• David R. Edwards

People I Admire (Values Exercise #5 of 5)

Exercise 5 of 5

It is quite common for someone to have a hero, or heroes. These are people you admire. Some of them may be famous, some may not. This last category is most powerful because you likely know these people personally.

  • To start, list a few people whom you truly admire, start with four or five.

  • For each person list out why you admire them. What about their history or character makes them admirable? It is useful to separate a great event or work from the traits they displayed in carrying out that work. For example, if you admire Bill Gates, you could separate the founding and growth of Microsoft to what it took for him to do that. You want to focus on the values he demonstrated, not so much on the things he did.

  • Consider these aspects of each person and do you start to see a theme? What values do these people reflect in their lives?

  • As you consider these people and the values they reflect do you hold these values as well? How would you want those who know you best to think of you during a similar moment of reflection? Does this help you refine some of your own core values – even if they are aspirational for now?

This exercise can help ground you in your most important values and provide additional motivation to live your values as best you can.

I caution you to not compare yourself with these admirable people. You are your own person. The point of the exercise is to learn more about your own values by thinking about the values you admire in others. This is about your own life, values, and meaning.

You would be wise to remember that even the most admirable people are flawed. Their upbringing and living situation were unique to them and as well as you think you know/knew them there is almost certainly a lot you don’t know. We are all complex whole people.

Have some fun on this path, think, and enjoy the vital benefits of understanding and making your own values explicit. If you have not read the first blog post titled, "Values - Nicety or Necessity?" I encourage you to read through that first. It provides important context and answers the critical questions of what values are and why they matter so much.


David R. Edwards is the author of the new bestseller, "New You! Who Knew?". You can find out more on his web site. www.davidredwards.com

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