How to find what values do NOT matter to you

Last week, Don Miller wrote about how we can discover our core values by looking at what most upsets us and then taking the opposite of that. It’s a good article, probably better than this one, so you might want to check it out.

Anyway, never one to shy away from finding my own core values, I tried what he suggested.

But before I tried it, I read Don’s second to last paragraph:

“So, the question is, what circumstances and situations make you mad? Are you angry about the oil spill? Perhaps beauty and the creation/conservation of beauty is important. Does ignorance make you angry? Perhaps education is a core value.”

And in that moment when I read that, I realized you can also reverse this reverse process. Here’s what I mean…

Don’s formula: find what you hate. Then take the opposite of what you hate… that’s one of your core values.

Marshall’s formula: find what you don’t hate (stuff that perhaps really bothers other people but doesn’t matter much to you). Then take the opposite of these things you don’t really hate… those are values that don’t matter to you.

Let me share how my formula works in practice (you already saw how Don’s worked).

  • Take Don’s example question: “Are you angry about the oil spill?” No, personally I’m not. I think it’s bad, but no, it doesn’t really bother me that much.
  • Or Don’s second example question: “Does ignorance make you angry?” Call me callous, but no, it doesn’t either. Ignorance doesn’t really upset me – stupidity does.

From those two examples alone, you can see that environmental conservation and education in general aren’t really high on my values list.

So what about you? What questions will you ask? What bothers other people but doesn’t really bother you? What values don’t matter to you?