A rich and fulfilled life tends to allow your key values to shine and flourish. Sometimes that requires negotiation (e.g. between “creativity” vs. “stability”) when these at times pull you in different directions. Take some time and listen into yourself. What speaks the loudest? What is in the background, so faint you can barely hear it? What do they want? How can you find alignment, for now, for next week, for next month?

Think of your values as members of a high-performing team. Team members know each other and know their strengths and weaknesses. There is an overall goal and alignment with purpose. Everyone carries a key part of the puzzle, nobody should get all the attention at the expense of everyone else, and there are plenty of interfaces where people need to collaborate and make trade-offs.

“Success” is one of my core values. So is something I call “Wild Card”, that encompasses creativity, rule-breaking, non-linearity, play etc. These two can sometimes pull in entirely opposite directions, and can be entirely in each other’s way. Wild Card wants to blow up the box and create lots of shiny options. Success wants to tie things to a timeline and to KPIs. Truth is, in order to produce anything of quality, I need both, and they need to collaborate. 

For examples like this for a piece of larger content I am currently working on: Success sets the scope and defines the brief. Wild Card challenges the brief (of course it would…), collaborative refinement of the brief, then Wild Card generates options. Success narrows them down and puts a plan in place while Wild Card saunters off and finds the next playground (this is illustrative, the reality is a bit messier and there are more factors at play).

What are some of your “negotiation tactics” with yourself? How do you ensure different core values are lived? Please share!

Check out the values worksheet here.
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