How to Understand Your Core: Values + Passions + Strengths

How to Understand Your Core: Values + Passions + Strengths


When it comes to living a well-designed life, it’s important to ensure that you know who you are and what you want.

Living intentionally involves more than simply thinking of some goals and trying to reach them. It’s about reaching a bit deeper into who you are, what makes you come alive, what you enjoy doing, and what you’re good at!

Understanding your core—your values, your passions, and your strengths—will help you create a life that’s defined by intention and will enable you to set goals that are truly aligned with who you are and what you want out of life.

Think about it for a moment. What is the most important thing about a business? Of course, it’s their core values. A good business owner will spend a lot of time defining his or her core values. The reason? It is a solid foundation in which the business can grow. The same is true for your personal life as well. If we’re not in touch with our core—our values, passions, and strengths—then we’ll have a hard time living intentionally.

In the weeks ahead, we’re going to be exploring more about living a well-designed life and looking at how exactly that breaks down practically. Today, let’s uncover what you can do to dig deep and discover exactly what your values, passions, and strengths are—building the foundation to align your goals, plans, and actions with your core this year!

Ready to get started? Let’s begin by exploring each of these elements in depth now!

Understanding the Foundation: What are Core Values?

Core values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our actions and decisions. They are like an inner compass, directing us towards what we find most meaningful and significant in life. These values are deeply personal and can vary greatly from person to person. They may include concepts like honesty, compassion, or innovation. Understanding your core values is crucial because it helps you make choices that are truly aligned with who you are. When you know your core values, you can live a life that feels authentic and fulfilling.

Discovering Your Unique Core Values

First up, let’s take a look at values. These are things that matter more to you than anything in the world. Maybe it’s your family, or perhaps there are causes that you care tremendously about. While there are a number of lists available online that you can use to pick and choose from in order to identify your core values, make sure you spend some time searching deep and thinking about yourself. What is it that YOU care about? Most likely there are a great many things that you can think of! Write them all down.

If you are struggling to come up with a list, here are a few questions you could ask yourself:

• What drives you?
• What are you passionate about?
• How would people around you describe you?
• Consider meaningful moments: why were they so meaningful?
• Consider frustrating moments: why were they frustrating?
• What must you have in your life aside from the basics?

Whatever it is that makes it to your list, this will give you clarity on what is most important to you. This will allow you to ensure that you’re building relationships and making career choices that will energize you and keep you motivated.

The Link Between Values and Passions

Your passions are areas where you’d love to focus your attention, even if you’re not getting paid for it! What types of causes and ideas set your mind on fire? What areas of your life would you like to devote more time to? These are areas that you’ll be the most creative, and most in your element.

What if you’re not sure where your passions lie? Consider asking yourself the following questions to get your mind thinking in the right direction:

• What are you curious about?
• What makes your heart happy?
• Where do your interests lie?
• What would you do if money wasn’t an object?
• Where would you spend your time if you had more hours in the day?

Being disconnected from your passions mean that you’ll be unfulfilled or disconnected from your work or even life in general. But by taking the time to identify what drives you, you can gain clarity on areas of your life that may need to change, or steps that you need to take to increase your happiness.

Harnessing Your Strengths in Alignment with Values and Passions

What are you good at? Often times, the things that we’re great at, are also those things that bring us the most joy and fulfillment. You feel eager to perform these tasks—happy, willing, and motivated.

Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor at George Mason University, says that “You can see someone feels alive and motivated when they’re using a core strength.” What makes YOU come alive?

Not sure where your core strengths lie? Consider doing some observation! What things have friends, family, coworkers, or even complete strangers complimented you on? What comes easily to you? What do you do uniquely well? These are your strengths! Your own combination of these skills is uniquely yours. Having clearly identified strengths can help you to build a career or allow you to identify which areas you’ll want to focus on when growing your skills, volunteering, or helping others.

Creating a Personal Purpose Statement: Values, Passions, and Strengths

A personal purpose statement is a powerful tool that encapsulates your values, passions, and strengths in a concise and inspiring way. It's a declaration of what you stand for and what you aim to achieve in your life. To create this statement, reflect on what matters most to you, what activities bring you joy, and where your strengths lie. This statement should resonate with your core and guide your decisions and actions. It acts as a beacon, keeping you focused on your path and reminding you of your true priorities.

Practical Steps to Live by Your Core: Values, Passions, and Strengths

Living by your core involves integrating your values, passions, and strengths into your everyday life. Start by setting goals that are in line with your core values. Create habits that allow you to pursue your passions regularly, even in small ways. Use your strengths to overcome challenges and to contribute to areas that matter to you. Seek opportunities, whether in your career or personal life, that align with your core. Remember, consistency is key – the more you align your actions with your core, the more fulfilling your life will become.

Continuing Your Journey: Further Exploration and Resources

Understanding and living by your core is an ongoing journey. There's always more to learn about yourself and new ways to apply your values, passions, and strengths. Seek out books, podcasts, workshops, and courses that delve into personal development and self-discovery. Consider keeping a journal or planner to reflect on your experiences and growth. Engage with communities and groups that share your interests and values. This continuous exploration will not only deepen your understanding of your core but also enrich your life in countless ways.

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Are you ready to start discovering your core? Be sure to get your FREE Core Elements Worksheet. Then, get to work discovering your own values, cores, and strengths.

And be sure to tune in next week—to learn more about leading a well-designed life.

Share with us! What are your strengths, values, or passions! We’d love to hear in the comments below!

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