catalyst challenge, day 7: personal core values

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Awakening: Liquid Mind (12:11) –

Note: Please enjoy the relaxing music while completing the assessment!

Values Assessment

Your values are the things that are most important to you and form the foundation of your life. They are the principles, standards, and qualities you consider worthwhile or desirable.  Values guide your actions, decisions, and choices for the better 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 and the partners you choose, your behaviors, and your personal identity; it’s important to know and understand them in order to live a more fulfilling life! Note: As you identify your values for this exercise, 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.

Here’s five reasons why identifying your values matter:

  • Defining your values gives you clarity on who you are and what you stand for.
  • Defining your values gives you purpose.
  • Defining your values prevents you from making bad choices – and helps you make better decisions.
  • Defining your values gives you confidence and motivation.
  • Defining your values makes your life simpler.

I would argue that identifying your core values is the MOST IMPORTANT activity that you will do this semester.  Knowing your values can have the most influence and the most impact in your life – now and in the future.

Before you engage in the Values Assessments, watch this video to see the importance of living your values:

And if you want to know why values matter, what they truly mean, and how you can change your values, read this article (Warning: Lots of profanity, but a great message):

It is BY FAR the best article I found on understanding why your values are TRULY important!

Personal Core Values Assessment

What follows is a list of 36 Personal Core Values; your goal is to identify your top FIVE (5) most important Personal Core Values, the specific values that you cannot live without.  Not only will you need to identify your Top Five Personal Core Values, but you’ll also need to rank order you Top 5 list, where #1 is your most important value – the ONE value you cannot live without, #2 is your second most important values, and so on, until you’ve rank ordered all of your Top 5 values.

  • 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.

You’ll need to not only come up with your Top FIVE (5) Personal Core Values, but you’ll also need to rank-order your Top 5 Values, where your #1 is your MOST IMPORTANT personal core value, #2 is your second most important, and so on, until you have them ranked #1 through #5 (feel free to do your Top 10 if you desire). For each of your Top 5 Personal Core Values, write a brief description why each value is important to you.

It’s one thing to identify your values; it’s another thing to explain why it matters.  As you write about each of your five values, think about/reflect on how you live each of your five values – or would like to live them – every day.  Your description could be essential in providing the framework for you to live your life now and in the future.

If you want a REALLY interesting challenge, have your partner or spouse take identify their Top 5 Values; don’t be surprised if the results lead to an interesting conversation!

Bill’s Personal Core Value Results

  1. Fitness/Health: It is my belief that if I don’t take care of myself – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually – I can’t be in service to others.  Example: I have documented every workout I’ve done each day for the past 20+ years (started on December 29, 1999).
  2. Wisdom: Once I realized my purpose/life calling, every decision I make is really easy.  My Mission: I am here to empower students, faculty, and staff in higher education and people at a crossroads in life to optimize their lives by becoming better people and serving something bigger than themselves in order to make the world a better place.
  3. Personal Development/Growth: At some point during the day, I ask myself: “Is what I’m doing making me a better person?” or “Is what I’m about to do helping others in a positive way?”  In every moment, we get to choose to either step forward into growth (+1) or backward into safety (-1).
  4. Spirituality: I know that I’m here to serve something bigger than myself.  I also know that God put me on this earth to do Life Design Catalyst work.  I also believe that each and every one of us has god-like ability to do special and significant things.
  5. Family/Friendship (Community/Tribe): Most important people in my life: My daughters Amanda and Bethany, my wife Rebecca, our dog Laci, and our Life Design Catalyst Community.  Many of the tribe members are like family to me – and they know that I will bend over backwards to help them when I can.  They ignite my spirit every day!
  6. Accomplishment/Achievement: I love the description, “to be involved in and succeed in undertakings that are personally significant, whether or not they bring recognition from others.”  The work that I do brings me joy; I also know that this works matters to other, even if it’s just one person.
  7. Autonomy/Independence: I am lucky to be in a position where I get to (mostly) choose the projects I get to do with minimal supervision.  Luckily the work that I do makes a difference, not only to the UNCG, but to the lives of the students that take our classes/workshops.
  8. Integrity: An area I can do better, especially “to do what you day you’re going to do.”  I think many would agree that I consistently live by and demonstrate my values.  I live a transparent life – what you see is what you get.
  9. Service/Helping Others: I am so driven to make the world a better place by empowering people to optimize their lives.  I want to make a positive contribution to the world, knowing that if I left tomorrow my work will continue forward and that I’ve left a positive legacy.
  10. Creativity/Self-Expression: By constantly reading, I develop new tools and activities that help people learn more about themselves and hopefully create better lives.  I feel like I’m in constant creation mode, always looking for new ways to do things easier and/or better.

Catalyst Challenge Worksheet

Here’s the link to download:

If you have any questions/comments/thoughts, feel free to contact me at


2 thoughts on “catalyst challenge, day 7: personal core values

  1. Hi, Bill! You’ll love this! The posts come out at 4 pm. I found another typo, too! SMH!!!!

    Today is Day Seven of the Dream Dean’s Catalyst Challenge to build the Character Resume.

    Today’s challenge was to identify and list our Personal Core Values. Bill says, “Your values are the things that are most important to you and form the foundation of your life. They are the principles, standards, and qualities you consider worthwhile or desirable. Values guide your actions, decisions, and choices for the better on a daily basis” (Johnson, 2022). Lucky’s top Personal Core Values are: (1) Personal Development/Growth, (2) Competence, (3) Service/Helping Others, (4) Wisdom, and (5) Integrity.

    The challenge lasts 15 days and is open to anyone. Subscribe (found another typo today – this can be the problem with copy and paste) to his blog to follow and join the challenge at

    – We’ll take the right STEPS when we know who we are and where we want to go – Much Success!
    STEPS Academic Advising & Education, LLC

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