The other day I found myself at an event for Business School students (how I ended up there is a longer story, since I’m not one myself) listening to peers sharing what was on their minds and what they’d learned through their studies and work experiences. In a TEDtalk like setup they went over the art of seduction, share economy, procrastination and so on. The topics were many and with great attention I was listening to their ideas as a thought struck me.
“What do I really want?”
It’s not the first time I’ve ever thought about this – to be honest, I’ve given this topic a LOT of thought – but as the students were sharing about how everything you do is basically manipulation, or seduction if you will, and how to avoid procrastination when really you should be studying for your exams, I couldn’t help digging a little deeper in my heart.
This is the point where most blog posts would start talking about how life is not about a fancy career or a well-paying job. They’re right, but that’s not the point I want to make here. What struck me was that there are so many opportunities that could take you where you want to go. The roads to Rome are many and I could get to where I want in an endless number of ways. But how do I want to get there? Which road to I want to take?
Do I want to manipulate my way to the top and then call it seduction – or even marketing, or do I want to pave the way with integrity and honesty? How do I know which road to take? The answer:
My core values
My core values determine how I see the world and how I respond to it. Knowing who I am and what I stand for is what will get me safe to my destination. Knowing what I value I will know what choices to make and what alleys to avoid. It will not keep me from making mistakes and failing, but it will help me correct my mistakes and get back on the right path. That way, my core values work as my compass in everything I do. If I suddenly discover that what I’m doing is conflicting with my core values, I better reevaluate why I’m doing it.
So, what are my core values? I believe that there are many, and they probably change over time, as I get wiser, and discover them. I recently found this list of core values that I wrote a few years ago:
I will always treat others with honour and respect
I will live my life with integrity
I will not compromise my beliefs
I will never stop learning
I will always stay positive
I will not let fear rule me
I value me
God loves me
I realised how I have been neglecting some of them, which is why it’s so important to return to them and remind yourself what you actually believe and start cultivating the ones that have fallen in the background.
So, what do I really want? I want to get to Rome the right way, not compromising my core values and who I am. That does by no means mean that I don’t fall short and mess up, but I will always strive to stay true to myself.
What are your core values?