Recently, I was invited to come share the journey of writing my most recent book, Return On Integrity. Rather than a presentation, it was more of a small group lunch-and-learn environment. They wanted a bit of a behind-the-scenes look into the book … more of a story-behind-the-story experience.

I have come to love the casual nature of these settings. The interactive wisdom that evolves from our conversation and the insightful questions that are tossed my way continue to open my eyes ever wider to the potential held within core values. In this recent session, one question stood out for me:

How do you know when you’ve arrived?

I reflexively asked … arrived where? The participant responded … arrived at your core. It was a fair question, especially in our goal-oriented, finish-line-focused mentality. In other words, when can I stop looking and start living!

After a pause to consider her question, I suggested that there is nowhere to arrive. I have come to realize that in all your searching for your core values, you will not find them. Initially, that seems like a bummer. Yet, there is some great news:

They find you!

Your values don’t just show up. As you continue to dig, they ever-so-slowly begin to reveal themselves one at a time. That feeling of “having arrived” becomes irrelevant. Packaged in its own revelation, comes an invitation to move from intellectualizing to internalizing … and ultimately from internalizing to living that core value.

The possibility for revelation begins from the moment you pick up your shovel.