If you don’t know what your values are, and the criteria you mind uses to make sure you’re on track, you will never reach your full potential.
Hi, everyone. My name is Umar Hameed and I’m an expert at changing human behavior. And I’ve worked with 10s of thousands of people around the world. And one of the fundamental things that I teach them, before we even start working on the higher stuff is Who are you? Right?
If you don’t know who you are, there’s a word for that. And it’s called being lost. And
one of the ways that you know who you are is if you know your values and the criteria your mind uses to make sure you’re on track. Most people have a sense of who they are, but they don’t actually know who they truly are.
To uncover your values ask yourself What’s important to me about x? And what makes it fulfilling?
So for example, if you’re looking at your values around work, you would ask, what’s important to me about work, what has to be there for it to be fulfilling? And as soon as you ask that question, an answer pops up, right?
These are my values around:
- Learning cold stuff
- Helping people
- Having fun
Ask yourself, What’s important to me about work? What has to be there for it to be fulfilling for me? And whatever answer pops up, just write that down. Then ask the same question again and again until you run out.
Finally, ask yourself, what’s missing from this list and if anything is missing it reveals itself. This happens because the question What’s missing opens up a different filing cabinet in your mind and an answer pop up. When you have discovered all of your values write them down and then organize them in order of importance for you.
Then the second part is the criteria, how does your mind and your heart know that you’re living true to these values? Let me set frame the issue by using a movie reference.
Have you ever seen, Under the Tuscan Sun. It’s kind of a chick flick, right? A woman’s marriage breaks up and she moves to Tuscany and buys a house. She hires a Polish worker crew to help fix it up and at every corner, they discover a bigger problem. They tear down a wall and discover major problems right behind it. This house becomes a money pit.
One day as this never-ending construction project moves along a snake slithers into her bedroom, and she so despondent, she calls the realtor that sold her the house and says, Antonio or whatever his name is, please come and help me there’s a snake in my bedroom. And so he comes rushing over and looks in a bedroom, the snake must have slithered out.
But she’s so despondent to distract her. He says, “what would make you happy?” And she goes, Well, what would make me happy is when this place is fixed up, when there are little kids running around, and I’m throwing big parties. At the end of the movie, she’s throwing a wedding reception at her newly renovated house. The realtor comes up to her and says, “so now you’re happy?” She answers, No, I’m not happy. The realtor says, remember the day the snake slithered into your bedroom you told me, for you to be happy, this place would have to be pristine, kids running around, and you would be cooking a big feast and having big gatherings. You have that going on right now.
Oh my god, I guess I do have everything I want. This is a perfect example of somebody not knowing what they want and killing themselves to get it.
To figure out the criteria ask yourself, I would know I am fulfilling this value if I could see, hear or physically touch this. Keep on asking this question until you run out of things that need to be there for you to know you are living this value.
For example, learning cool stuff is my number value when it comes to working. To uncover my criteria I asked myself, Umar, what would you be able to see hear or physically touch that would let you know that you’re learning cool stuff. This is what came up for me, I would make new connections in my mind, and solve problems that were unsolvable before.