What do you reply to someone, when they ask you “Who are you“?

You probably reply to them with your name. Right?

Your name is your identity but you are not defined by your name, you are defined by the values you possess.

When someone asks you about someone you know and how they are in person, you often reply that the guy is very honest, trustworthy, genuine, positive, or maybe they are negative, self-obsessed, arrogant, etc

So what are these honest, trustworthy, genuine, positivity, negative, self-obsessed and arrogant?

They all are values that a human can possess, and the above mentioned are only a few of hundreds of the values present in us.

As a human being, you possess a lot of values and out of them some values are non-negotiable values, something which you can’t stand comprising on, these values are called your CORE VALUES.

Something you believe in, something you really stand for and something whose violation you can’t let happen.

Not living on core values

Let’s say you are a very honest person and honesty is one of your core value, you will notice that you can’t stand anyone lying upfront to you because honesty is something which you can’t compromise on.

I was talking to one of my friends the other day, she discussed that honesty is one of her core values and if she hangs out with someone who lies a lot and is dishonest, she will feel guilty, shameful, embarrassed and frustrated.

So many negative emotions. Why so?

Because she is not standing for something she believes in and she is not being true to herself.

Do you think you will lead a satisfactory and fulfilling life if this thing happens often? If you are not living truly on values that you consider important for yourself?

Yeah, I know that’s a question which is very uncomfortable and it is important for you to answer that.

You will probably answer NO to the question because the guy does not believe in what my friend stands for, he is actually the opposite and therefore every time she will hang out with him she will feel guilty of wasting her time with someone who doesn’t believe in the same thing.

Core values role in the success

You will agree with this statement that success has a different meaning for everyone, but your success is definitely dependent on how well you live your core values because it is something which is important to you.

Success is a process and the process should include the application of your core values because it is actually who you are, and that is what is really enjoyable and fulfilling, you are doing the work which you think is important to you.

How to find your core values?

I found this exercise in Built to Serve, a book on finding your purpose by Evan Carmichael.

So this exercise goes by the name

What do you hate?

It says you to make a list of all the people you can’t stand being around – an old boss, a bully in school, a bad teacher, a family member, a roommate, and other people who feel or act a certain way.  You don’t need to be angry with them or think they’re bad people. There’s just something about them that you don’t want to be around. It’s toxic to you.

Find in those people what do you feel toxic, do they lie, are they fake, are they envious, or are they ungrateful?

Pen down a list of 5 people, and write down 3 descriptive words against their name for example

My list

Vivek: Negative, Fake, Always worrying

Menka: Selfish, envious, disrespectful




Make a list of 5 people, and write 3 descriptive words as mentioned above. After doing the above exercise on finding your core values, you will have 15 descriptive words ( 3 for each), they words don’t necessarily be same, words can repeat, it’s better if 2-3 people have same description words.

My list for 5 people looks like this

Vivek: Negative, Fake, Always Worrying

Menka: Selfish, envious, disrespectful

Reshu: low on self-confidence, never at peace, always angry

Rounak: Disrespectful, never challenging himself, never at peace

Amit: Selfish, Disrespectful, Liar


Now from the above 15 words, some of them are in common like (Disrespectful comes 3 times, Clubbing (Always worrying + never at peace) – 3 times, Selfish – 2 times)

Note: You can club together, words you find similar.

I have picked out words which have occurred more number of times because usually, you don’t like people more for a similar kind of trait in them.

(Note: It is not at all necessary that the words which come the more number of times  definitely needs to be the most important sometimes values which occur only once in those 15, is the most important)

Here for me, the most important ones which I absolutely can’t stand are never at peace, disrespectful and selfish. I don’t like any of them and these are the ones I truly can’t stand.

Now I need to find the opposite of these words, which are peace, respect and selflessness.

After that, I need to weight, which one of the 3 is the most important to me. It’s okay if all the 3 weighs the same.

The one which weighs the higher is most probably your core value.


I hope after doing this exercise, you will find and live your core values truly.

My core value came out to be as PEACE and I have tried with deliberate intention to practice and create more peaceful environment around me.

Sources: Whatever you have read above have come together as an amalgamation of thoughts from books – Built to Serve, Black Sheep, The Compound Effect and The Subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Happy Reading