Episode 159: What We Learned From Valuing Our Proudest Moments

Many of us get stuck because we are either overwhelmed by too many opportunities or we have no idea what we want to do with our lives. Surprisingly, the solution to both predicaments may be discovered by clearly identifying your values.

Think of your values as your personal code for how you want to live your life. They guide how you act, make decisions and interact with other people. They also provide some clues to what motivates you and can provide guidance toward your common purpose.

One of the most effective methods for identifying your values is by observing your past actions and decisions that made you the most proud. They are moments that energize you and define what is truly important to you in your life. They include big life experiences, small daily moments, hard decisions or sacrifices you’ve made and accomplishments of any size.

The secret to uncovering your values is by asking yourself a very important question about each of your proudest moments, “Why does it make me feel proud?”

What You Can Learn

  1. What motivates you.
  2. The values that guide and shape your actions.
  3. Access more vivid details about the story of your career.

How To Do This Challenge

The core goal of this challenge is to uncover your core values that guide your decision making process by making a list of your proudest moments and understanding why each of those moments make you proud.

As you define the reasons behind your proudest moments, patterns and trends will emerge to help you identify your core values.

Download the Valuing Your Proudest Moments Challenge

What Chris Learned 

I did not have a clear sense of my values before doing this challenge. For much of my life I’ve been very good at fitting in with many different groups of people.

I’ve always felt that I could easily adopted the social values of the groups I was with as a chameleon changes color. This strength created a weakness when it came to knowing myself and what my values where. I think this is why this challenge was so meaningful to me. Here are my most important values in no particular order:

  • Goals
  • Competition
  • Recognition
  • Safety & Security
  • Calculated Risks
  • Independence
  • Achievement

This is just the beginning of this challenge for me. I really want to dig deeper into figuring out for myself what my values are. I’ll feel I’ve accomplished what I want when I can list what I value and connect them with what I am doing and the goals I’m working toward.

Here’s the action I’m going to take as a result of this challenge:

If anything the one thing I’ve learned is this takes work. I will take action by writing in my journal about what I value for the next month. I hope this helps me dig deeper into the list above and why I value each of these things.

What Stephen Learned

I have a very clear sense of my values, but this challenge gave me the ability to explain why I have adopted those values over the course of my life. I now have a long list of proud moments that can more definitely explain my core values. Here are my most important values in no particular order:

  • Challenge the Status Quo
  • Make It Happen
  • Family First
  • Time Over Money
  • Share
  • Self-Awareness
  • Authentic
  • Frugal

I can honestly say I live these values every day and they guide my decision-making process in my career. Anytime I feel stuck, I always look at my options through the perspective of my values to gain confidence in my decisions and actions.  This challenge also helped me realize:

  1. Small, daily moments are just as important as life-changing experiences in terms of identifying my proudest moments. One of my proudest moments was wearing a bathing suit for 30 days in a row during the summer of 2010. I know that may come off as superficial, but that action really captures my values for challenging the status quo, making it happen, being authentic and desiring time over money.
  2. My proudest moments are the ones I share with others the most often. There are lots of ways to define why you might feel pride about moments or experiences in your life, but for me I thought about the stories I frequently tell people about my “quirks” that make me feel unique and confident regardless of their opinion.
  3. Values are better represented by actions than by thought. Thinking and doing are two completely different actions. Your true values only reveal themselves when you take action. Simply thinking about your values may lead you to come up with a list of characteristics for how you wished to be perceived, instead of describing your authentic self.

Here’s the action I’m going to take as a result of this challenge:

I’m going to recite my values as a mantra each morning, so they will be in my thought process throughout the day as I make countless decisions. I think this small, daily action will help me take more effective action toward my purpose.

Some Advice About This Challenge

Now that we’ve experience this challenge, we’ve learned a few things to share with you, so you can get even more from this challenge than we did!

  1. Choose terms that make sense to you to describe your values. After you make your list of proudest moments and identify why they make you proud, don’t feel compelled to use words others might use to describe a “value”. Feel free to use words and phrases that resonate with you and truly capture how you live your values.
  2. Don’t overlook the lighter moments in your life. Many times people believe your proudest moments also have to be your most serious ones. They only tell half the story of your life. Many times those seemingly insignificant moments that occur on a more regular basis say more about your character than a life-changing experience.

Start This Challenge Now!