To choose, design, create my own life, live on my terms. To be unencumbered by restraint, financial lack or external circumstance. I value the capacity to reason, make choices, and act in accordance with my compass, this chosen set of values, even if that means being the 1%
When looking back over a lifetime, at the end of my days I believe it will be my close personal relationships and connections that will have brought virtually all of my joy. I aim to be an understanding, compassionate, supportive, generous, reliable and cheerful friend, and to shine a light into the lives of others I touch along the way
"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour" Henry David Thoreau
And Uncle Stanley said “Life is at its best in the pursuit of understanding and the exercise of skills.” Stretching and expanding the mind and doing a thing well certainly brings much satisfaction, and if this becomes a continuous process it can be likened to the Japanese concept Kaizen (unceasing incremental improvement). As human beings we are all, after all, always a work in progress, never done or finally finished. So, lifelong learning and application, an open mind, curiosity, these are my essentials in this regard. And to reinforce the learning through sharing, not preaching, when appropriate
IMPACT (EMPOWERING OTHERS)
To affect others positively by inspiring and empowering. To leave a legacy, an imprint, a watermark on and in humanity itself. To create ripples by affecting others in such a way that they are positively changed and consequently pass that positivity on further down the line. This effect travels through the current, and future generations, and through time itself. This means awakening others to their dormant potential, and the very, very real possibility of achieving the realisation of their unrealised greatness, and to live the life of their choosing
Love this!, just the word lights me up. Fearlessness is a choice, admittedly sometimes a difficult choice, but how often did the task shrink in the face of our courage, how good does it feel to do the right thing, to be and to behave true to our highest ideals. Fearlessness will, depending on the challenge, require persistence, grit, determination, resolve, it implies self-belief and alignment with a higher purpose, and establishes respect, authority, leadership. This is the stuff of which heroes are made
In the book entitled The Game of Life and how to play it, can be found an idea the author calls the square of life, that is – health, wealth, love & perfect self-expression. Other personal development books expand on these 4 spheres of our lives though personally I like this concept, keeps things really simple. You could also say - health, wealth self and social. Create your own definitions for these areas of your life. Love may mean to you a relationship other than with a romantic partner, health represents physical wellbeing and mental and spiritual wellbeing if you are that way inclined. The idea is to be active in each of these areas, neglecting none and maintaining balance, to experience ongoing feelings of wholeness, confidence, fulfilment and sustainable happiness
If you've got this far thank you and well done! This was a difficult exercise to complete to a high degree of satisfaction and it's something I will yet revisit from time to time as it isn't written in stone, I regard it rather as subject to evolution over the longer term. I may in future wish to place more emphasis on and develop other important values but for the time being all the above feels right and as it should be. It was figured out over a period of weeks, often revisited. The internet was a useful resource, and I trawled back through my library and memories, spoke with some of those closest. The beneficial consequence of having done the work is I now know better who and where I am, which is important. Difficult decisions are easier having this well-defined frame of reference to work with. Because of the self-examination and now conscious knowing of what I stand for, time is more consistently spent in activities aligned with this framework. Life became more rewarding, I feel more focused, less wasteful with time. There's less inner conflict, more peace, harmony, integrity. And, in order to chart any course surely we must first know where we are, and to where we wish to travel. In this way resources may be more readily identified and marshalled, actions directed & progress assessed. Better efficiency & effectiveness along the route. And if this isn't enough to convince that it's a good idea to know ourselves in this regard here's Eleanor Roosevelt. "When you adopt the standards and values of someone else, you surrender your own integrity and become to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being." So consider reading on and taking a step toward knowing who you are, who you wish to become, and what you stand for...
To help you uncover your personal core values here are some processes and ideas you can work through...
1. PEAK EXPERIENCES
Recall a meaningful moment from your past - a peak experience if you will
What were you doing, what was going on, why was this meaningful?
What particular values were you being true to in that moment?
2. SUPPRESSED VALUES
Now go in the opposite direction. Think about a time you lost control, perhaps got angry, upset in some way, or frustrated. What was happening then? What were your feelings? Now turn those feelings around. What value(s) was/were being suppressed, how could you have better handled yourself? Look at antonyms in the thesaurus if this helps
3. CODE OF CONDUCT
What is most important in your life, beyond basic human needs? What do you require to experience fulfilment, wholeness? Is it creative expression, health & vitality, thrills excitement adventure, Nature, beauty, learning? You can think about your heroes or idols, why do you admire them, what qualities do they embody? What values are fundamental to the various areas of your life, eg., work, relationships, parenting, etc. If you could start this exercise from scratch where would you begin? Identify from the list which values you must honour lest a part of you perishes, and note well - we are all of us creators, so you get to choose too, those values which you wish to integrate into your future self
Initially the easiest way to gather together your values is to use an existing list (below). Write down all those that resonate, whether that's 10 or 50, there is no right or wrong here. You may prefer to take some time on this, reflecting, modifying, adding & subtracting. You may then be able to combine certain values into themes eg., learning, development and growth are all related. You should be able to identify within each of these groups a central theme which you might give an overall heading, such as: Integrity, Achievement, Intelligence, Spirituality, Creativity, Strength, Health, Courage, Freedom, Order, etc,. Now we're whittling the list down, and here comes the hardest part, reduce this list to your top 5 (or so) values, and place them in order of importance. Ask yourself which are essential, primary, which could you not live without? Sleep on it, revisit, often if necessary, refine. Bringing to conscious awareness your personal core values is incredibly empowering, you will experience life in sharper focus from doing this work. It feels good having defined myself, more clarity, focus, empowerment, I believe this exercise will do the same for you too