Living By Your Values
Updated: Mar 6
Image by John Hain from Pixabay
Jan. 30th, 2023
I am grateful for my coaching training as it taught me many important things. For me the foundation was the significance of living by my values. It is not enough to just say that. I needed to know what my values were, so I listed them. Originally it was only five things, but soon it grew to seven and that number just kept growing as well.
1) Authenticity - or in the words of Popeye, I yam what I yam!
My need to be authentic has had a profound impact on my employment history. At first I thought the problem was with me - I had to take a stress leave from TYDAC and then again from Graphic Resources. Yet again, while working with Encounters with Canada I had to leave. I remember at EWC one morning in March I woke up - I remember, it was my last day there, suddenly part of my face was paralyzed and that feeling spread to the whole side of my body. I saw my doctor and it was determined that this was caused by stress. Stress from the conflict of values - my values include honesty and integrity. Working in an environment that allowed the Executive Director to have a house paid for her, a private chef and a dog that everyone was forced to take out to toilet...the list is endless...all of this was causing me great stress. My need for authenticity is overwhelming.
2) Happiness - or perhaps simply an attitude of gratitude.
I cannot take credit for that line. I think it came from Oprah at some point. Regardless, happiness or contentedness or gratitude - what it means to me is being thankful for everything I have in life. That is so important for me.
To me freedom means many things - the fact that I live in a peaceful and democratic country and have my civil rights. It also means the freedom to get up from my desk, walk around, socialize and take a mental break. This is very important for me, and I did not have it at different companies.
This means financial, emotional, mental, employment....it means a sense of control and if not control, at least acceptance. It means that I feel calm, and less stressed. I am not the type of person who enjoys confusion, change or the ups and downs - like a gregarious, charismatic Orange kind of person.
Love to me is everything. It means the love between family members, partners, parents and children, dogs and their owners, love of friends, love of things that make a person happy. Love of ice cream. Love of Bruce Springsteen. Love of otters, dogs, hippos etc.
This is the foundation of everything else. The last two years have taught me that if you don't have your health you really don't have anything. I mean, I always knew this to be true, but I learned it very personally after my medical crisis in 2021.
Full disclosure - I originally wrote this in 2011. But 12 years later, my values are still the same. I learned the value of my health back in 2011 was after I had shingles at the end of 2010. Since that time, I have learned first-hand the value of good health.
I like to say that I live in a state of perpetual gratitude...and it's a pretty awesome place!