Assessment: Values Clarity


Note: Some students have made some discoveries prior to taking the course! In this case, you can “test out” of the relevant assessment.

Assessment #1


To complete the revival

  • you can clearly separate values from other motivations, and see when your values can (and cannot) come to the fore
  • you have some facility at noticing which values your feelings point to
  • you can communicate your values to others, so they can support you in what's meaningful

Discovery 1 — Emotions Point to Values

Discovery 2 — Ubiquitous Crowding Out

Discovery 3 — Meaning & Attention

Skill 1 — Emotions to Values

Skill 2 — Sorting Values from Other Motives

Skill 3 — Writing Values Clearly


  • Discovery 1 is that from every emotion you can harvest a value. This tends to change people’s relationship to their feelings, and makes negative feelings, especially, much more exciting to have, because there's a straightforward way to learn from them.
  • Discovery 2 is about how many opportunities we miss to live by our values each day, for various environmental and psychological reasons. Students who make this discovery will become acutely aware of when they are unnecessarily goal-directed or driven by others’ expectation, or when the circumstances are making the values they’d like to live by impossible. Seeing this in detail can be exciting, shocking, and embarrassing.
  • Students who’ve made discovery 2 will see the fine structure of their life—where they can live by their values, and where not. They will be able to recount when their own psychological habits are leading them away from their values. They will be able to give many recent occasions where they were focused on preferences rather than values, on goals rather than values, on avoiding fears rather values, on living up to expectations rather than values, etc

  • Discovery 3 is about the close relationship between meaning and attention. An experience of meaning always comes with an attentional policy.


  • Skill 1 is becoming quick and precise with naming the values in emotions—so that you can name your feelings as they arise, and also name what they’re telling you is important. For emotionally articulate students, this can be done after a day of practice.
  • Skill 2 is skill at sorting out your values from the other types of motivations that guide you, and—when you are talking with someone else—sorting their motivations in the same way.
  • Skill 3 is about writing out these attentional policies so other people can understand what’s meaningful to you.



  • To test Discovery 1 and Skill 1 we’ll ask you to name your feelings and find the values behind them.
  • To test Discovery 2, we’ll ask for this fine-grained structure — how are you most often crowded out? You should be able to describe hundreds of times a day.
  • To test Skill 2, we ask you to sort a list of potential “values” — to say which are real values and which are goals, expectations, etc. And we’ll ask you to sort your own motivations the same way.
  • To test skill 3 and discovery 3, we will ask you to describe values precisely, as attentional policies.


How to Learn

If you need these discoveries, the exercises and readings in

Chapter 2. Finding Evidence of Values
will help. Specifically, focus on Emotions to Values and Crowding Out / Meaning Analysis.

Chapter 3 covers attention and meaning. You can also try making your own values cards at meaning supplies, and doing a careful reading of