After decades of coaching and working with individuals, there is one common thread we see in clients. There is a desire to, “do more, achieve more, feel more, experience more, have more . . .” The word MORE comes up in nearly every conversation we have with a potential client, whether it’s an individual or an organization. So why are we all looking for MORE? It’s a question I’ve asked myself over the last several years of my life.
I don’t think it would surprise you to know that the average American home size has grown from 1,000 square feet to almost 2,500 square feet. The personal storage business is booming, generating more than $24 billion in revenue on a yearly basis. There are reports that we consume more material goods today (50%) than we did 5 decades ago. I am convinced that I am not the only person who has something in their closet with the tags still attached and clothes that have never been worn. As human beings, consider that we keep looking for MORE, and even though we apparently have it, we are still not satisfied.
- Is it possible that the idea of more creates a sense of security?
- Are we seeking more in an effort to create happiness?
- Do we believe more validates our worthiness?
- In the world of social media, are we spending so much time comparing ourselves to others that more seems like the answer?
It occurs to me that one potential reason we all want more is because we are seeking fulfillment at a deeper level. This sense of being unfulfilled is a result of living outside of our true value system. Most of us are living outside of our value system because we’ve never been taught how to correctly identify our core values. As a result, there is a restlessness that is leading the charge to more, and more never seems to be enough.
One of the greatest things I have gained through the coaching I have done and the influence of my mentors, is the understanding of my own values. Your values are unique to you. When your values are being met, you will notice your pursuit isn’t focused on chasing more in the external world; it’s focused on what you’re driven towards and what fulfills you from within. You may still notice comparison, as our brain is built to compare; however, you no longer identify who you are with that comparison.
Creativity flourishes when comparison ends.
How Do I Identify My Values:
Taking the time to identify your values and aligning your life with those values can dramatically enhance your experience as a human being. Organizations that identify their values as a collective unit, like an individual, tend to thrive when values drive initiatives.
As you begin this process, keep in mind that it is possible to have different values in different areas of life. Identify one area of your life you would like to focus on (career, health, relationships) and take some time with a pad of paper and a pen, answering these questions. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Work on one area at a time.
- In the context of (career, health, relationships) what’s really important to me?
- As I think about a moment in the context of (career, health, relationships) that was meaningful to me, what was happening? How was I feeling? What values were being met?
- The times that I find myself frustrated or angry, what is being jeopardized – what value do I have that is not being met?
- Keep at this process until you exhaust and begin repeating words
It’s been said that identifying values is like getting jello to stick to a wall. We’ve found after doing hundreds of value elicitations, that working with a skilled coach may simplify and expedite this process. If you’re interested in getting off the treadmill chasing external validation, consider your journey starts with identifying your values.