Day 1: Define Your Core Values

1 Sep

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
– Roy Disney

Today’s Mission: Discover, clearly define, and write down five core values crucial to your life.  Defining your values gives you purpose, prevents you from making bad decisions, boosts confidence, and simplifies your life.  Read the Full Brief below if you still need convincing.

Right out the gate Day 1 has been a thought-provoking exercise that I will undoubtedly revisit (and revise) over the course of the next 30 days.  The earliest “values” that I can ever remember being articulated as a kid were recited by my dad, my scout leaders and fellow scouts over the course of Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  The “Scout Law” was repeated at least every Thursday night at our meetings and multiple times over the course of camping trips and scout camp.  I’ll say this, I’ve know many former scouts who can’t remember how to tie a sheepshank or build a monkey bridge – but I’ve never met a scout that couldn’t enthusiastically recite the Scout Law (typically as rapidly as humanly possible).  It stuck.

The 12 Values of the Scout Law

My initial interest in the The Scout Law didn’t extent past its rote recital, but as I grew older I developed a sincere appreciation for those values – an appreciation that was typically gained by experiencing the antithesis of the Law in some aspect of my life.  I fondly remember speaking with my Mom for guidance during college and exclaiming, “You know…I could lead a damn good life by just following the 12 Scout Laws.”  She agreed.

Life has grown more complex since my scouting days and I’ve cultivated new values over the course of relationships, family and career.  There also been numerous times where I’ve fallen short of abiding by the Scout Law, and have had to be reminded of them through my mistakes and missteps.   A Bowline knot was always heralded in scouts as “the mother of all rescue knots” because it never slipped and always stuck.  The Bowline reminds me of the Scout Law because even when I have slipped in life those values always stuck – and rendered assistance when I needed help.

My Core Values

Now posted on door.

1. Integrity- Be honest with yourself and others.  Say what you do, do what you say.  Keep your word.  Be real. Don’t compromise your values, identity or health.

2. Knowledge- Make reading a lifelong, indispensable habit.  Be curious and seek more knowledge.  Always ask questions.  Share what you know with others.

3. Relationships- Your ultimate happiness and satisfaction is based on relationships and experiences with other human beings.  Seek out new friends, be loyal to your family, support the people around you, and be grateful for all of the above.  Love.

4. Wellness- A sound, strong body supports a sound, strong mind.  Work out.  Don’t eat food substances your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.  Therapy isn’t a dirty word if you need it.

5. Discipline- An invaluable, required tool for your life.  Damn hard to acquire, practice and keep.  I’m still trying.  Discipline comes more easily with small, repeated practice.  Pays huge dividends over the long-term investment that is life.

What values are important to you in your life today?  What values have you learned through both good and bad experiences?  Help others grow their own values by commenting on this post.

Full Mission Briefing:
Defining Your Core Values
(via The Art of Manliness)

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