If I wanted to really get to know somebody, get to know what they stand for.
Read any social media bio, CV, or blogger ‘About’ page and you will usually find a description of that person’s job, career, and achievements. But how much does that tell you about a person? Is one blogger the same as the next? Is one accountant the same as the next?
No, of course not.
The measure of a person is who they really are, not what they do. It’s about their values, what they stand for, what matters to them.
Today I want to share a little bit about my values and what I stand for. I realise that over years of blogging I might be sharing my experiences, thoughts and opinions. But it might always be clear who I really am.
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What do I mean by ‘values’?
What I mean by values is those attributes, traits, or approaches to life that are a priority to me. We all have different values and I think this under-pin a lot of how we choose to live our lives, the decisions we make, and the people we connect with.
Maybe some of us aren’t aware of our values but they are most probably there sub-consciously.
I have been doing a lot of soul-searching this year to figure out what I want to do with life, and I had to keep unravelling and digging deep to find what was important to me first before making big decisions.
It’s still a work in progress, yet I have found that just the simple task of working on this deep soul dive has given me some great clarity and direction.
Values are essentially the principles that are most important to you. I find that there are some values that are permanent with me, and others change or evolve over time.
When I believe in something, I reeeeealllly get behind it. I am often found to be enthusiastic about my passions, and I truly admire the passions of other people. I love to hear about what another person is passionate about. And I believe we should all find something we enjoy / believe in / invest ourselves into.
I have found this value to be a double-edged sword at times. I am naturally a loyal person, but I’ve learned the hard way, that loyalty is not necessarily natural or a priority for a lot of people. In general, I’m talking about loyalty in relationships, whether that is romantical, friendship or family. I am fiercely loyal of the people I’m connected to. This means I am protective and ‘on their side’ no matter what, I will go out of my way to help them, and I am in it for the long-term. Generally, though, this means I do get hurt when that value isn’t reciprocated, and I’m learning to accept that that isn’t necessarily a reflection of me but rather how each of us has different values. Does that make sense? Or is that a big pile of waffle?
I was always taught that it’s wrong to lie. I grew up being honest. Again, I learned as an adult that honesty is not always a value for some people and I’ve finally managed to accept and expect that.
However, honesty is valuable to me. I appreciate it in others, and being honest is a value that elevates me. It allows me to connect in a way that is meaningful.
Courage can manifest in surprising ways. I think the popular idea of courage is perhaps someone who bungee jumps off a cliff. In that sense, I think courage is synonymous with adventure.
However, for me, courage is quitting your degree course because it doesn’t quite feel right, taking a year out to research better options, then starting all over again.
Courage is leaving a steady job, handing notice in on your flat, packing away all your belongings, and heading off to the other side of the world on your own.
Courage is admitting your shortcomings and working to find ways to tackle them or live with them.
Courage is allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to feel discomfort, and to have faith in the journey, all with the hope that it leads to something better, more fulfilling, or simply just the next stage.
When I say I’m going to do something, I like to follow through. I say what I mean, and I do what I say. I don’t play games, I am as earthy as it gets in that sense.
I don’t tend to give up easily. And I like to ‘get things done’.
I guess this is kind of linked to honesty. But I believe in openness. I think that as people we should share our truth and also be willing and open to listening to each other. If we were all a little more open with one another I think we would see less conflict.
This is a top value for me. I truly believe that a fundamental part of our existence is to grow. I think it’s vital that we learn, process, develop and grow us people, at both individual levels and as a community and society.
I acknowledge that some aspects of my personality stay the same, but I am always seeking ways to educate myself and grow as a person. This value guides so much of what I do.
This reminds me of a quote that I read as 14-year-old and it’s always stuck with me:
‘Wisest is she who knows she does not know’ – which is essentially the sentiment that Socrates stated ‘all that I know is that I do not know’.
Now, as a bit of a know-it-all as a kid, this philosophy struck me. No matter how much I learned there would always be things I didn’t know. So the wisest person is the one who is open to learning and growth yet acknowledges that they can never fully comprehend everything.
Kindness / Compassion
I’m still deciding if these should be separate, one and the same, or if one is more of a priority to me than another.
Either way, I truly believe in kindness. Being kind is a nourishing action. It nourishes everyone, the giver and the receiver. Kindness can only be a good thing. And so kindness is a fundamental value for me.
So much of the work I’ve been drawn to over the years, both professionally and in voluntary work, has centred on empowerment of others.
Again, I find this work to be fulfilling and nourishing. I find that empowerment is a power that you can’t muster up on your own. It’s a group dynamic that lifts everybody up. And that can only ever be a good thing.
I am drawn to a sense of freedom. I finding meaning through freedom. Often that has manifested as travel. But it can also be about freedom of choice. Something I am deeply aware is a privilege.
Inevitably I ended up with a career that gave me freedom. I was never very good at sticking to a routine/schedule/someone telling me what to do. Instead, I like the freedom to choose my time, my work, and how I use my energy.
I value freedom for myself, my lifestyle, and importantly, I recognise how freedom can make a difference to others.
And last, but by no means least, spirituality. I don’t tend to talk about spirituality much in public. My belief system is unique to me and has been formed and ingrained into my psyche since I was a child.
However, these days I’ve seen that spirituality has become a trend thing, which is cool. I like what I believe in so it’s good to see more people embrace it.
As a value, I find my spirituality guides me. The times when I close it off, ignore it, or take it for granted, are the times when things don’t go so smoothly. When I engage with my spiritual side, I make the best choices and live a more meaningful life.
And that’s it! What was intended as a short introduction ended up at almost 1500 words. Oops! I hope this doesn’t read to waffle-y as I’m writing this from the sofa whilst a plumber rips out my bathtub upstairs. And I’m a tad distracted by all the noise.
Anyhow, I’d love to hear what you consider your core values! Let me know.