We don't normally spend time contemplating our core values. Yet all of us consciously or subconsciously live by them. They are the driving force behind our lives.
Life coach Tony Stoltzfus defines a core value as "a distinctive set of core beliefs by which one measures his or her priorities in life." Values are an essential part of our lives; they play a key role in keeping our lives on track. When we clarify our values, we begin to lay down a plumb line for all our decisions and can navigate future crossroads in our lives.
Many of our core values don't originate from ourselves but were given to us by others hand-me-downs, if you please. Others form as we journey through life, while God uses these experiences and His Word to impart yet others. Although most of us seldom search out our core values, we all intrinsically desire to know them; it's a God-given desire, a lifelong search. God sets purpose in our hearts (see Eccl. 3:11).
So how can you recognize your core values? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you become more acquainted with them and begin to live your life accordingly.
Take any category'marriage, personal development, family and jot down phrases, images or a short series of words to describe the way you feel about it. These are your values. Keep working on them, refining and rephrasing them for a more defined set of core values.
So do you know your core values? Are you working within your design? Learn to reduce your drag and you'll improve your energy flow. You can begin by practicing the above suggestions in a few key areas of your life (e.g., family and children, work, church and ministry, financial stewardship). You'll quickly see how important core values really are.
A certified professional coach and trainer, John Chasteen is also the assistant dean of Southwestern Christian University Graduate School in Bethany, Okla. You can read his blog at heycoachjohn.com.