Your Meaningful Work – Day 1: Values

Your Meaningful Work Worksheet

Before you begin the first activity, the “Values Assessment,” you may want to print out the “Your Meaningful Work Worksheet.” This one-page worksheet will provide you a place to record your answers of the five activities on one page.  Click on the next link to print out the worksheet (a Microsoft Word Document): meaningful work worksheet, 7-19-15

By the way, you may find some of these activities really hard to do.  Push through the difficulty and pain anyway – no one ever said working on yourself was easy!  Besides, isn’t finding “Your Meaningful Work” worth it?

Values Assessment

Day 1 of “Your Meaningful Work” is an assessment of your values.  Your values are the things you consider most important to you. They are the principles, standards, and qualities you consider worthwhile or desirable. They guide your actions and decisions on a daily basis. If you notice that something isn’t quite right in your life, a lot of times it’s due to a conflict in your values. Your values have a lot of influence on your relationships, your behaviors, your choices, and your personal identity; it’s important to know and understand them in order to live a more fulfilling life!

As you identify your values, make sure that you are choosing the most important values in your life right now, not things that you think are important or what you would like to have in the future. If there are several that seem to fit together, just choose the group and find the one word that summarizes the group best. They could be things that are important that you “live” on a daily basis – or they may be things that are important, but you don’t actually follow (but would truly like to).

This exercise will have you choose your Top Ten Values – the ten values that you deem most important in your life right now; choose your 10 from the 36 values listed below:

  • Accomplishment/Achievement – To be involved in and succeed in undertakings that are personally significant, whether or not they bring recognition from others. To complete something successfully, especially by special effort, superior ability, perseverance, or great courage. To participate in activities that bring fulfillment.
  • Accountability/Responsibility – To take responsibility for my actions and the outcomes of those actions. To hold myself responsible for my actions, conduct, and decisions. To be answerable for something within my power, control, or management. To be seen as dependable, reliable, and conscientious.
  • Advancement/Promotion – To consistently move ahead to new and progressive opportunities. To aspire to higher levels of excellence in one’s professional life. To continue to move forward and improve current rank and/or standing. To have visible success and status in the workplace.
  • Authority/Power/Control – To have the power to approve or disapprove proposed courses of action. To make assignments and control allocation of people and resources. To have great influence or control over others. To be given the authorization to enforce, command, determine, or judge. To be in charge.
  • Autonomy/Independence – To have freedom of will, thought, and/or action. To be self-reliant and have freedom from the influence, guidance, or control of others. To be self-directed and self-sufficient. To be free from the control, influence, support, and aid of others. To choose own projects, set own pace, schedule, and work with minimal supervision.
  • Balance/Stability – To have continuance in life with minimal change. To maintain a life based on reliable, dependable, and predictable situations. To live in a steady, secure, unchanging environment. To have mental steadiness, emotional stability, calm behavior, and use sound judgment.
  • Challenge/Risk – To be involved in stimulating and demanding tasks and projects. To be engaged in difficult or complex activities. To face unknown or dangerous experiences. Participating in situations where there is a possibility of damage or loss.
  • Competence – To possess the skills, knowledge, and aptitude to effectively perform a task. To execute work with accuracy to achieve results. To demonstrate proficiency and above average effectiveness. To be seen as well qualified and having superior ability.
  • Competition – To engage in activities where results are measured frequently and compared with others. A test of skill or ability, usually in comparison with one’s self or others. A contest for some prize, honor, or advantage. To have a strong desire to win and be successful.
  • Creativity/Self-Expression – To develop new and innovative ideas. To generate new and better ways of doing tasks. To make, invent, or produce imaginative or original thoughts or things. To use your imagination to find new ways to do or say something. To be able to personalize ideas, emotions, or feelings. To convey or represent one’s own personality, feelings, or ideas.
  • Enjoyment/Happiness – To take pleasure in life – both work and personal. To live life to the fullest. To have fun. To experience pleasure, amusement, joy, or cheerfulness in every aspect of life. To incorporate things that brings one pleasure in life.
  • Entrepreneurship/Innovation – To organize, manage, or start a business or enterprise, usually with considerable initiative and risk. To create or establish an object, item, or idea. To start or introduce something new and different.
  • Excellence – To achieve the highest attainable standard in all aspects of my life. To seek the highest level of quality in all tasks and projects. To possess outstanding quality or superiority merit.
  • Expertise – To become a known and respected authority in a particular field. Attain mastery/expertise something specific. To have a high degree of knowledge/skill in a certain subject. To be recognized as an expert in something.
  • Fairness/Equality/Diversity – To have the same capability, quantity, effect, value, or status as others. To honor and respect a variety of cultures and lifestyles. To appreciate those things that are different. To welcome others as being the same. To have an equal chance in all things.
  • Family – To live with and commit to at least one significant other. To focus on the relationships, time spent with, and attention given to children, spouse, significant other, parents, siblings, and/or relatives.
  • Fitness/Health – To be involved in activities that relies on my physical and mental conditioning. To be physically and mentally fit. To be of sound mind, body, and spirit. To be in good health and physical conditioning due to exercise and proper nutrition. To be involved in work that requires substantial physical activity.
  • Friendship – To have close, positive, personal relationships with others. To have frequent and caring relationships with non-related people close to you. To develop camaraderie and good-will with others. The cooperative and supportive relationship with two or more people.
  • Harmony – To have a feeling of inner calm, peace, and tranquility. To feel or show happiness, contentment, or well-being. To live a life that’s consistent, pleasing, and tranquil. To desire to be at peace with oneself.
  • Honesty/Trust – To have faith, belief, and reliance in the character, integrity, and sincerity in another person. To be a person of honor, truthfulness, and fairness. To rely on a person or thing in confidence.
  • Integrity – To live and work in agreement with personal moral and ethical standards. To be straightforward and direct with others. To live by and stand up for personal beliefs. To do what you say you’re going to do. To be a person of honor and sincerity. To consistently live by and demonstrate your values.
  • Knowledge/Learning/Education – To engage in the pursuit of acquiring information. To be involved in activities that requires thought and reasoning. To study or investigate facts, truths, or principles. To gain familiarity, awareness, or understanding through experience or study.
  • Leadership – To motivate and energize other people. To feel responsible for identifying and accomplishing needed group tasks. To guide and direct others. To manage, direct, or supervise the activities of others. To influence the opinions or decisions of others. To personally convince others to take certain actions.
  • Leisure – To pursue non-work-related activities. To participate in hobbies, crafts, or recreational activities. To have time and freedom to do things that brings pleasure. To live a life of unhurried ease.
  • Loyalty – To be committed to the goals of people who share my beliefs, values and ethical principles. To be faithful and committed to a person. To be trusted to follow an ideal, a custom, a cause, or a duty. Being reliable to commitments and obligations. To follow a leader or a cause with strong devotion.
  • Nature/Environment – To care for and appreciate the environment. To respect and values the outdoors. To respect the social and cultural values that shapes the life of a person. To have concerns for the earth and its climate. To be involved in activities or work that’s outdoors – or for the betterment of the outdoors.
  • Personal Development/Growth – To do challenging work that will help one grow and allow the utilization of one’s best talents and skills. To develop capabilities and one’s potential to make one more aware of his or her inner feelings or thoughts. To continually search for opportunities to learn about self and about life.
  • Recognition/Fame/Prestige – To be seen by others as extremely successful. To be given special notice or attention. To be acknowledged for achievement and service. To obtain recognition and status in one’s chosen field. To have great visibility, a great reputation, and to be recognized and renowned. To seek applause from others.
  • Religion – To have a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices from a particular organization. To believe in and follow something devotedly. To practice ritual observances of faith.
  • Respect – To be treated with admiration, thoughtfulness, and fairness. To be valued with esteem or honor. To be a person viewed as having certain rights, privileges, proper acceptance, or courtesy. To be a person to show consideration and appreciation for others. To have pride in self and feel worthy.
  • Safety/Security – To be free of worry, fear and anxiety. To have minimal concerns about danger or risk. To have predictability in one’s life. To have income and benefits that are predictable and satisfactory. To have the assurance of the fulfillment of an obligation. To have freedom from financial worry.
  • Service/Helping Others – To contribute to the well-being and satisfaction of others. To help people who need help and improve society. To give assistance, support, and aid to others. To contribute to the betterment of the world. To have a devotion to the welfare of others. To desire to make a difference. To provide direct services to people with problems.
  • Spirituality – To believe that there is a higher power, but not necessarily based on religious beliefs. To view life from one’s soul or spirit. To live a life based on one’s own values and ideals and understand who we are and why we are here.
  • Travel/Adventure – To take a trip or journey to a desirable location. To be engaged in new, exciting or unusual experience. To participate in activities that might be considered risky or dangerous. To be in a position where you get to take frequent trips.
  • Wealth – To own a significant amount of money, property, or other riches. To be considered rich, prosperous, or affluent by others. To have a valuable amount of possessions and resources. To be in a position to have a lot of money.
  • Wisdom – To be aware of one’s self, personal calling, and life purpose. To have knowledge and insight of one’s values in order to make good judgments. To have the intuition to use common sense and good judgment in decisions and actions. To understand the importance of making wise choices. To have a desire to understand life.

Once you have your list of 10 values, challenge yourself to rank order your top ten values, where Value #1 is the value you cannot live without, value #2 the second most important, and so on, until you have ranked all ten!  Write down your list of ten values on the “Your Meaningful Work Worksheet” under the section “Top Ten Values.”

Bill’s Top Ten Values

  1. Fitness/Health
  2. Wisdom
  3. Personal Development/Growth
  4. Harmony
  5. Spirituality
  6. Meaningful Relationships (Family/Friendship)
  7. Creativity/Self-Expression
  8. Accomplishment/Achievement
  9. Integrity/Accountability/Responsibility
  10. Service/Helping Others

Feel free to share your list of Top Ten Values in the comments section.

28 thoughts on “Your Meaningful Work – Day 1: Values

  1. Hi Bill – I am looking forward to re-visiting this exercise this week and getting new insights. Thank you so much for posting and sharing this. You and I have met a few times before, most recently at the CA On Course conference. I teach both accounting as well as our FYS/student success course at Jackson College in southern Michigan.

    Suzanne’s Top Ten Values

    1. Family
    2. Harmony
    3. Accomplishment/Achievement
    4. Autonomy/Independence
    5. Personal Development/Growth
    6. Friendship
    7. Balance/Stability
    8. Fitness/Health
    9. Fairness/Equality/Diversity
    10. Nature/Environment

    • Hi Suzanne! Thanks for taking the time to “hang out”; it’s always nice to re-visit one’s values every now and then, just to see how things change – or don’t change. I do remember you from Jackson College; hope all is well. Enjoy the activities this week!

  2. Top Ten Values

    1. Family
    2. Enjoyment/Happiness
    3. Autonomy/Independence
    4. Creativity/Self-Expression
    5. Personal Development/Growth
    6. Entrepreneurship/Innovation
    7. Accomplishment/achievement
    8. Challenge/Risk
    9. Fitness/Health
    10. Fairness/Equality/Diversity

    I feel like this would be another (possibly more meaningful) way to really get to know what motivates co-workers, teams, groups. I have done activities before that sorted us into colors, animals, etc and never really felt like it helped me understand how to work better together, but this provides a little more meat. Thanks, dream dean 🙂

    • Ashley, you are most certainly welcome! I find that these exercises can be used in a myriad of ways, especially for people trying to decide one’s next path in life. Feel free to use in other ways and in other settings; all I ask is that you give credit where credit is due. Thanks for participating; I look forward to hearing more of your answers!

  3. Sarah’s top 10:
    6-personal development/growth
    10-service/helping others

  4. 1. Integrity
    2. Knowledge/Learning/Education
    3. Fairness/Equality/Diversity
    4. Personal Development/Growth
    5. Wisdom
    6. Autonomy/Independence
    7. Travel/Adventure
    8. Leadership
    9. Respect
    10. Creativity/Self-Expression

  5. It took me a while to narrow down the list, and I compiled a few that seem to fit together for me:
    1. Spirituality/Harmony/Nature/Personal growth/Wisdom
    2. Mental and Physical Health
    3. Enjoyment/Happiness/Leisure
    4. Creativity/Self-Expression
    5. Serving/Helping Others
    6. Family and Friends
    7. Honesty/Trust/Integrity
    8. Knowledge/Learning/Expertise/Competence
    9. Balance/Stability/Security
    10. Entrepreneurship/Innovation/Accomplishment

    • Hey Carrie! I’m glad that you took the time to really think about this list. I think it’s great that you were able to combine a few categories that fit who you are. Now, let’s see how this works with the next activities this week!

    • Megan’s Top Ten Values

      1. Fairness/Equality/Diversity
      2. Integrity
      3. Safety/Security
      4. Respect
      5. Enjoyment/Happiness
      6. Personal Development/Growth
      7. Service/Helping others
      8. Harmony
      9. Accomplishment/Achievement
      10. Physical and Mental Health (fitness/health)

      This is an awesome way to introspect and reflect. Thanks!

  6. 1 Achievement
    2 Advancement
    3 Stability
    4 Family & Friends
    5 Fitness & Health
    6 Nature/Environment
    7 Helping Others
    8 Travel & Adventure
    9 Personal Development
    10 Creativity & Self Expression

    Bill – thanks for posting this. I’ve needed it over the past few days! Glad I can be focusing my energies towards thinking positively and reflecting on my self at this point in my life.

    I’m starting to connect the dots between what I am doing to live out these values (yoga, running, saving money, and what else I could be doing, or need to be doing better (making a financial plan, writing more, and beginning mentoring students again.)

    • Hi Chelsea! Glad you could join us and glad to help! Maybe I can coax you into attending my next certification training workshop, where you’ll get to do this work and more for three days! Might also help with defining your next chapter in life! Would be a lot of fun having you there! Hope to stay in touch!

  7. Awesome activity!

    1. Integrity
    2. Excellence
    3. Family
    4. Wisdom
    5. Leadership
    6. Challenge/Risk
    7. Personal Development/Growth
    8. Service/Helping Others
    9. Travel/Adventure
    10. Spirituality

  8. 1. Autonomy/independence
    2. Creativity/self-expression
    3. Travel/adventure
    4. Balance/stability
    5. Enjoyment/happiness
    6. Harmony
    7. Fitness/health
    8. Service/Helping others
    9. Fairness/equality/diversity
    10. Accountability/responsibility

    Very cool exercise, I think there’s something significant in even the deliberate awareness raising of our inner drivers. Glad to have participated in this!

  9. Accomplishment
    Family & Friends
    Personal Development/Growth

  10. Kyeong’s Top 10 Values:

    1. Family
    2. Knowledge/Learning/Education
    3. Religion
    4. Honesty
    5. Integrity
    6. Friendship
    7. Balance/Stability
    8. Enjoyment/Happiness
    9. Personal Development/Growth
    10. Leadership

  11. 1. Accomplishment/Achievement
    2. Enjoyment/Happiness
    3. Family
    4. Knowledge/Learning/Education
    5. Integrity
    6. Leadership
    7. Travel/Adventure
    8. Friendship
    9. Service/Helping Others
    10. Competition

  12. 1. __Accountability/Responsibility____________
    2. __Balance/Stability______________________
    3. __Enjoyment/Happiness__________________
    4. __Fitness/Health________________________
    5. __Knowledge/Learning/Education__________
    6. __Personal Development/Growth__________
    7. __Recognition/Fame/Prestige_____________
    8. __Respect_____________________________
    9. __Travel/Adventure_____________________
    10. __Wisdom_____________________________

  13. 1. Integrity
    2. Family/Friendship
    3. Respect
    4. Balance/Stability/Safety/Security
    5. Enjoyment/Happiness
    6. Wisdom
    7. Accomplishment/Achievement/Competence
    8. Fairness/Equality
    9. Fitness/Health
    10. Leadership

  14. Top ten values:
    1) family
    2) trust
    3) loyalty
    4) entrepreneurship
    5) leadership
    6) risk
    7) creativity
    8) friendship
    9) personal development/ growth
    10) happiness

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