I've always thought dating is inefficient. We're meant to sit across from a stranger for an hour to quickly decide if we're a good match. We can learn about their hobbies, countries they've visited or how much they like cats but realistically, we're forced to make a course evaluation based entirely off our intuition. On top of that, sprinkle on some love hormones to completely muddy the water. We're judging a book by its cover.
Wouldn't it be great if there was some kind of checklist that we could whip out to help make decisions like this? (Or at least whip out internally if you're on a date).
Well, my friends, let me introduce your Core Values. WAIT - before you click away, let me explain why they're actually helpful.
Like you, I used to think Core Values was just fluff. A term thats been bludgeoned to death in corporate vernacular and induced a mouth vom and eye-roll every-time I heard it. But once I actually defined my Core Values, my life started to change.
It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. - Walt Disney
Core Values are simply the things that matter most to you.
For example, some of mine are:
- Nourishing my brain and body.
- Caring for my relationships.
- Learning and personal growth.
How to define your CVs?
To get the ball rolling, you could reflect on moments where you feel most fulfilled. Such as, hanging with your partner, talking to clients or travelling the globe. Chances are, they would be a core value of yours. Another strategy could be thinking about when you're most unhappy. That could be a cue that your core values aren't being met. For example, if you're shitty about your boss micromanaging you - one of your CVs is probably Autonomy. Get honest and clear and write that shit down somewhere you can refer back to. This will become your checklist.
How will they help?
Generally, we feel good when we're living in line with our values and bad when we violate them.
When I used to hear people talking about CVs I just assumed mine were generic things like kindness, freedom or exercise. I didn't delve into them beyond that. I didn't realise this... but I was actually flying blind.
Because when you don't know what your values are, you can go on 10 dates and then wonder why it didn't work out. Or you can hate yourslf for staying up drinking when a core value is health (happened to a friend of mine 😉). Not knowing our values makes it easier to violate them. And that's not cool.
Core Values help us work out how to be happy.
Once we know 'em, we can run all of our choices by our checklist. Should I take that remote-working job if I value human connection? Should I binge another series if I value learning? Should I smash that Mars bar if I value nourishment? Probably not.
Working through my CVs helped me make a confident decision to move back to Sydney after a year on the Gold Coast. My values of Community and Personal Growth weren't being met at my old home so I moved somewhere that was more in alignment. My CVs provided data points to make an accurate decision.
Core values are our compass to navigate decisions. So write those suckers down, memorise them and make them a part of your daily life.
Remember that "Happiness is when what you think, what you say , and what you do, are in harmony" - Ghandi.