When to use it:
- increasing self-awareness, an essential ability for entrepreneurs;
- uncovering and understanding one’s priorities in life;
- understanding others’ priorities.
Size of the group: 5 to 15 people
Age of the group: over 14 years old
Preparation: 30 minutes
Presentation: 30 minutes
- sticky notes to prepare the mock checks
- four flipchart papers
- prepare the mock checks totalizing 100,000 euros * number of participants;
- prepare the four flipcharts papers with the following titles: things, experiences, people, other.
- Give each participant several sticky mock checks totalizing 100,000 euros. Tell them that the checks are valid only for couple of hours or maximum a day. They have to spend ALL the money, but they cannot give it to charity / church, and they cannot make savings or investments.
- Ask the participants to take 5 to 10 minutes and write those checks for what they want to spend the money on.
- While the participants are writing their checks, prepare the four flipcharts papers: people, things, experiences, and other.
- Ask each participant to share how they decided to spend the money, and stick the checks on the right flipchart paper/papers. Try to challenge the participants asking them why did they choose a specific thing / experience / person to spend the money on.
- Finalize the exercise, by introducing to participants the idea that every person has his/her own priorities in life, and that these priorities are never “correct” or “wrong” (as long as these do not have the goal of hurting others, of course), but these are always personal, different from others’. Categorize and recap participants’ life priorities based on the responses they gave. One has to be aware, mainly, about his/her own priorities in order to organize and plan his/her professional career for reaching his/her objectives; but one has also to be aware about others’ priorities, for better understanding and for better social relations.
- Seeing all participants priorities, would you change something in your own life priorities?
- Now, that you know your life priorities, how do you plan to follow them in your professional life?
Instead of giving participants checks / money, you could tell them that they won a one way trip to Mars, and they have to leave tomorrow. What will they do in this last day on Earth?
Louis C.K. stand-up on self-awareness:
“Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.”
Checklist: Questions That Can Help Teens Build Self-Awareness