Personal navigation system

navigationYou might think that acknowledging and listing your values is a simple and straightforward exercise about asking yourself what you believe is important. Indeed, it may be. But when I started to look at my value system as part of an ongoing project to uncover your personal dream code, it took on a whole new meaning, a significance beyond the purely rhetorical. I had to consider what my values really mean about me and how they matter in terms of reaching my dreams. Important stuff, heady stuff, and somewhat intimidating I’d say—particularly since I’m entirely unsure.

This is what we’ve been asked to do in this round of the Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab. I decided to propel forward on my journey by continuing the work I started in The Gifts of Imperfection Dream Lab with another session of the Dream Lab. I’ve come so far, but I’ve no doubt that I this inspiration to keep going.

This week in the Lab, we’ve been encouraged to name our values as a way to “create an important avenue for identifying your deepest dreams.” Jen and Andrea have suggested we make a commitment to share this with at least one of our friends. Since this is where I come to flesh out my thoughts and ideas and to fully embrace words as a means for creating personal clarity and connection, I’d like to share them with you.

As I move ahead and continue to dig myself inside out, I begin to sense and follow new patterns and directions. From this I can recognize several core values. Each describes a starting point from which to navigate my life.

Here they are, and what they mean to me.

Faith & Spirituality – The belief in myself and others around me. A deep understanding that by simply living my life and striving to do it well, all will fall into place. An acceptance that there is a higher power ready to guide me, and provide me with comfort when I need it most. Faith is my anchor, a place to hang my worries and hurts and find deep comfort.

Kindness – To myself and to others: my children, who test its limits everyday; my husband, who is so good at showing it and deserves it in abundance; and those around me both online and offline, who are struggling in their own way.

Providing comfort – By honouring routine, and knowing my limits. To my family with a safe home, healthy meals and warm arms to cuddle and cry in. To others, with words, and through a willingness to listen without judgment.

Confidence – To find this within myself so that I can move forward feeling secure and self-assured that I am good enough and have something meaningful to contribute. I want to be very good at something, using skill in ways that are both fulfilling and that allow me to help support my family.

Organization – Where I am ready and able to tackle the breadth of my life, and all the tasks associated with the roles that I play. I don’t want to feel tethered to chaos, I want to feel supported by stability and predictability.

What values help you guide your life and dreams? Which do you hold true and strong and that have made all the difference as a personal navigation system?

Image: ‘navigation‘ by marfis75 via a Creative Commons license.

14 thoughts on “Personal navigation system

  1. Lindsey says:

    What a great exercise … I think it’s likely a very bad, sad thing that I can’t immediately answer, so I will go back into my cave and think some more. Your list and your explication of each item is an inspiration. As usual!! xoxox

  2. ayala says:

    A good exercise. I love your list and explanation. The kindness is a big one because you are right online or offline we all struggle with our own demons. It means so much when someone offers and extends kindness.

  3. Kelly says:

    Hm. This is a post that invokes thought. I have a few of the same values as you and your quest for organization definitely speaks to me. I think I’d add strength and inquisitiveness.

  4. What an interesting thing to think about. I had to smile when I read “Kindness…to my children who test its limits every day…”

    I also like the bit about knowing your boundaries and honoring that. I struggle with that one so much.

  5. I believe this naming of values is a wonderful exercise. Something we ought to think about – all of us – important to so many areas of our life. Certainly to our relationships including friendships, not to mention our parenting and even the careers we choose, or those we choose to leave.

    Perhaps if we were taught to explore our values from a young age (and I don’t mean morals, I mean values – they aren’t synonymous), we would be more “successful” and more attentive as we make our way through life.

    As for boundaries, they change over time. Some can be pushed and we grow and we love it. Others will narrow, the natural consequence of time, aging, or other constraints. I think it’s important to recognize that boundaries – like other aspects of ourselves – will evolve over time. We need to stay open to that possibility.

  6. Justine says:

    Christine, I’ve had to reevaluate mine recently and realized what I’d used as a compass all these years has indeed been misguiding me! With a little more thought and insight into myself, I’ve been able to generate a new system which I’m happier to live by, and most of which I see listed here. I continue to struggle with faith and spirituality and organization. As for confidence…it really depends on the day. Sheesh – I got my work cut out 🙂

  7. denise says:

    This is a very thought-provoking post, my friend. I’ve found that taking time to inventory my core beliefs has been amazingly insightful and life-changing. As for my values (which I think are slightly different), I’ve yet to put pen to paper on that one. What a lovely, inspiring idea. xo

  8. Ironic Mom says:

    Wow. Core beliefs. Deep stuff for a Monday. Kindness and gratitude are big.

    For me, I’d add laughter or delight. At myself. At small things. With others.

  9. Eva Evolving says:

    I love what you say about “providing comfort.” This value and your definition of it is one I never would have thought of – but it makes perfect sense. I love how you include providing comfort to your family, as well as yourself. So important to honor our routines and our own limits.

  10. What you say about Confidence is really interesting. During much of my working life I craved confidence (perhaps more than I valued it, since I was raised to be self-effacing). And I wanted to be excellent at something. I always defined that “something” as being within the world of work, probably because skills there are more measurable and recognition more forthcoming than at home or elsewhere.

  11. Stacia says:

    Kindness is a biggie for me, too. And it’s so easy to discard in the midst of toddler tantrums and caffeine withdrawal. Perhaps that’s why it’s so valuable. I also like the idea of providing comfort (and remembering to provide it to myself on occasion, which I so often forget).

  12. […] ever came of that reading. But I was reminded of it earlier this week when I wrote about my core values. As I considered them, my thoughts flowed naturally to my earliest […]

  13. Amber says:

    My current struggle has to do with what I personally value, and the way that my life reflects (or, more likely, DOESN’T reflect) those values. I can see where I want to go, but I’m having a hard time getting there. I recently wrote up my core values, which are more like my personal priorities. I’ve put them up on my wall, and I’m hoping that the more I look at them, the more they’ll sink in. It could happen!

  14. […] came Brené Brown,  The Gifts of Imperfection Dream Lab and her book I Thought it Was Just Me. I learned about shame, perfectionism, inadequacy and what it […]

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