Yes, this is primarily a running blog, but at the same time it is also a place where I get to put some of my thoughts in black and white. Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on how I want to live my life going forward…well at least what is left of it.
You often read about a company’s, the military’s or some person’s core values and when 2019 started, I decided to take a close look at my core values. It has taken me almost three months to narrow them down and be able to articulate why they are important to me at this point in my life.
My core values at age 61 are very different than when I wore a younger man’s clothes:
Honor – I will do the right thing for the right reason.
I really do believe that what we do when no one is looking tells a lot about an individual and the man in the mirror does judge me. There are shades of gray, but when those shades start to get darker, it is time to really look and think about what I am doing and get my ass back to being in the light.
Do the Work – There are no shortcuts to doing something correctly.
I need to do all the work required, not just the parts I enjoy or want to do. I need to do the work, when it is hard and challenging, those are often the times when I make the biggest breakthroughs. Just because there might be an easier way, does not mean it is the correct way or the better way. It doesn’t matter whether it is in relationships, sports, career, working around the house or whatever my interests are, doing the work is a necessary part of life and is not always fun, but it still needs to be done correctly.
Own my actions – I will take responsibility for my actions and inactions.
Sometimes the choices available are not always great or what I want, but of the one’s that I do have control over, they are mine to make. I have to remember that it is often the little choices that add up to big actions over time. Remember not making a choice is also a choice and then when choices are made for me, they are ones that usually end up with results that are not what I want or expect.
Be Resilient – I know that shit happens.
Then I have to deal with what has happened, pick myself up, make the best of it and keep moving forward each time.
Be Healthy – Aging is forcing me to look at my health differently and be honest about what works and doesn’t for me.
I have changed how I train, what my goals are and how I eat. I also need to keep learning new ideas, approaches and even trying things that scare the shit out of me from time-to-time. Sitting on the couch rusting away, sucking on the boob tube, until I die is not being healthy.
Do What Works for me – I am an experiment of one.
What works for others or everyone else, might not or does work for me. Do the things that match my temperament, abilities and interests, while keeping an open mind to new possibilities.
Be Skeptical – “If it is too good to be true, it probably is”.
If there are conflicting studies, philosophies or stories, with the basic understanding if there is money to be made or politics involved – there will be bias and information will be presented in the best possible way for someone else to make money. I will make choices about what I think about the subject at hand based on the information I have available to me, but still be skeptical.
Keep things simple – Less is often more.
You do not need nearly as much as the marketing professionals want you to believe.
Say “No” – Quite often “no” is the correct answer.
Everyone seems to want me to do this or that, even when I am not all that interested in their this or that or I have different priorities than others might have. I don’t have to be an arse about saying “no”, but I do have to say it and mean it.
Let others find their own path – I am no one’s keeper.
There are many ways and paths to find solutions to life’s questions or problems. I can offer advice based on my own experiences, but attempting to tell or change how others live their lives is not within my control. Sometimes letting go is difficult, but it is necessary. Most of the time it is none of my damn business how other live their lives..
The reality is that
I have a very good life and believe that figuring out what my personal core values are, is something that I have wanted to figure out for a while now.
This does’t mean that I have always lived up to these core values in the past.
In fact some of them I have failed miserably at and nothing I can do will ever change that. I can only take the lessons that I needed to learn from those times that I have screwed up royally and do better going forward.
It also does not mean that I will not make mistakes in the future (I am human), but writing down what my core values are, does give me a solid base on which to stand and gives me guidance on what I believe is the right thing to do when I have to make a choice.
The biggest things that I want to accomplish with my life going forward: is to be happy, enjoy the life that I have, meet interesting people, not purposely limit or hurt others without good reason and live a good life.
Now comes the time to do the work.
Have you ever sat down and thought about what your core values are? Do you need to?