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Values are central in our lives.
Inside our minds and bodies, our values root in mental models and they steer our thinking and behaviour – automatically!
Despite that, we seldom reflect on our values. We are busy doing other things. That´s a pity.
Reflecting on your values and finding out, what really matters to you and give meaning in your life, is the road to better decision making, more focus and simply more satisfaction and happiness in your life and in your career.
How do I find out, what is meaningful to me in my life?
We tend to think quickly and automatically and produce answers like “my family”, “my loved ones” and that´s of course okay, but how to feel what really makes sense and gives meaning in your life? How to feel this meaning in a way that makes you smile, makes you cry or makes you feel grateful or even sad – that can be difficult – exactly because we are so busy doing other things being productive, effective, getting things done, we close down on the emotional side of experience.
In my Ph.D. i found out that you can design creative processes aimed at value clarification. Creating visual expressions appeals to some deeper levels of knowledge, and therefore it is ‘easy’ to visually express what is meaningful while creating strange looking physical 3D-models, collages etc – but they exactly represent what is meaningful to you!
Of course almost all of my participants start saying”I am not creative” or “I can´t do this”. Of course you can! Think of it as a new language, but a language where you can´t spell anything wrong! What you create is a creative expression of what is meaningful to you – then you add words to it and bling: you are there!
I my workshop I have the same experience every single time: people say, I can´t, I am not creative and after about 2 minutes the room gets really quiet and everyone is totally absorbed in the activity!
It is a very productive and even efficient method that brings light in the eyes of the participants.
Most of the participants change their behaviour. A prerequisite for this is though that you want change and that you want to take leadership in your life and change the values you think are inappropriate in your life. Many, not all, participants ‘see’ the dominant values that steer their thinking and behaviour today, this is really impactful as it leaves a choice, continuing living with these dominant values or changing them into maybe better ones. And that is why these processes often make people take leadership in life.
I have had entrepreneurs who have changed their behaviour and thus their businesses, banking customers who have changed old dominant values about money, participants who have changed their lives etc.