Research Professor Brene Brown writes about how we can’t live values that we can’t name.  The assertion is we humans are apt to try to prove ourselves, be perfect and perform just for the sake of pleasing others when we are not absolutely clear about which values are most sacred to us.  Naming and staying focused on our two most sacred values will keep our heads about us and prevents us from allowing our efforts to be hijacked.

Similarly, business management consultant, author and lecturer James Collins states, “If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities”.  It turns out being crystal clear about our top two values seriously drives our lives.  This drive then guides us to better manage our priorities, even our to-do lists,  to focus on the one to three most important items.

Sounds easy, right?  All we must do is name and then devote our lives to our two core values.

Fortunately, Brene Brown also gives us some tips on how to choose those two values we hold near and dear.  She writes, “Choose the one or two beliefs that are most important and dear to you, that help you find your way in the dark, that fill you with a feeling of purpose.  As you read them, you should feel a deep resonance of self-identification.  Resist holding on to words that resemble something you’ve been coached to be, words that have never felt true for you”.  Then you can ask yourself if the values you chose sound like a definition of you, if they seem like who you are when you are at your very best and if you use them as a filter when you make really difficult decisions.

If it is a struggle for you to come up with a list of core values to consider and choose from, there are plenty of lists to peruse on the internet and a great sampling on page 188 of Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead.

I have some work to do.  How about you?