how to find out what your values are

I'm working on a project which requires me to know what my values are.

My values? Blimey. When prompted out of the blue to write down what they might be I froze.  I know I believe in honesty, integrity, hard work and happiness but they seemed rather flimsy building blocks for a long term project.  So I looked for tips and found this book which has an exercise to help determine what your values might be. And easy too, just list the twenty people you most admire (real or fictional) and why.

It might seem a bit abstract as a way to find out what your values are, in fact I skipped over the section at first but I revisited it and did the exercise last night with some surprising results. I'm going to share my list with you, they're not in any particular order, just as I thought of them.

1. My husband - for (nearly) always being calm and happy.

2. My Elizabeth - for overcoming a very difficult start in life to become a bright and lively chicken.

3. Whoopi Goldberg - for overcoming adversity and believing in herself and her dreams of stardom.

4. Rebecca Adlington - for all those hours training in a pool in order to fulfil her gold medal dreams.

5. Gill Edwards - for writing excellent books about magical living and loving life.

6. My cousin Katrina - for working so hard, achieving so much and remaining unruffled.

7. Oprah Winfrey - for bringing books to a wider audience and promoting self-improvement and self-love.

8. Queen Elizabeth I - for kicking ass in a male dominated world and not doing what men told her to do.

9. Lionel Shriver - for writing excellent books on controversial subjects.

10. Daphne du Maurier - for writing and living the life she wanted to live, for not conforming.

11. Oscar Wilde - for writing and living the life he wanted to live, for not conforming.

12. Lena Dunham - for being fearless and original.

13. Susannah Conway - for creating a successful business helping people in an authentic way.

14. Joan Rivers - for cracking the rudest jokes about the world's fattest egos and getting away with it.

15. Gandhi - for promoting civil rights and non-violent action.

16. Kathryn Bigelow - for kicking ass in the male dominated world of Hollywood.

17. Mary Beard - for loving history, being hugely intelligent and good role model for our daughters.

18. Saga Noren (character from The Bridge) - for not conforming to social niceties and for saying what she thinks.

19. Jesus - for teaching love and trying to help mankind.

20. Cleopatra - for kicking ass in a male dominated world.

Firstly I didn't realise that I was such a raging feminist! Secondly, hardly any men! My husband is in good company with Oscar, Gandhi and Jesus isn't he? And yes I did wiki Jesus, it was the least religiously affiliated information on him I could find, I'm not religious but the man was a dude!

Regardless of my feminist, man-hating tendencies - ahem - I'm so happy with the results, seeing all the themes leap out of the page, literally leap out, nothing subtle about me, gives me a deeper understanding of what my values really are.

My values

  • We can all overcome adversity of any sort to succeed in the pursuit of our dreams.
  • As women we should fight against culturally established standards of 'womanly' behaviour.
  • Be your authentic self, no pretending or trying to fit it.
  • Teach yourself and others, in whatever way feels right to you, about living well, being happy and connecting with your soul.
  • Work hard, be fearless, be original and stay calm.

I love them, I own them, they are mine, uniquely mine plus they are now going to come in incredibly handy for planning, prepping and getting excited about the future.