Before starting any intensive personal or professional development, it is good to take some time and examine your core beliefs. We get caught up in our busy lives that we often don’t take time to reflect and ponder what it is we truly believe. These beliefs shape the core of who we are. We call these foundational human elements, our worldview.

Every person has a worldview! Our worldview reflects our answers to life’s most basic and fundamental questions. As a leader you will be asked to shape or influence the values of your culture and the organizations with which you are associated. To accomplish this task of influence, answers to the most basic questions of life are required. Every person who reaches a point in their rational thought life will have to answer these fundamental questions. Your answers to these questions in the context of this on-line workbook are called your worldview. Up until now you may not have thought about or been able to intellectually or philosophically articulate these questions, let alone being able to answer them. Nonetheless, they are there shaping your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

According to renowned worldview scholar Dr. Glenn Martin, we are either influencing or being influenced and this relational spectrum is profoundly impacted by our worldview. Who we are and what we stand for are conceptually shaped by our worldview. Whatever the ultimate purpose of our influence, our positions will be determined by our worldview position. This position is summed up by Wilhelm Dilthey, who said, "All worldviews, if they seek a complete solution to the enigma of life, invariably contain the same structure [in which] questions about the meaning and significance of the world are answered in terms of a conception of the world. From this ideal, a highest good and supreme principle of conduct are deduced."

It becomes the most basic of life's questions that shape our world view. You will find seven of these fundamental questions listed below. They are simple in structure, but how you answer them has a profound and lasting impact on how you view the world. Take your time in forming your thoughts. Read the question and think deeply about what you really think and how you really feel. There are also a few blanks that if there are fundamental questions you would like to add to your "life's most basic questions," feel free (just be sure you take the time to answer them). At the end of these questions we have placed some additional reading on worldview, as well as some references if you are interested in the topic.

Our position on these most fundamental areas of life is that they will often shape our values and our personal mission statements. After you answer the seven worldview questions, there is a place for you to think about your values and what your mission is in life. We hope you enjoy these exercises and exploring this portion of your life before you begin the emotional intelligence exercises in the rest of the workbook.

Worldview Exercise

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