Who Is The 1St-Highest-Certified Music Artist In The Us How to Discover Your Core Values I – What the Mad Men Can Teach Us

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How to Discover Your Core Values I – What the Mad Men Can Teach Us

I am fascinated by Don Draper, the star of the hit show Mad Men, who infuriates and offends me with his sexism and abuse of women, his lust for power and his lack of moral fiber. I was not at all surprised when we learned of his dark secret past where he assumed the identity of someone else and used that new identity as his entree to the world of success. What does Don Draper truly value? Clearly he craves respect and his shame of his past causes him to overcompensate and go beyond normal bounds because he puts a premium on power. I can only imagine the stress that Draper experiences on a daily basis in leading this life. In fact, I suspect that Don operates out of fear and that leads me to think that he cannot sustain his success. But I have to thank Don because he reminds me of the importance of being true to my values and living my life in accordance with the principles that define who I am.

So let’s take a closer look at values and see how they can be a powerful tool in figuring out your authentic success.

First, what are values?

Values are the principles by which you live your life. Core values help to define who you are and what is truly important to you. In effect, values are the essence of who you really are: i.e., the core to your authenticity.

There are no “good” or “bad” values; nor are there right or wrong values. I coach a lot of lawyers. What values do you think they have? Power? Recognition? Leadership? Sure. And also fun, family and balance. My musician and artist clients value their creativity, along with things like affluence, service and creating a legacy! The main thing is to find the values that resonate for you.

As for values that you “should” have, I had a musician client who was not sure if he wanted to be a musician. Creativity was not one of his top 5 values and he took that as a sign that he was not destined to be a musician because he did not have the “right stuff.” His top value was authenticity. And when I asked him what that meant to him, it turned out that authenticity meant creativity!

Why is it important to know your values?

First by knowing your values, you can begin to filter all your important decisions and choices. For example, in your career, think about what matters more to you: your autonomy or your security. If you are someone who values autonomy and you work in an environment with strict rules or you have a micro-manager boss, you are undoubtedly feeling a lot of discomfort and you may long for a free-lance or entrepreneurial career. On the other hand, if security is important to you, you may put up with the rules because you value the security of having that paycheck.

In fact, if you compromise your core values, you may be experiencing inner imbalance and stress. Think about your relationships: if you value honest communication and commitment and yet you are in a relationship where you feel that you have to play games in order to get what you want, this will lead to a lot of dissatisfaction for failure to honor a top value.

So knowing your values is a critical component to finding authentic success because

o You realize what is essential to you in leading your life.

o You gain clarity around an issue or a challenge that is keeping you stuck or unsatisfied.

How do you find your values?

One way to find your values is to look at people, characters or situations that infuriate or deeply offend you. In thinking about these people or situations, you become angry because something that is very important to you is not being honored or respected. Your anger then becomes a powerful clue in helping you to understand what is really important in your life, i.e., your values. That’s why Don Draper is such a good example for me because he is not honoring my core values of

o Authenticity and Integrity

o Relationships built on honesty, trust and generosity

o Service to others

o Personal Growth/Fulfillment

How can you discover your core values?

Action Steps:

1. Think about situations or characters or people that infuriate or offend you.

2. What values are not being honored in these situations or by these characters or people?

3. Write down the values that these situations, characters and people bring up for you.

4. Start testing your values. The next time you have to make a tough decision, think about what values are at stake and which values you want to honor. Then, think about what values are not being honored by your choice.

Stay tuned for Part II of this exercise!

I would love to hear what you come up with so please email me at astrid@astridbaumgardner.com.

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