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The Trinity of Growth: Values, Purpose, and Mindset


The terms values, purpose and mindset, are used frequently and yet, having gone through many coaching exercises recently, I realise that probably many people, like me, think they have them down for themselves, but once you dig deeper, realise that you didn’t. Going through introspection on what they are, I came to think of them like a little analogy:

If we look at our life (both personal and professional) like a voyage, it can be a thrilling yet daunting experience. Life can be like an open sea that offers boundless opportunities, but navigating through it requires more than just a compass. It requires a sturdy vessel equipped with the trinity of growth: values, purpose, and mindset.

photo of black sailing boat on body of water

Let’s dive deeper into each of these elements and discover their significance and interconnectivity in leading a fulfilling and satisfying life:

Values: Your Guiding Stars

Values are the heart of who you are. They are the core beliefs you hold about what is right and wrong, important, and admirable. They’re the guiding stars that illuminate your life’s path. The beauty of values is that they are relatively constant. While perspectives may change over time, your underlying values serve as an anchor, keeping you steady in turbulent times.

Values guide your decisions and actions. They become the foundation upon which you build your life. They affect your relationships, your career, your life choices, and ultimately, your sense of self. Living in alignment with your values brings a sense of harmony and authenticity to your life.

Examples of values are: trust, integrity, fairness, humour, creativity, empathy, etc.

Some great exercises I recently have gone through:


Different terms can mean different things to different people. A good exercise is to rephrase your values, without the original term.


Download a list of values (just google them), then select 10 that are fitting to you. Out of the 10, you are only allowed to keep 5, out of the 5, you are only allowed to keep 3 – bam: here you have your key core values. The last step was very hard for me and the results, after a lot of negotiation with myself, were very revealing and helped me to understand myself even better.

The ‘Why’ Exercise:

Take a value that you think is important to you and ask yourself ‘why’ it matters to you. Repeat the ‘why’ question five times, each time going a layer deeper. This can help uncover underlying values that you may not have initially recognized.

a close up of a compass in the dark

Purpose: Your Life’s Compass

While values serve as our guiding stars, our purpose is our compass – the directional force that gives our life meaning and direction. Your purpose is what gets you out of bed each morning, excited to embrace the day ahead. It provides a sense of fulfillment and contentment, as you are actively contributing to something greater than yourself.

Uncovering your purpose isn’t about seeking an external destination. Instead, it is a journey inward, a deep self-discovery that aligns your skills, passions, and values towards a common goal. When your actions and endeavors are driven by purpose, life takes on a new dimension of significance.

Examples of purpose are: Caring for others, teaching and inspiring, innovating, helping others achieve their potential, etc.

Ikigai Exercise:

My friends and coworkers will sigh now, because I talked so much about Ikigai over the years, gifted them books about it and even helped them do theirs. (sorry, but also not sorry) Ikigai is a Japanese concept that combines four fundamental components of life: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Draw four overlapping circles to represent these components, and your Ikigai (or purpose) is the intersection of these four areas. Spend some time contemplating and filling out each circle, and consider what lies in the overlapping spaces.

Visualization Exercise:

Imagine your ideal life five or ten years from now. Visualize the details as vividly as possible, from where you are living to what you are doing, who you are with, and how you are spending your time. What does this future vision tell you about your underlying purpose? Also, try the reversed version: if certain activities, people etc. were no longer there in five years – how would you feel?

Mindset: The Captain of Your Ship

Your mindset, the third element in this trinity, is the captain steering the ship. It is your set of beliefs about your abilities, potential, and the world around you. While your values may remain steadfast and your purpose may provide direction, your mindset should be open, flexible, and growth-oriented. What does that even mean? A fixed mindset perceives abilities and intelligence as static. A typical fixed mindset is when a person believes, they know best anyway, “been there, done that – one right answer to this problem”. In contrast, a growth mindset is curious, wants to learn, wants to understand other perspectives, embraces challenges, persists in the face of setbacks, sees effort as a path to mastery, learns from criticism, and finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others.

Understanding that we’re works in progress and allowing our mindset to evolve and adapt opens up new possibilities. It fuels our curiosity, fosters resilience, and invites continual learning and growth. This mindset propels us forward, helping us to navigate life’s ups and downs.

Challenge yourself to learn from different viewpoints. If someone annoys you because they have a different opinion – rather than trying to convince them straight away that your view is the right one, seek to understand, ask questions and try and take their arguments and perspective in. You might be surprised to learn something new…

The Harmony of Values, Purpose, and Mindset

Values, purpose, and mindset do not exist in isolation; they complement each other in personal growth and self-discovery. Our values guide us, our purpose propels us forward, and our mindset determines how we navigate our journey.

As we align these elements in our lives, we become more authentic versions of ourselves. We gain the strength to deal with failure, overcome challenges and the wisdom to appreciate our victories. The combination of a steadfast values system, a compelling purpose, and a growth-oriented mindset equips us to make the most of our journey through the vast sea of life. And it’s this knowledge about ourselves that turns a daunting voyage into a thrilling journey.

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