When working on my last post, and reflecting on ‘lists’ and on what I would miss, the following memory was provoked.
Many years ago, I was asked to select ten words, out of 100 listed, that I believed named what was most important to me. “A personal values assessment,” I said aloud. The examiner was unamused that I had so quickly predicted something that she had wished to reveal much more slowly.
Despite being given that ‘test’ more than 20 years ago, I remember the majority of words that I chose as if I had selected them yesterday. Although I have gone through many personal changes since that time, I believe that I would still choose most, if not all, of the same ten words today. That seems so strange and yet quite comforting at the same time. My life is much simpler in retirement, and hey, wasn’t I supposed to gain deeper wisdom as I advanced in age?
While I believe that the majority of my core values have remained the same, I know that many of them are now manifested quite differently. For example, diligence is a word that defines a large part of me, but how I now choose to apply that diligence is quite distinct from what it had been in my work life (including many of the benefactors). ‘Acceptance,’ ‘accomplishment,’ ‘acknowledgement,’ ‘challenge;’ are all secondary pillars for me (not my top ten, yet still important). These aspects of me have significantly altered in my retired life and now seem more personal and less extrinsically centered than ever before.
I did a search on-line to see if I could find the same (or nearly the same) assessment that I had taken those many years ago. Although I didn’t find the exact one, I did find others. The first one cited below is closest to the test that I had taken—although this version is much longer and comes with accompanying pages on eliciting and prioritizing your values, etc. , etc. (values1, values2, values3).
What do you think? Have you noticed a significant change in what you now value most from what you did previously? For those of you who are retired, do you see noticeable value differences as you simplify your life?
Photo Credit: https://www.canva.com NB – Words listed on the sample photo are not all my “personal words” (although some of them are included). Rather, this picture shows a broad sampling of words that are often included on Personal Values Assessments.