Uncovering our personal values for futures insight

If you don’t know your values, then how do you know if you have reached a future that you actually want?

A values deep dive

What followed was a deep dive into discovering my values. I am often a practical person (when I am not being totally fantastic about dreams and ambitions). I went to our best source of all information and downloaded multiple lists of all values that I could find. I put them all into a single document and then started putting them into categories that made sense to me. Then I looked at the categories and eliminated the ones that didn’t immediately appeal to me. And then I played with the balance, sorted them into priorities, moving categories and then individual values up and down the list in comparison to each other. I ended up with a very clinical list that I decided would be my starting point. They were good, but they didn’t resonate yet.


I define alchemy as the practice of creating something new out of something old. It involves some science, some experimentation, a little art, a dash of magic.


On reflection, I think that some of our values emerge as a reaction against something we do not like. Agency is so important to me because of my experience of and witnessing of people who have their agency taken from them. Agency is the degree to which people have the opportunity to make decisions about their own lives.


All of these values can come down to transcendence — experiencing something beyond the normal. We can invest our lives in compliance and production of the expected, or we can tap into something deeper and transcend the ordinary, the normal, the expected. We have the capacity to create more than that. We have the capacity to be more than that.


I love seeing any example of craftsmanship. When a person crafts something of value, they leave a part of their soul in their work. This could be in the form of traditional art, actual crafts, a powerful visual slide deck, a moving vocal message, a useful written report. It could be expressed in the selection, nurturing and maturing of a leadership team in an association. It could be a meaningful marketing message.


While creativity is a factor of alchemy, I get literal thrills when I see an approach to something that is unexpected. When someone takes a bad situation and tweaks it to create a new perspective, the result is surprising, pleasing, exciting. I seek to be creative about challenges that I experience.


This is where I get anxious. It feels somehow wrong to put money on a list of values. One of my mastermind colleagues suggested that I use the word ‘monetization’ instead. When I produce work that creates value for others, it is only right that I am compensated. I am not looking for indulgence but respect for value created.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Charlotte Kemp

Charlotte Kemp

Futures Alchemist. Futures Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader. President-Elect of the Global Speakers Federation