Brown says she always started her class with a question: “Do you know what’s important to you?”
“It was always a little risky at the beginning,” she said. “They didn’t know me very well.”
So she had her students go through a list of 50 values - everything from “love” to “financial security” to “continued learning.” (For a list of some of Brown’s values go to her blog Girls Guide to Swagger). She asked them to circle what was important to them. Then she’d have them identify their top 10, then their top five, and then one by one she’d ask students to throw away different values until one, core, idea remained.
“Think about what is in your hand,” she’d say. “What did you keep hold of and why?”
She says she’s gone back to her own list at different career turning points in her life.