The Demartini Value Determination Process® developed by Dr John Demartini, is a set of 13 questions which result in you identifying your values with clarity. The process can be as quick as 15 mins but the first time you do it, you should invest an hour or so to create one of the most valuable lists to help you understand your behavior and results you’ve been getting and improve the quality of your life.
“Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
This may sound strange, but I think going through this process is a very exciting activity. You may uncover personal attributes you have been repressing and finally give yourself permission to be, do and have those things you truly desire.
Below I have taken John’s content and expanded and updated it a little based on what I feel will be most useful for you. As you go through the questions, list down what comes easily to mind as your top answers – remember you can add or change things later.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.”
Answer the following 13 questions with your top answers – further details below:
- How do you fill your space?
- How do you spend your time?
- How do you spend your energy?
- How do you spend your money?
- Where are you most organized?
- Where are you most reliable?
- What dominates your thoughts?
- What do you visualize most?
- What do you most often talk to yourself about?
- What inspires you?
- What do you most often talk to others about?
- What goals stand out in your life and have stood the test of time?
- What do you love to learn or read about most?
Note: We spend time on things to give us immediate pleasure when we’re not inspired by bigger goals. Bear this in mind when writing your answers and also remember to decode the responses you give. If you surround yourself with books, what kind of books, what topics? If you like gardening, is it because it makes you feel connected with nature or it is because you like growing vegetables to cook for example?
1. How do you fill your personal space?
Have you ever noticed that things which are not important to you get placed in piles, stored somewhere for later or discarded? By contrast, the things you feel are important are placed where you can see and access them, either at home or at work.
What does your life demonstrate through your space? When you look around your home, office or where you spend your time, do you see family photos, sports trophies, business awards, books? Do you see beautiful objects, comfortable furniture for friends to sit on, or souvenirs of favorite places you’ve visited? Perhaps your space is full of games, plants, DVDs, technology, or other forms of entertainment. Whatever you see around you is a very strong clue as to what you value most. What 3 things fill your space?
2. How do you spend your time?
Here’s something you can count on: people always make time for things which are really important to them and run out of time for things that aren’t. Even though people usually say, “I don’t have time for what really I want to do,” the truth is that they are too busy doing what is truly most important to them. And what they think they want to be doing isn’t really what’s most important. Every day you have 24 hours of the raw material of life and you always find time for things which are really important to you. Somehow, you figure it out. So how do you spend your time? I personally spend my days listening to radio programmes about people, spirituality, science and technology, I write my thoughts on how to communicate this to people. I also love to cook, carve wood and find myself watching programmes online about philosophy, psychology and building online businesses. Learning, Teaching and being Creative are three of my highest values and I always find time for doing them. And I almost never find time for opera, watching sports and needlework, which are low on my list of values. How you spend your time tells you what matters to you most. In which 3 ways do you spend your time?
3. How do you spend your energy?
You always have energy for things that inspire you – the things you value most. You run out of energy for things that don’t. Notice how you feel when you’re preparing to go on holiday – excited and energized or tired and uninterested? Things that are low in your values drain you; things that are high among your values energize you. In fact, when you are doing something that you value highly, you have more energy at the end of the day than when you started because you’re doing something you love and are inspired by. So how do you spend your energy – and where do you get your energy? In which 3 ways do you spend your energy and where do you feel energized?
4. How do you spend your money?
Again, you always find money for things that are valuable to you, but you never want to part with your money for things that are not important to you. So your choices about spending money tell you a great deal about what you value most. Some people notice they spend money on things they don’t really want to such as insurance or vet bills, however they’ll notice that they value health or their animals so are prepared to do so. It’s also important to decode your answers to all these questions as someone who spends a lot of money on a TV or audio equipment may actually value the sports programmes they watch or the music and not the technology itself except as a means to an end.
At this point, you may be noticing some overlap: some similarities between what you fill your space with and how you spend your time, energy, and money. That is healthy. It means that you have already aligned a lot of your values, goals, and daily activities. If you notice a lot of divergence between the answers to these first four questions, you might benefit from bringing your values and goals into deeper alignment. In which 3 ways do you spend your money?
5. Where are you most organized?
We tend to bring order and organization to things that are important to us and to allow chaos and disorder with things that are low on our values. So look at where you have the greatest order and organization in your life, and you’ll have a good sense of what matters most to you. In my case, I am very organised on my hard drive to access the information, photos and programmes I’ve gathered over the years and when it comes to cooking, I know where all my ingredients and cookware are. This helps me see that my values involve learning and teaching, capturing my adventures and being creative in the kitchen. In which 3 areas are you most organized?
6. Where are you most reliable, disciplined, and focused?
You never have to be reminded from the outside to do the things that you value the most. You are inspired from within to do those things and so you do them. Look at the activities, relationships, and goals for which you are disciplined, reliable, and focused – the things that nobody has to get you up to do. In which 3 activities and areas are you most reliable disciplined and focused?
7. What do you think about and what is your most dominant thought?
I’m not talking about the negative self-thought or the things that distract you. I’m not talking about the fantasies, “shoulds,” or “oughts.” I’m talking about your most common thoughts about how you want your life – thoughts that you show slow or steady evidence of actually bringing to fruition. For me this includes designing and delivering my courses and educating people about the laws of the universe. What are your 3 most dominant thoughts?
8. What do you visualize and realize?
Again, I’m not talking about fantasies. I’m asking what you visualize for your life that is slowly but surely coming true. In my case, I visualize delivering my courses and creating environments where these lessons can be learned and implemented. That is what I visualize. And that is what I am realizing. So what are you visualizing and realizing? What are the 3 ways you visualize your life?
9. What is your internal dialogue?
What do you keep talking to yourself about the most? I am not asking about negative self-talk or self-aggrandizement. I want you to think of your preoccupation with what you desire most – intentions that actually seem to be coming true and showing some fruits. What are the 3 things that you talk to yourself about most?
10. What inspires you?
What inspires you now? What has inspired you in the past? What is common to the people who inspire you? Figuring out what inspires you most reveals what you value most. When things happen that bring a tear to your eye, this is often an indication that you are inspired by something. What are the 3 things that inspire you the most?
11. What do you talk about in social settings?
Okay, now here’s a clue that you’ll probably notice for other people as well as yourself. What are the topics that you keep wanting to bring into the conversation that nobody has to remind you to talk about? What subjects turn you into an instant extrovert? Whether your ‘baseline’ personality is extrovert or introvert, you’ve probably noticed that there are topics that immediately bring you to life and start you talking and others that turn you into an introvert who has nothing to say – or make you want to change the subject . You can use this same insight to analyze other people’s values. If you go up to somebody and they ask you about your kids, that means their kids are important to them. If they say, “How’s business?” they value business. If they ask, “Are you seeing anyone new?”, then relationships matter to them. Topics that attract you are a key to what you value. What are the 3 top things that you speak to others about in social settings?
12. What are the most consistent long-term goals you set?
What are the three long-term goals that you have focused on that you are bringing into reality? Again, I’m not talking about the fantasies that nothing is happening with. I want the dreams you are bringing into reality slowly but surely, the dreams that have been dominating your mind and your thoughts for a time – the dreams that you are bringing into daily life, step by step by step. Remember, goals don’t have to be written down, they may simply be things you want to achieve long-term. What are the 3 most consistent long-term goals that you have set?
13. What do you love to learn and read about most?
What are the three most common topics you love learning or reading about most? What three topics can you stay focused on and love learning about without distraction. This could be time you spend online reading or watching videos about? What are the 3 things you love to learn and read about?
Identify the answers that repeat most often. Once you’ve written down three answers for each of the 13 questions, you’ll see that among your 39 answers, there is a certain amount of repetition.
You may be expressing the same kinds of value in different ways – for example, “spending time with people I like,” “having a drink with the folks from work,” “going out to eat with my friends” – but if you look closely, you can see some patterns begin to emerge.
So look at the answer that is most often repeated and write beside it the number of how often it repeats. Then find the second most frequent answer, then the third, and so on, until you have ranked every single answer.
This gives you a good primary indicator of what your highest values are. You can even start making decisions based on this initial hierarchy of values – and you can see how your life is already demonstrating your commitment to these values.
(This content is primarily from Dr John Demartini. For futher details go to www.drdemartini.com.)