When we start our process of helping people understand what brings meaning to their lives we always start with values.

If you are about to join one of our workshops or webinars, we will ask you to start by doing this exercise. We will send you some more detailed written instructions as part of your preparation.

Your values are already there in your life, they are what you believe in and what gives meaning, so they will already have been visible at particularly memorable times throughout your life. If we understand our values, we can use them as criteria and guidelines for designing a life that has more meaning and engagement.

This exercise will help you capture these, make them explicit, and explore them in more detail.

Start by building a timeline of the ups and downs of your life so far. Think about the peaks and troughs, the highlights, and worst parts of your life so far. They could be significant life events, or anything that gave you a sense of meaning or that you remember particularly clearly.

Start with your earliest formative experiences and continue until you are up to date. Draw a simple curve of the ups and downs showing the peaks and the troughs.

Spend some time thinking about your peaks and troughs– your highest positive and negative emotional experiences. For each of these experiences try to recall the experience itself and the emotions that went with it.

  • What happened and why?
  • Why was it such an important experience?
  • How did it feel?
  • If you could take one factor or piece of learning out of that experience, what would it be?
  • What key words describe the experience?

Write down your observations and repeat this for each of your peak positive and negative experiences.

Bring your stories along to your workshop or webinar where we will show you how to use them to identify your key values.

As we move into the rest of the program, we will show you how to design in more opportunities to live your values and find meaning in your life and work.