"WHEN MY TIME COMES, I WANT TO LOOK BACK NOT WITH REGRET,
BUT RATHER KNOWING THAT I LIVED A LIFE LIVED TRUE TO MY VALUES."
-- Roz Savage
How to Use The Values Worksheet
Shalom Schwartz is an American social psychologist who during the 1970s and 1980s did a lot of research and came up with a list of 57 values that he believed are universal across all human cultures and countries, irrespective of religious or political systems. These are the values that I’ve used as the basis for this worksheet. There may be other values that are very important to you and that you don’t see on the worksheet, but fear not, you’ll get the chance to include them later.
So let’s dive in and do the spreadsheet. (Excel required. Click on the image to download.)
For now, let’s look at the “Subjective” column. Work your way down the list of values, putting a number from 1 to 10 in the “Subjective” column, where 1 is “not an important value for me” and 10 is “a supremely important value for me”.
Focus on what, in your heart and mind, you feel to be important. Don’t think so much about your daily life. This column is about what matters to you at the deepest levels of your being, even if for whatever reasons your behaviour isn’t always consistent with them.
You’ll notice that the values are in alphabetical order. This is so you can be sure that there is no significance in the way they are arranged.
By the way, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, no “good” values or “bad” values. This is simply about helping you to understand what values drive you.
When you have finished filling in that column, switch into a different mode. Imagine that you are being observed 24 hours a day for 7 days by an objective observer. A bit of a creepy thought, I know, but stick with it for the purposes of this exercise. This fictitious observer is scrutinizing your words and actions to find evidence of what values matter to you.
Now fill in the “objective” column as if you were that observer, using the same scale of 1 to 10 as before.
Now look at the Summary page by clicking on the “Summary” tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet. You will see that the 57 values have been grouped into 10 categories – Tradition, Power, etc. On the spiderweb chart you will see two lines, the red one representing your subjective values, and the blue one representing your values as observed by that creepy person who was following your every move for a week.
Now take a moment to look at your results. Take your notebook and pen or use the downloadable worksheet and write down your answers to these questions:
Which category or categories did you score most highly in? Subjectively? Objectively?
Where did you score lowest?
Are there any categories where you have a big gap between “Subjective” and “Objective”? If so, have you been aware of some conflict between your values and your lifestyle? How does that conflict make you feel?
Are there any values that you feel would be a 10 for you, but they weren’t on the list? If so, feel free to add them to the downloadable worksheet. This exercise is about helping you understand what matters to YOU, so do please come up with your own words if you wish.
You should now have a clearer idea of what your most important values are. You may want to take your top 4 values, and regard them as your "Life Compass" to guide your future decisions. Consider your choices in the light of your top values - which option best honours those values?
I hope that helps. Wishing you a wonderful, wise life of integrity with your values!