5 Reasons You Should Write Down Your Core Values


I waited.

I’m not sure why, but my light was green and I hadn’t pressed on the gas peddle.

Then a big truck came barreling through the intersection.

My jaw dropped.

I should be dead right now.

I don’t know if it was divine intervention, my gut instinct telling me not to go, or just dumb luck.

Whatever it was that prevented me from not pressing the gas pedal just saved me from a world of pain, maybe even my life.


We are all connected.

Quantum mechanics has revealed some amazing discoveries. Every atom that interacts with each other becomes connected. We live in an amazing world and the smarter we get the more complicated things become. I guess that’s why so many of us yearn for our younger days when we were young, stupid, and happy.

I’m still on this earth for a reason.

I’ve survived Cancer and I’m enjoying my work and life a little more each day.

I’ve survived working with many difficult bosses and I’m still here.

That’s why understanding my why to my major decisions is so important to me.

I don’t want to waste my time making a decision. I want to be able to say Yes or No quickly so I can enjoy my life instead of feeling insecure.

My Core Values bring clarity to my choices.

You might find other reasons how your core values help you, but here are what I believe to be the top 5 for me and many of my clients.

1. Your Core Values show you your true nature

Before working with Tim, one of my coaches. He asked me to send him my top 8 core values from a list he sent me. I smiled. Easy peasy.

I sent him my top 8 values.

Then we got on the phone and he had me compare each value to each other to one another.


Happiness was my #1 core value.

After we ranked them he began to ask me questions. I soon discovered that for me happiness was a crutch for me. If it didn’t make me happy then I wouldn’t do it.

The problem with this is that sometimes you need to do hard work that feels uncomfortable so you are happier in the future. Hard now, happy later.

As humans we are very bad at making good decisions based on future happiness, but allowing me to get a deeper understand of my values and Tim not allowing me to take the easy way out my values become more clear.

2. They guide your life.

Within a week I my top core value had switched from happiness to truth. I seek to uncover the truth in myself and others. I stopped taking the easy way out and began to get more curious about the truth behind my problems.

For example I would get frustrated with reports that I would write for my boss because he either didn’t like them or wouldn’t read them. I would rationalize that I needed to keep them short.

The truth was that I was being lazy because writing the reports didn’t make me happy. So I saw my true nature and knew it wasn’t fair to my boss or me. I believed in doing my work well or not at all, half my effort wasn’t cutting it. I began to put all the detail necessary to make sure that he saw the full picture and that I was delivering great work.

What do you know?

I was happier because I was delivering a reports. My boss began to read them too.

3. They help you with your career goals.

After I was laid off and started my own business, I was using more of my core values than ever before. My clients formed a deeper connection with me. It started off slow at first, but it began to happen again and again.

I decided to publish my core values because I wanted my clients to see who I was and how I delivered my services. A few of my clients have asked me about my core values, but many of them just feel confident and safe in who I am because I’m so public about who I am and what I deliver.

It’s become one of my best trust building tools. I wouldn’t be as successful without being so open about my core values.

4. They save you from making bad choices.

I get a lot of emails asking me to promote products and give me money to advertise on Work Happy Now. I turn down 99% of them because of my vision for my company. I want everyone to do work that they are passionate about and have a great group of people helping them reach their goals.

If I was worried about making an extra $100 from the site I don’t think I would have the trust that I do with my clients and readers.

5. They ease your stress levels.

This is a big one for me. I didn’t live my core values for many years. I avoided work to avoid getting in trouble.

When I started my own business and I get to choose who I work with and who I don’t I began to go after more purpose driven companies, which means I get to work with people who are as passionate about their work as I am.

Because I choose to work with companies that are purpose driven instead of money driven. I believe that we have similar core values. We believe in working toward a larger goal instead of immediate gratification results.

I work harder now than I ever did, but because I believe in the growth mindset every project has an opportunity for me to learn. If a project doesn’t grab my curiosity I say no to it.

How about you?

Have you ever ranked your personal core values? It’s really cool experience. I do it with 99% my clients. The real secret sauce is how we use your core values to help you make smarter choices.

If you are interested in uncovering your top core values then you are in luck. I’m scheduling 5 free core values sessions with people who read Work Happy Now.

Are you an owner of a company, feel stuck in your career, manager of a team, or want to improve your leadership skills at work?

Then fill out my contact form (type “core values” into message, so I can separate you from other contacts) and I’ll send you an email.

I’ll pick 5 people to work with. The process usually takes about 30 minutes. I’ll send you a list of core values then after you send me 8 I’ll send you access to my calendar to schedule a call. I will be recording the session and I’ll ask for your feedback.

This is a $250 value that I’m giving away for free because I’m looking to get a better understanding of using values in the workplace. I want to do this session then hear from you a week later to see if it helped you at your job.

What are your top 3 core values?


  1. Hello Karl,
    Thanks fort he opportunity to win the Core values session.
    Thanks again, Charles

    • Karl Staib - WHN Author and Speaker says:

      Hi Charles! I already picked the five winners. I will probably run the contest again in the fall. I just emailed you if you want help with your core values sooner. Thanks.

  2. my 3 core values would be:

    These can take me anywhere in this world…

  3. Knowing and ranking my core values helped me not just at work — it made parenting more straightforward, especially during the tumultuous teen years. When your kid is trying to find and push your buttons, it helps to know what you can let go of, and what you want to go to the mat for! Thanks for the article!

  4. Hi Karl, thank you for sharing, a great article.
    I have the same problem with ranking my core values. If you were to ask me, I would rank ‘success’ as #1. However, we all know that success will never come overnight, so sometimes when I don’t see the result I want, I would feel a little down.

    Guess I will have to change my #1 core value to ‘progress’. 🙂