I found my top 3 core values and I can’t wait to share the learnings! The End Stuckness & Overwhelm NOW! workshop by the amazing Nora Nagy brought me to a deep realization. The title is all-promising and too-good-to-be-true but please bear with me.
I did a similar exercise with my first life coach back in 2016. I was curious to see if there’s an overlap and to freshen up the connection with these core values. Guess what! The values were exactly the same! This surprised me – in the middle of this dynamic, ever-changing world, in which I also transform, the core pillars stay the same. So indeed, this is the foundation I need to build on, no matter what the current fleeing situation is.
Open your eyes 👀
I won’t spill the beans of the exact exercise and the whole workshop. For that, I recommend you get in touch with Nora and experience the magic yourself 😉
Through a series of questions, in a group, I selected first my top 12 core values. Then I summarised and reduced them to 5 and then once more I narrowed them down to 3. I resonated with values, but they were just words. The magic happened when I discussed what these words meant to me with the group! I realized these values were the driving force behind everything I do, I long for, and I keep my eyes on 🙂
Even now, days after the workshop, when I look at my vision board, and my yearly goals I see the underlying desires – desires to experience these core values. It’s an empowering and eye-opening experience – because how can you keep your eyes on the goal if your eyes are shut?!
I’m utterly delighted by this re-discovery, by this simple key to satisfaction. I’m not saying happiness, because happiness is something fleeting, temporary, elusive. I can easily and instantaneously create happiness if I have an ice-cream, jump on a trampoline even for a couple of minutes, go out for a walk, take a sunbath, play with a dog, etc. But this is a short-lived feeling. How about the more grounded, longer lasting, overall life satisfaction? The one that is there to fuel me through rough patches of my life. This is what these core values are about.
Core Value #1: Connection
The number one and most important value for me is Connection. Here’s what it means to me to me:
Connection to self
A deeper knowing, understanding, and compassion for myself. Being in touch with my intuition, the signals my body gives, the awareness of my own triggers, recurring stories, and mechanisms to cope with the challenges of life. This is the feeling of being home with myself, no matter if I’m alone or in a crowd. Accepting how I feel – no matter if I’m excited about a possibility, or I feel stuck and unmotivated, or I face my own limitations and insecurities and being OK with it.
You will know when you’re connected to yourself. There won’t be any numbness, no busy-ness, no distractions and excuses that you’re too busy, or I have to take care of … (fill the gap), demanding job, daily commute, etc.
Connection to the world
Once I establish the Connection to myself, then I can connect to the people in my world. Here I’m talking about authentic, true, naked, honest connection. When I see and feel the other person the way they are, no judging and in full acceptance. When in contact with a person, I put complete attention on the presence and togetherness. There’s no need for words.
It’s the most basic human connection. I trust you, you trust me. We walk side by side. Minimalism. Everything else is clutter – the niceties, the societal rules, the material exchange, recognition, ego – it’s all putting a thick curtain over the Connection.
Connection Perpetuum Mobile
The connections with oneself and with others are fluid. They fuel each other. When I feel connected to myself, then even in the loudest crowd, I stay grounded and can connect with the people in a quality manner.
It works the other way around too – if I have a strong connection with the people in my life (one or two are enough), then I have more compassion and understanding for myself in the rough times and more energy to boot up my own system.
The Connection is a fine and delicate foundation of everything. You can not experience fulfilling love relationships, friendships, professional contacts, a parent-child bond without Connection.
You can not build relationships, families, businesses, teams, friendships if you don’t have the skills to build and maintain that Connection.
Core Value #2: Independence
The second value for me is Independence. This is the space and time, the freedom to be, to explore, to move and to express. It is the core of my Financial Independence goal. It’s the freedom to create, to take unknown paths, to explore possibilities. It’s spaciousness – it’s an open field, that makes you run and jump and roll on the ground.
Independence is related to the first one – Connection. It’s the freedom to be connected to yourself, to be independent in a relationship. To have no barriers in front of you.
Just outside the comfort zone
It can be scary and disorienting, but this is the space where I’m most alive. It’s just outside the comfort zone, just when I climb over the fence, and I put my feet onto the new ground, and all I can see is the horizon. It’s a feeling of spaciousness and possibility.
This is also empowerment and self-reliance. When I know my own strengths, and I know I can manage any situation.
Independence is the lightness in relationships. It’s the freedom not to celebrate Valentine’s Day and not to exchange Xmas gifts. Instead to show your love and appreciations in small, delicate ways, and when it comes from the heart, not because today is the Day.
Core Value #3: Wonder
The third desired feeling for me is Wonder. This is the childish awe, the humble feeling that the world is so big and there’s so much beauty to be witnessed. I find miracles in nature, in our anatomy, in animals, in the view of a snowy mountain,
This is the wonder of a beautifully presented dish, the excitement of an improvised cooking session, the feeling of a room. When you enter a space and you are overwhelmed with the coziness, or warmth of a home; or the grandiosity of a cathedral; or the skyscrapers of Chicago, or the silence, tranquility, mystery of the House of Silence I stumbled upon on the Camino de Santiago.
This is the wonder of an idea, of a book, of a particular person. When you are in awe of their being, of their thinking, or the vastness of their dreams. It’s the appreciation of things as small as an ant or a bee (and the hidden mechanisms of their communities) or things as ‘normal’ and underestimated as our breath and digestive system.
Connecting the dots
When I put all these 3 core values together, I discovered the dynamics of everything in my world. In every aspect of my life, I see either the presence or lack of these values. Guess what – in the areas that I’m super happy and satisfied, all of the 3 values are present and abundant. In the areas, where I don’t feel that good, one or two of these values are missing.
It’s like a checklist that if I tick all the boxes, I’m guaranteed to be experiencing satisfaction.
Let’s take the Camino de Santiago for example – it covers all my 3 core values. I connect with myself, and the other pilgrims in a unique, simple, honest way; I feel independent and empowered – it’s up to me how much to walk, where to stop. The vastness of the distances and the views gives me a feeling of wonder, spaciousness, and possibility. I am in awe.
Every day is a new beginning, new path, new scenery, new people, beautiful surprises, valleys and hills, yummy food, challenges – it’s an adventure!
In my relationship, all three core values are present as well. I feel deeply connected to my partner, without losing myself. There are freedom and space. He and I are free to pursue our passions, goals, interests without the need to be everywhere together. On top of that, there’s a lot of wonder – both of us bring new ideas and impressions to the common space.
We function as individuals, we are together because we enjoy being together and sharing a life, and not because we are incomplete. “Better half”- what does it even mean?!
I also discover the 3 core values in my Financial Independence goal. Independence is even in the name. I want to have the financial means (which inevitably means time, space and attention) to connect to myself, the people in my life, to explore the possibilities and to be amazed at all the wonders of the world, and all the unconventional paths to get there.
The 3 core values are like a checklist for everything I do or I long for. Let’s take the desire for meaningful work. What needs to be covered?
First of all, connection – to the team, to myself in the environment, to management. Second of all, independence – I’d like to explore possibilities, test out ideas, iterate, take responsibility and independently run the project. Top-down doesn’t work for me. And last but not least – wonder of the product, of the users, of the vision, the possibilities, of the execution, of seeing something developing in front of my eyes. The wonder of learning, of expanding my understanding of the domain, and the connections between industries.
These 3 core values are my compass and they open my eyes to the goal, to the direction I want to go to. To the true north. It’s a new level of consciousness, a new level of depth of understanding myself and the world