Many of the decisions we make in our lives comes down to our moral compass. For instance, where we decide to settle down and put down our roots. Maybe it’s lifestyle or personal security or personal well-being; all of these are ultimately drivers of behaviour. The ones you value the most will often decide which path you will choose.
Mission or Core Purpose
Previously in This Too Shall Pass IV I wrote about the three key elements of a good Mission Statement. Having a personal Mission Statement is a challenging process to go through but well worth the effort; particularly if you use it to help guide key decisions in our lives. Hint: Keep asking WHY until your answer to that question cycles back on itself over and over again. For example, Mission Statement - To help others discover his/her potential…to touch their souls.
Core Values drive behaviour. Here’s a short overview of how to craft your Core Values. Everyone has lots of values they cherish and ultimately there are only a critical few that reoccur on a consistent basis when making important decisions in our lives. Those values we call Core Values. To not pay attention to them is almost certainly stroking the flames of disaster. I should know, I have made that mistake on more than one occasion in my life and honestly, lived to regret it.
Here’s how to discover your Core Values. Generate a large list 30-50 plus values (go online to get a list and then add your own to it) and slowly pare them down to the top five by reviewing key decisions in the past and what drove you to decide or choose a certain path ie. where to live. Personally, a healthy lifestyle was always a huge driver for me. I would never have lived in a place where the air quality was compromised. Secondly, I would never have spent hours each day commuting to the workplace in rush hour traffic. That was time in my mind that was detrimental to my health and well-being. Remember these are your Core Values. They’re not right or wrong, just what’s most important to the individual.
Once you have your Core Values identified, start crafting them in behavioural language. This is not an easy task as many of my students over the years have discovered but so rewarding. For example, Core Value - Respect To actively listen to others without passing judgment.
Core Principles drive results. Core Principles are short statements that reflect the results that you’re after and should connect to your Core Values. For example, Core Principle connected to Respect Be compassionate and forgiving of others mistakes, none of us are perfect.
It’s in times like we are experiencing right now with Covid-19 testing us as human beings to work together that a set of Core Values and Guiding Principles can be a tremendous help to us, and everyone we come in contact with and love. Plasticize them along with your Mission Statement and carry them with you in your automobile, your office, your wallet, etc. Better yet, share them with family or friends, and periodically ask them for their feedback on how you’re doing living your Mission Statement, Core Values, and the Guiding Principles you’ve identified. They’re meant to be used as tools so pull them out periodically to review and when making decisions that are important to you make sure you have alignment with them. Be safe!