A small college student activities department planned an overnight trip to a theme park for the student body. In order to travel with the school, the students had to go online, print out a form, sign it and bring it to the student development office at least one day before the trip. A group of friends were so excited, they began thinking about shopping for clothes for the trip. As the days passed, they narrowed their clothing choices and even had time to throw a party. By the time the day came to go, they realized they hadn’t handed in the signed document. They rushed to print it out so they would have it in their hands as they entered the bus. No big deal right? But the student activities leader didn’t accept it and they missed that trip.
The moral of the story? To get to what you value most, you must understand what’s most valuable now.
Here is how to use The Core FOUR Sequence for understanding the priority of values. This is one of the various exercises I’ve created for this model. This can work within a group session or in one-on-one conversation.
- Ask “Can you move without activating all four of the Sequence?” (Attention. Energy. Skills. Thoughts.)
This is a fun conversation. Try to not answer it for them. Allow the group to critically figure it out for themselves. Let the discussion develop organically. They will come to the conclusion that NO, you can’t move. (At least, so far I have yet to see someone say different)
- Ask “Which one of these would you like to have?” List these things: (this is a fun conversation too..let it develop) (this list can change depending on the group. ex. sports or other activities where growth is inherent)
– a million dollars cash right now
– your dream house paid for and all the bills paid for the rest of your life
– groceries for the rest of your life
– you are the CEO of a major corporation and you get to have the skills to be there
– your dream relationship
– a degree in the subject you want to know and you get to have the knowledge and skills too
- Ask “Of everything we spoke of, which do you think is the most valuable?” (Another fun conversation to hear how they make decisions) You decide how long you want this to go on.
- Next, you (the facilitator) chimes in with your opinion and say “I think the most valuable thing is your Core 4 Sequence. Why do you think that is?” (let them talk it out…usually they understand immediately. They end up saying something like ‘what good is it to have all these things if I can’t move?’)
- At this point in the group session you can enter into a life skills conversation in light of what needs to be prioritized for accomplishing goals.
That’s the group exercise!!! Use it and let me know how it turned out! *If while going through this exercise, a kid is bringing up concerns that are beyond what you can address, please point them towards a mental health counselor. Don’t stigmatize them as weak or make fun of them for how their minds work, just let them know that there are professionals who can help.
If this is an exercise that sounds interesting to you, please share this post.
I want to close by sharing these two thoughts that I find to be equally true:
If you’re afraid of your tomorrow, you will sabotage your today.
If you’re overly excited of your tomorrow, you could be blinded to what’s needed today.
Don’t let either of those be you. Value your NOW. Manage your Core FOUR Sequence!
To Learn more about The Core 4 Sequence check out the links below:
click here for an overview of where the C4s fits in to the mental health picture
Click here to understand how we see the C4S can work with social emotional learning
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