Monday, 11 October 2010

Values Clarification

Values are slippery concepts.  Not goals, not feelings, they are chosen direction in which to travel.  Essentially, they signify what's important to us in life. 

However, I think it's useful to distinguish between values in action and aspired values.  Values in action are what we actually do.  They are what we make time for and therefore what we prioritise.  Aspired values are what we aspire to do.  Clearly, the ideal situation is a large overlap between values in action and aspired values, but this is often not the case.  We drift through life mindlessly prioritising things that don't really matter.   For years I prioritised making money with a vague aspired value of status, only to realise my aspired value was actually meaning.

That's why some values clarification work is useful in career psychology sessions.  For people who want to try this kind of thing at home, I think this exercise is one of the best I can find on the web.  Let me know what you think.  For what it's worth, here are my top 6 - remarkably similar to other tests I've used.

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