My Core Values – Week 2 #SYL12

For week 2 of Simplify your Life I was given these questions to ponder and was asked to come up with my FIVE core values

  1. What do you like to do? – The things you find yourself immersed in fully and happily.
  2. Who and what inspires you? – Go deeper and think about why.
  3. What speaks to you when you think about those things and people?
  4. What do you feel strongly about in life? 
  5. What things would you defend fully in an argument with other people?
  6. When you close your eyes and visualise the person you want to be (free from anyone else’s influence) what stands out to you?
  7. How does that “future you” act?
  8. What do they believe in?
  9. What are you dead set against in life?

I started writing out the answers to these questions but about midway through the first answer the value words just started popping up in my head.  I tried to keep writing about specific events and specific people in my life in order to answer the questions but these words just kept blocking my thinking ability!  I realized then that these values are so much a part of me that really, in a sense, they didn’t have anything to do with what I was typing about.  The values were already so inherit in my actions that talking about each life event felt sort of pointless.  After all, I don’t really think about my values on a day to day basis.  That would be sort of like thinking about every step you take while you’re walking.  You just sort of do it.  So to be honest I didn’t answer all the questions on paper, or in my head, rather the values just sort of popped up almost automatically.

Then SYL asked us to: 1. Narrow the value words down to 10-15 that represent you and your vision. 2. Review and reflect on this list until you can narrow it down to 5 words and/or phrases for greater clarity.

This really wasn’t hard.  I automatically thought of fifteen words and narrowing them down to five wasn’t hard either as they all sort of fit into a category.

Here were the fifteen:

  • Patience
  • Hope
  • Contentment
  • Growth
  • Adventure
  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Excitement
  • Trust
  • Happiness
  • Comfort
  • Respect
  • Discovery
  • Passion
Then I narrowed them down to five words or categories.
  • Trust (Patience, Hope)
  • Passion (Excitement, Adventure)
  • Respect (Kindness, Love)
  • Discovery (Open-minded, Growth)
  • Contentment (Comfort, Happiness)

The SYL asked us to: 3. To rank these values in order of importance to you look at the top 5 and ask yourself if you had to pick only one of these values to focus on and hold true which would it be? Write that down as #1. Look at the remaining 4 values and ask the question again with your answer becoming #2. Carry on until all five values have been prioritized. This is the simplest way to get yourself to weigh up the words to rank them.

Ranking them was the hard part.  However, this is what I came up with:

  1. Trust
  2. Passion
  3. Discovery
  4. Respect
  5. Contentment

Trust – I chose trust because I think that my everyday actions are based on the fact that I think something good is going to come from them.  I have to trust that the decisions I make today will materialize into what I hope for tomorrow. I have patience because I have confidence in my trust.  I trust that the people around me, whom I love and want to be loved by, will believe in my actions as much as I do.

Passion – Whether I have one life to live or not I want to live it passionately.  I want adventure and excitement.  A couple years back I fell in love with the word “duende”.  It’s a Spanish term that doesn’t really have an English equivalent so it’s hard to define.  It’s a word used to describe the arts or a performing artist however, I believe that it could define so many aspects of life.  It embodies passion.  From good ol’ Wikipedia, duende is defined as “the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response…  It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive… the human condition of joys and sorrows.”  If I could only be so lucky to have such a response to all my life events. I’m looking for duende in life.

Discovery – Life, to me, is like water.  It needs to keep moving otherwise it becomes stale.  Not only for adventure purposes either.  I want to keep learning about the world around me, about the people around me, and most of all, myself.  I want to grow, I want to learn and I want to discover.  Encountering things I don’t understand or accept and learning to recognize them, whether I deem them good or bad, is how I grow and discover more about myself.

Respect – This was the hardest category to chose the one word that would encompass my core value.  However, the more I thought about respect, kindness and love, the more my value started leaning toward respect. There is a part of me that wishes I could have chosen love. But you see I wouldn’t say I’m one of those people that says, “My family and friends are my life.” In fact, due to my above values, I could say I’m often selfish. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my friends however my quest for a passionate life occasionally hurts those around me.  I understand this but unfortunately, I can’t stop this.  I love my loved ones and I try to be kind to anyone I meet but most importantly, I have to respect what others think or do.  If I do something that hurts my friend, even if I believe I had to do it, I need to also respect the fact that they are hurt. I have to respect someone if they do something that hurts me especially if they feel as though that is what they had to do. I want to give respect and receive respect. I suppose that’s all I can expect from or with others and I can hope that love with come along with it.

Contentment – My core values lead to a life of searching.  Always looking for something.  I’m sure some psychologist would say I’m searching for something that I’ll never find or running away from something else but I don’t feel that way.  I love the movement of life.  I don’t continue my journey because I’m not content.  I love where I am, what I do, who I’m with and I look forward to what is coming.  Sure each bend in the road isn’t wine and roses but that’s what makes moving (not literally, although I’ve done it often!) so much fun.  I’m content on my path and I find comfort in each little rest stop. If the quest for discovery no longer provided comfort or contentment, that is when I will stop.


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This entry was published on January 15, 2012 at 6:30 am. It’s filed under i forgot to give this one a category and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “My Core Values – Week 2 #SYL12

  1. Hi! What a lovely post. Yours is the first I’ve read about SYL and it made me feel…peaceful. The way you described Contentment actually worked on me as I read the words…I was nodding and thinking, oh yes, little rest stops and enjoying the movement. They are ideas that I personally need reminding of. So thanks! What a nice feeling 🙂 Also, ‘duende’…AWESOME. The meaning you gave is for me the essence of being human, being ALIVE, in your head and heart. No matter what goes on, it is the duende that I know will reignite my passion and the one lesson I hope I can pass on to my son. I know a lot of people with no understanding of that concept-using that word or any other-and it is I think what makes me do what I do and you can find it in so many places. Dare I say it, you’ve elicited a little something like it in my just by sharing what it means for you. Thankyou! I’m so grateful 🙂

  2. Fantastic list Devon! We share some similar core values {no surprise there!}- growth {similar to your discovery} is on my list and I put happiness but in a similar way to you putting contentment.

    Trust/truth/integrity are all very important to me as well- I used authenticity as one of my core values because I felt it incorporated these and for me this is one of the things I really really really want to make sure my boys grow up with.

    I love the analogy you used about life is like water and needs to keep moving.

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