When we were younger people would ask:
“What do you want to be when you grow up”
To which a reply might be:
No matter the answer there was an encouraging smile or giggle that would support the fantasy of being something great. But what is not asked is what do you value most and how will you build your career around it? Pretty heavy question to ask a six-year-old right? How about a 16-year-old who is starting to plan their lives? Still a little heavy right? What about at age 25, 35, 45, and so on? An adult should be able to answer that question right. Surprisingly enough, many don’t know what their core values are and have gotten so far away form them that their values equal their bottom line.
Let’s examine this a little bit. If someone asked you what your core values are as an individual would you be able to name them? Would the values be: honesty, integrity, being organized etc? These are not bad values to have, but they are typical. What truly matters to you? Is it your family? Is it stopping a generational financial struggle? Is it a spiritual conquest? There is no wrong answer as long as it is inline with your gift.
I think something we forget about is that we are capable to live our lives however we want to. Circumstances are challenges not a condemnation to live a certain way. That is our first gift, we can choose. The second gift is whatever skill(s) or talent(s) that you have. This does not necessarily mean a physical skill such as IT, management, graphic design. The second gift could be your gift to heal people, a great listener, a fantastic speaker, or…your experience. Being in tune with those types of gifts filter out into career and life choices.
A young woman had the natural gift of being a story teller since she was a child. She could talk your ear off, but she’d also listen very well especially if you were ailing. Yet when anyone would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up she’d say “I’m a writer!”. The spark of youth that ignited her life passion began to fizzle out as she got older and economic demands withered her passion. She became many people throughout her various ‘get by’ careers that pleased others; unfortunately, she lost her core values of being a great listener, speaker, and healer that fueled her ability to tell stories to the values of her circumstances. One day she said enough and had a great ‘Aha’ moment that realigned her different core values into singular ‘super powers’ to be able to tell stories effectively through many different mediums. And now her core values became her funnel to success.
This young woman had to make a choice to either allow her circumstances to dictate how she functioned or to tap into the power she has had all along and become who she is meant to be. From what I understand her story is far from over. Yet she is relieved that she found the woman she is meant to become. One day I believe she will write a best seller, in the meantime she is telling other people’s stories to heal, educate, and speak to the souls of their respective audiences.
Identify your gifts and values
It’s not unusual to be out of touch with who you are at your core; especially in a culture where people value what you do over who you are. You’re not your job, you’re not your skills, you are your core values. I would like to invite you to do an exercise that may narrow down who you are vs who you have become.
- Make two columns
- In one column write down your top five virtues. (Example: Family, Healing, Spirituality etc)
- In another column write down the top five things you are doing in your life or your career.
- Draw lines that connect each virtue to your career or something else your doing.
- See how your virtues line up with what you are doing.
After this exercise see how what you have chosen or what your circumstances have chosen for you correlate with who you are. And if most do not connect, that means you need to realign yourself with your core values. Doing this will not lead to guaranteed financial abundance. However it will align you to your gifts that you carry naturally that will put in to your ‘wind’ and allow it to lift you into you mental, emotional, spiritual and possibly financial prosperity.