Have you done your Root Value Analysis?

Roots. This image is CC0!

We are coming back at the results of yesterday’s exercixe. Please have a look at them or do the exercise right now, if you skipped it. I call the second exercise “Root Value Analysis.”

Suppose one of your answers was “I want to buy a house before I’m forty.” Now look at the five “Why?” chain:

  1. I want to buy a house. Why (do I want my own house)?
  2. I don’t want to be dependent of a landlord. Why (do I feel dependent)?
  3. I don’t want to pay other people for an apartment. Why (do I dislike paying rent)?
  4. The landlord can tell me what is allowed and not allowed in my rooms (like which kind of pets I may have). Why (is that a problem for me)?
  5. I feel dependent and oppressed.

Somewhere between the third and last answer you will find something that defines your value behind the goal. Here it is the fifth answer: You want to be independent, so somehow you attribute freedom to having an own house. Actually, already the second answer showed this. So, as soon as you can only answer “Because I just want that” or you begin to circle around the same topic you may have hit the gold mine.

This example also shows the individuality of goals and values. Some people don’t want to buy a house. Most people need a mortgage for that, so they feel this debt as a threat to their freedom. On the other hand, they like the comfort of other people taking care of the house. They don’t want to organize maintenance and repairs. People might fear that their own house will burn down, and they will not be able to pay a new home afterwards. So their value behind the decision might be security.

This first round of goals and values is a starting point. It may not be complete, so you could do these two exercises for more of your goals.

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