Reverse Engineer Finding Your Purpose with Core Values with Siddharth Anantharam
Finding a purpose is a lot of pressure. It can cause stress and anxiety, and creates a mindset of looking outside. What if we could reverse engineer this process and find ourselves first? Start with who you are and what are your values before seeking higher purpose in life. Core values are a way to bypass unnecessary challenges of life to get to where you want to go.
Sid went through this process of uncovering his core values of connection, belief, and service. He began asking better questions, such as: what can I do to live my values every single day? Based on his core values, one avenue for him was being a coach, which involves having deep conversations with people to uncover beliefs and also grow. He immersed himself for 3 months, outlining what kind of coach he needed to be to live these values.
His purpose evolved into exploring human connection at deep levels by creating spaces for people to be who they are. He then realised that if he had started the other way around, looking for purpose first, he would have gone into a skill that he's good at instead of what he enjoys.
He read 3 books:
Supercoach by Michael Neill, which breaks down personal growth into 10 different methods of coaching.
The Prosperous Coach by Steven Chandler and Rich Litvin, which discusses how to build a business one conversation at a time.
The Book of Coaching by Ajit Nawalkha and Dr. Neeta Bhushan, which outlines you as a coach, your methodology, and your business.
What are core values?
Core values are the framework to get to any one of your potential paths, instead of only looking at what you "should" be doing or only what you “enjoy." It's a more balanced approach.
Once you discover your values, they show up everywhere. Every decision starts with: am I living in alignment with my values? It becomes a very simple framework to prevent the noise of the world from drowning you. It’s a compass of how you show up in the world.
How to find your core values? Building your timeline
Step 1: Go through your years of life. Ask: in order to become who I am today, what were the different events, experiences, and moments that I can remember? Don't overthink. Start from whenever you remember (e.g. 7 years old).
Step 2: In each of these experiences, what was happening outside of you?
Step 3: What was happening inside of you as a result of those external experiences? You must feel it in your body, go back to those moments and live them once again.
Step 4: What was the core thing or things that I was valuing? Write all of them down and move on to the next moment. You will see similarities of values.
Step 5: Based on all of these things that you value, if you had to categorize them, what are the ones that you value the most? Choose 3.
This is a process designed to be repeated as we uncover deeper layers of emotions.
Do core values change?
Core values are dynamic. You add experiences and memories as you open up yourself to new ways of living as well as new perspectives on your life.
Remember, core values are not something a friend or family member can suggest or that you pick from a list. Your values are who you are right now, not who you want to be. There's no shortcut. You have to go through the experience of life to discover and accept who you really are.
What about conflicting core values?
Even if values change over time, there will be one value that you know because you feel it in your bones. The way you learn is to ask: what was the conflict? and why was there a conflict? If that pattern of conflict persists, that means that your #1 value might actually be different.
Finding core values is a lifelong discovery. Place these values where you see them often. The more you see it, the more you step into it.
What can we do to use values to make a decision once you have your values?
The test is to ask yourself: what would it be like if I took this decision based on this value or against this value? Then compare and contrast. You’ll start to notice that it’s never really about the decision you make, but rather the consequences of that decision. The strength to live it and accept it are embedded in your values.
- Understand that core values exercise is an interactive and continuous process.
- Don't over-analyze. The beauty of this process is that whatever comes first is ALWAYS right. It’s a heart exercise.
- Time box this exercise, especially if you are an over-thinker.
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