One of the biggest challenges in dealing with career problems as a writer is focusing your writer’s  mind – dealing with issues such as procrastination and self-sabotage, and staying creative.

Here’s one psychological test that is as profound in its message as it is simple to do.

It reveals our hidden values – what we think important in life. Many people Golden eggunwittingly run their lives according to values they’ve taken on without thinking – for example from parents, influential leaders, society or even adverts and other media.

To find out what’s driving you, try this:

1. Write down a bullet-point list of what’s important to you in life.

Single words, like “happiness”, “friends” or “food” – or at most two or three word phrases. Write down as many as you can think of. If you run out, keep searching, there will be more values hiding in your unconscious mind. Tease them out.

2. When you’ve covered everything that is important, you may have already learned a few things about yourself.

Now look deeper: at the number, range, variety, focus. Look also for conflicts between your values.

3. Not all these values are equally “valuable”.

Number the values – but not according to how you’d like things to be but how you act in real life.

In other words, you might like to think your primary value is “generosity” – but if you actually spend most of your time and effort on the value of “obeying my boss” then that’s where you put your 1.

Continue to number all your values according to how you normally use your time, money and energy, until you’ve finished the list.

4. Now look at what you’ve discovered.

Are you surprised – or has it revealed something you suspected deep down but never acknowledged?

Of course, nothing is final.

This information can help you change. You can focus on different values, make different decisions.

It’s not hocus pocus – it’s a very simple and direct tool that you can use to refocus your life and work.

Try it.

There are many simple, yet strong and practical, psychological tools that creative artists can use to deal with all kinds of problems. If you feel you need to focus your energies, deal with inner conflicts, use your talents more effectively, or simply gain insight into the characters in your scripts, then try some more of my articles on the mental game