall we actually do and focus on.

While researching his book, “The Organized Mind,” Levitin spent time with very successful people to try and figure out what they did differently from others that allowed them to get more done. While many of these people had a legion of employees working to organize their schedules and set priorities for them, the basic principle of focusing in on one task at a time holds true for anyone. “When they’re doing something, they’re really doing it,” Levitin said. “They get more done because their brain isn’t half somewhere else.”

The key to being productive and succesful (however you define success for you) is to focus on one task at a time.

Read more

Start Managing Your Attention
An 18 Minute Plan That Keeps You Focused
The Pomodoro Technique – manage your attention
Multitasking? No Way!

Multitasking? No Way!

Multitasking? No Way!
The post Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning brings up the topic of multitasking.

Many people believe they are skilled multitaskers, but they’re wrong. Neuroscience has shown that multitasking — the process of doing more than one thing at the same time — doesn’t exist.

I disagree on the word “doing”, we can do several things at the same time but we can only focus on one of them at a time.

“The brain doesn’t multitask,” said Daniel Levitin, author and professor of psychology, behavioral neuroscience and music at McGill University on KQED’s Forum program. “It engages in sequential tasking or unitasking, where we are shifting rapidly from one thing to another without realizing it.” The brain is actually fracturing time into ever smaller parts and focusing on each thing individually.

Each time we switch from one task to another we need time to refocus. That means we waste time with each switch.

People often think they are being more productive when they try to juggle tasks, but Levitin says not only is sequential unitasking detrimental to productivity, but it produces less creative work as well. Multitasking is also stressful for the body.

Trying to multitask creates a feeling of busyness but it’s less productive. It’s much better to focus on one thing at a time. When it’s done (or the set time is out), pick another task to focus on. Singletasking rules.

Read more

Start Managing Your Attention
An 18 Minute Plan That Keeps You Focused
The Pomodoro Technique – manage your attention

Good relationships matter!

This TED-talk turned up in my Facebook stream today. It’s a great presentation about what really makes a good life. The video is well worth an investment of 13 minutes.

Watch it and consider what YOU might want to change and improve in your own life.

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

Video: What makes a good life?

Watch the video below or at TED: Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness