Define your foundational values
Reconnect to the peak moments in your past.
Close your eyes and think about any past peak moments (lows and highs) that have shaped your decision-making. Ask yourself, “What is the most painful/joyful experience I went through as a child?”
Write down the details of the story you’ve just reminisced.
As you recall that painful or joyful memory, describe it vividly and write down all the details. Who was present? What took place? How did you feel?
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for every memory you can recall between ages 5 to 25.
As you scan your past, write down the details of each powerful memory. If possible, draw a timeline of all the major moments where you experienced significant pain.
Write down the values that emerged from those peak moments,
Next to each memory you’ve recalled, write down the core value that you embraced at that moment. Ask yourself, “What did I learn from this painful/joyful experience?” For example, you may have learned to value diversity and compassion if you were bullied or racially abused. If you created something unique and all your friends loved it, you may have embraced values such as innovation or futurism.
Review all the values you’ve uncovered.
Read through all the powerful values you’ve written and consolidate the top ones. Rank your most important values and then define what each one means to you. Use these values as guideposts before making major decisions.