Know your core (values, that is)

In my much younger years, I journaled all. the. time. Scarily, my preteen to teenage angst is very well documented in spiral bound journals with the words "I love Corey Haim" lettered all over the front. (Yes, I have totally dated myself).

EVERYTHING was recorded ... the butterflies I felt when the cute guy, Nate, that all the girls had a crush on moved in next door; how I was totally a better volleyball player than Lori, but was never chosen to start; how I cried when Ann left a note in my locker outlining my selfish ways. (No, the names weren't changed to protect the innocent. Ha!) What I didn't do a lot of back then was write.

Life, back then, was happening and I simply recorded it. BUT, it doesn't have to be that way. Over the years I've learned the art of intention; of writing your story rather than recording it. It started with defining core values.

There are many values I chose to live by, but if I'm to boil it down to the top 5, the core, (in no particular order) here's my list.

  • Honesty.  Tell the truth. Live my truth. This means I will be transparent, leading by example. I can't expect my children to live the life of their dreams, if all they hear me doing is complaining about every wrongdoings.
  • Service.  Every single time I make life only about me. I fail, life gets hard. I don't mean this figuratively, I mean it literally. When business is all about making money, everyone starts asking for discounts. But when business is about helping others in a way that is meaningful for them my programs fill, my clients and my lives are enhanced and I still make money.
  • Connectedness. The cousins from my dad's side (he is one of five kids) grew up together in a small town; my mother's family on the other hand resided in Singapore. I grew up with a beautiful dichotomy of what it means to be connected to people both near and far. Being connected is an internal place where I get to give the gift of presence to the people/person that I am with (near or far). It's being with them so they know that they matter.
  • Growth.  Once you taste how amazing life can be all you want to do is order more of that same meal, on repeat. This happened to me a few years back, I became alive to the meal of life that I was eating, and ever since then I have done every little thing I could to constantly improve the life I'm living and the person I am. I won't stop any time soon either.
  • Leadership.  I'm a mother, therefore I'm a leader. Ha. I wish leadership was as simple as declaring it. Leadership for me is authenticity. It's knowing how I want be in the world and then truly being it. It's living in integrity.

Knowing these values and what they mean to me makes the writing process of life simple. Choices that were once hard to make, because I was waiting to record them rather than make them, are now clear because they either align with what I value or they don't.

Knowing your values helps you write your life. What top values do you have at your core?