Monday, January 16, 2012

The authentic self

(SMLC 02 - Values)

I was pretty excited when I read that this week's challenge was all about values. I'm into values, big time. To me they are like a guiding gut feel, I know I'm on the right path when I am living true to my core values, and when I don't I experience some very painful cognitive dissonance.


My number one value is was easy to come up with: authenticity. I then came up with this hefty list of the values I hold close:

Adventure
Creativity
Curiosity
Empathy
Fairness
Freedom
Gratitude
Helpfulness
Honesty
Hope
Joy
Kindness
Learning
Love
Optimism
Resilience
Selflessness

Now the hard part of the exercise - I could only list five values, and they had to be ranked. Ouch.

Authenticity
To me, the most beautiful people I know are those that are truly authentic. No pretending to be what they are not and covering up what they are. Young children are great examples of authentic selves - they are not afraid to ask silly questions in order to learn, or twirl around in the middle of street when they hear some music. Yet at some point in our early lives it starts to get beaten out of us, with some people to the point where they don't even know who their authentic self is. I know only a handful of people who I would say are truly authentic, and they are so lovely to be around because of it. I really strive to live an honest life and make choices based on my own values and dreams, rather than what others or society say is the right way. I'd like to one day work with people to help them connect with their authentic self and have the courage and strength to live by it.

Selflessness
There is nothing more rewarding than being kind and helping to others. It is the cheapest happy drug around. Eight years ago an experience with a child changed the course of my life and set me on a new career path as a psychologist and art therapist which I now intend to pursue. I'm going to be sneaky and add two further values here that align and are equally important to me: empathykindness and helpfulness.

Curiosity

To be born curious about the world is a gift. Curiosity has led me on so many adventures, and enabled me to meet people who've changed my life. And not to forget learn so much along the way.

Freedom
We live in a great era. I am very thankful to be living at a time where I have the freedom the life I choose to live, and to be independent. Contraception, affordable air travel, feminism to name a few advances have enabled me this.

Creativity
The best Christmas gift I got when I was a kid was a Crayola Caddy. I was crazily excited when I opened my santa sack on Christmas sack to find this huge creation station. I loved it for years (my favourite crayon was Cornflour blue) and it was a hint of what was to come of a career. I also remember when Dad bought home the Apple IIe from work one weekend. Before this I'd only known computers to be things that you types a weird language into that my brother spoke, or play games on. That weekend, I created my first animation using Hypercard - using a mouse to draw. Revolutionary! It was love at first sight. Creativity has driven much of my life. In recent years I havent had the luxury of time to get involved in enough creative pursuits in my down time, but this year creativity is what it's all about.

So there they are - my five top values. The guiding lights that will help me make the changes I need to in 2012 and move towards an even more authentic life for myself.

2 comments:

  1. No wonder you are my oldest friend! We share so many core values! And they are the values that I do see in you, that make you, you.

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  2. LOVE this. I believe in the same things and your full list could see me through life quite easily. When we sat down to do our mission statement for week 3 the adjective my family came up with for me was "curious" - it ties in nicely with my value of growth and my love for learning!

    Deb @ home life simplified

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