Hello, EWI of Spokane Ladies and Gents!
In what are you anchored? Many times, recently, I’ve asked this question about myself and about others whom I have observed in a variety of different settings: work, work dinners, art classes, the mall, the park, on the news. What I mean is – what core values drive your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, actions, and reactions? Can you identify the core values reflected by your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, actions, and reactions; and are these the core values you want to reflect? Honestly, I’ve noticed some of my attitudes, behaviors, and reactions align with and others do not align with the core values that I say anchor me. And I wonder if some of the actions and words I’ve observed from others reflect the core values to which they would say they ascribe. At last month’s chapter meeting, I included a “Core Values Exercise” in the agenda and failed to do it justice. I’m going to try to do it a little more – but certainly imperfect – justice in a couple paragraphs here.
I’ve made too many decisions with the un-anchored thought, “I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end.” To me, nothing ensures getting tossed about like a wave by the wind more than a “Let’s see where this goes” approach. (Maybe I’m just too risk averse! That’s okay. I’ll own that.) To keep from being like a wave driven and tossed by the wind, I, personally, find it critical to anchor myself in certain core values, like love, patience, kindness, and self-control, for example. I wear these core values as lenses as I interact with the world and others (personally or professionally). I (try to) consider them before I act, testing the planned action against my core values to see if the action promotes or inhibits my values. If it promotes my core values, then act; if it doesn’t, then, back to the drawing board to figure out how to act in a way that promotes my values. I (try to) consider my core values when deciding what to eat for breakfast and as I wrestle with tough life decisions about relationships, jobs, homes, finances, kids, etc. Whether the decision is large or small, it is (I hope) ultimately anchored in my core values.
I encourage you to write down your core values. Google “core values” if you’d like a list to assist you in deciding your top core values. If you already know your core values, I (just discovered) and encourage you to prepare an “Integrity Report,” asking yourself three questions: (1) What are the core values that drive my life and work? (2) How am I living and working with integrity right now? (3) How can I set a higher standard in the future? See Jamesclear.com. If you’d like some accountability, share your Integrity Report with a trusted confidant.