A Triangle in a Round and Square World – Inventing Resilience
UPDATE: Below is the Original Blog Post from November 2020 – I have recorded a podcast to coordinate with it with an Intro to the Blog and some additional thoughts. My aim is to write the final two Beauty, Health and Fitness in the coming weeks with a podcast to accompany old posts and then larger Full topic podcasts. Let me know what you think!
I have taken a long break from writing. I started a new job last spring and it became all consuming between that, the kids and just life – I just couldn’t make time. I have also been trying to refocus and reset. I needed to get some clarity on where to go and how to tackle all the things swirling around in my head.
On top of all that, 2020 has been a year for the books.
I wanted a unifying theme, partly to keep myself focused and the other part was because it will hopefully help keep you, the reader, engaged.
The theme that runs through all my thoughts is Values. What are you personal values? How do you live your values? How do you judge others by your values? When was the last time you reassessed and realigned what is important, both to you and in the grandeur scheme of the world.
The reason I kept coming back to values is that I keep reading about people living their most ‘authentic’ lives but when diving into their socials or words find that their proclaimed values are not aligned with stated views or actions. I believe whole heartedly, that living your values, being open and honest about them provides a better sense of self. With a better sense of self, you are more open to others and open to possibility, living a better life.
Take some time and write out as many of your personal values as you can think of. If you are stuck, just google personal values and a bunch of stuff will come up and give you an idea of where to start. You might be wondering now, well if I can just google why should I keep reading. Really all I can offer is my personal reflections and how I apply my values to situations. How I re-evaluate, make decisions and act accordingly. Hopefully by sharing you might find value and application in your own life.
Some of my values are – Strong work ethic, Generosity, Creativity, Balance, Health, Sustainability, Caring, Kindness, Collaboration, Independence, Open-Mindedness, Directness, Candor, Optimism, Freedom, Security, Courage, Efficiency, Boldness.
For others Values can include – Faith, Wealth, Status, Calmness, Even Temper, Quiet, Aesthetics, Carefulness, Humour, Cleanliness, Modesty, Mastery, Beauty, Consistency, Perfection.
The list of values can really seem endless and overwhelming for sure. What I would encourage you to do is write all the things that resonate with you, there could easily be over 100. Take your time and make a top 25, then make your top 10, think of these as your CORE values. Try to think of big life decisions and go to the top things you would need to consider when making one.
In another post I want to get into compartmentalizing values into three sections- Life, Work, Relationships but for now let’s stick with identifying your CORE values.
My top 10 CORE values, as of right now are – Fairness, Competence, Compassion, Integrity, Empathy, Innovation, Accountability, Service, Thoughtfulness, Intelligence.
The reason why I say as of right now is that some of what I would say are my COREs have changed and shifted over time, even in writing the above list I took out and replaced some things from my top 20. I used to have happiness, capability, tolerance, loyalty, motivation in my top 10 and now I don’t even know if they would be in the top 25.
The reason being that some have dropped off and/or out, is not just that others took priority, but that they directly conflicted with values I used to hold so dear. Take for example, Tolerance – I used to think it was really important to be tolerant, to tolerate everyone’s viewpoint. You see tolerating something isn’t trying to understand it, when Empathy became one of my top values, tolerance just couldn’t fit. I no longer aim to just put up with, or coexist with others or things. I want to understand them. Having empathy sometimes means that I no longer tolerate certain things, such as prejudice, racism or sexism. I used to accept that some people are just ignorant, but in a world in which we can research at the tip of our fingers there is no excuse anymore. Empathy has led me to understand why someone might hold their misguided beliefs but it has also given me the resolution that right matters.
A second example of resetting values was after I had kids. I was once told that after having kids work wouldn’t mean as much to me. This did not happen, maybe it’s not what they meant to say but what did happen was that my value of Strong Work ethic had to also work with a new value of Balance. I need to Balance my commitments to not just myself and my partner but also my children and the work it takes to be an engaged, supportive parent. I still have a Strong Work ethic and that has flowed into how I parent. Stronger Work ethic just looks different now, it has been replaced with Balance in the tiers of my values.
Other examples include integrity replacing honesty, thoughtfulness bumping generosity, compassion over perfection.
Being able to rank your values is important when it comes to your decision making process. Clearly articulating why you make a certain decision and how that decision aligns with your values will make it more clear to not just others but yourself as to why a certain path might need to be taken.
As usual I feel like I can keep going on however I think this is where we end today. We have started our journey down the rabbit hole of values, who we are and how we will define ourselves. I hope you will continue to join me, build resilience in being open and honest with what you value in life. Until next week….