Why do you do what you do?

Updated: Jan 22, 2019

As humans, our Core Values are such ingrained assumptions within us, we're often unconscious of what's driving us. If we bring these into the light, they can shape our everyday actions, habits, decisions and thought processes to leave us much more satisfied people.

Would you agree that if we base what we do on our emotions, circumstances (work, money), things or other people, we're likely to face inconsistencies in life?

I'd argue that most of us are ultimately searching for peace (not drama), happiness (not dissatisfaction) and positive life experiences (not negative). I'd then argue that consistency is a prerequisite of peace. Basing our responses, habits and decisions on who we truly are inside and what's important to us (rather than any external factors) can only provide us with a much more consistent journey to our desired life goals because who we are at the core is unchangeable!

When we know what's really important to us, we're better able to focus our energy, money and time and make clearer, more fulfilling decisions.

What's TRULY important to you? What do you NEED to be happy? Below is a list of some core drivers or values for you to choose from. This list is by no means exhaustive and is likely to spur your mind off on a tangent to other words or phrases (that don't even need to make sense to anyone else!). Resist trying to organise or evaluate your thoughts. The key is to go on instinct initially, then challenge yourself about whether or not this is ACTUALLY important and true for you, and not something you feel you should find important, but don't really!


Accepted, Accomplishment, Accountability , Accuracy, Achievement, Adventurousness, Authenticity, Ambition, Artistic, Assertiveness, Authenticity, Balance, Beauty, Being known, Being knowledgeable, Belonging, Boldness, Building, Calmness, Carefulness, Career, Caring, Certainty, Challenge, Changing the world, Character, Clear-mindedness, Commitment, Communication, Community, Compassion, Competence, Connection, Consistency, Contentment, Contribution, Creativity, Decisiveness, Dependability, Determination, Devoutness, Diligence, Directness, Discipline, Discretion, Do what you say, Doing it well, Duty, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Emotional, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Entrepreneurial, Equality, Excellence, Excitement, Exploration, Expressiveness, Fairness, Faith, Family, Flexible, Focus, Follow-through, Freedom, Friendship, Fun, Generosity, Genuineness, Giving, Goodness, Growth, Hard Working, Harmony, Healing, Heritage, Honesty, Honour, Hope, Humility, Identity, Increase, Independence, Ingenuity, Inspiration, Integrity, Integration, Justice, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning, Legacy, Love, Loyalty, Making a difference, Mastery, Marriage, Motivation, Movement, Nature, New challenges, Nurture, Obedience, Openness, Opportunity, Passionate, Peace, Planning, Practicality, Precision, Principles, Professionalism, Progress, Purpose, Rationality, Reaching out, Reflection, Renewal, Relationships, Responsibility, Reliability, Resourcefulness, Restraint, Romance, Security
, Self Improvement, Self-actualisation, Self-control, Self-Worth, Selflessness, Service, Sharing, Significance, Spiritual, Spontaneity, Stability, Strength, Teamwork, Temperance, The outdoors, The search, Understanding, Thoughtfulness, Thoroughness, Timeliness, Tolerance, Traditionalism, Trustworthiness, Truth, Truth-seeking, Uniqueness, Unity, Vision, Vitality, Volunteering, Worship


When you decide on your list, next create a Top 10 and prioritise them.

This is a win-win exercise.

Win 1: Change your situation. If you're not satisfied in any area of your life because you're doing something that isn't in line with who you really are, or you're being something that isn't true to what's really important to you, you have the power to take action: change what you're doing, say 'no' and reconfigure.

Win 2: Change your mindset. If you honestly can't change something that's misaligned with your core values or drivers, try shifting your focus instead. What can you get out of it that will satisfy your needs?

This simple exercise will help you see how your core values are aligning (or not) with your everyday actions, habits, decisions and thought processes. It's not a quick fix by any stretch, but its an absolutely crucial starting point to understanding yourself and why it is you do and don't do what you do.