Values-driven, or passenger seat?
My Dad has a theory that anyone who constantly tells you how much of an expert they are (or, worse, a guru) probably isn’t an expert. If they were, you would know from their actions. Certainly, in a city as tight knit as Exeter, you would know from their reputation! I sometimes suspect something similar when I see a business refer to itself as values-driven but, unfortunately, it’s the only phrase that does the job.
One of my biggest fears is waking up in 5, 10, or 20 years and realising I’ve been sitting in the passenger seat of my life. I suspect that my understanding of life to be fragile and precious is from a combination of my biology degree, my own experiences, and serious family illness. No hour or day is guaranteed to any of us – which I realise sounds morbid, but actually feels freeing, and focuses me on a life led with intention.
I don’t think any value is better than another. We are all motivated by different principles. Your friend who works long days in London might have excitement and commitment as her core values, whereas someone who chooses self-employment and countryside life might lean towards simplicity and calm.
A good test of whether you’re living up to your core values is to ask a range of people what they think your core values are. Does your external life – what you portray as important, by what you choose to do with your time and energy – reflect what’s important to you internally? Start with people who are close to you: family, and friends. Then those who interact with you the most often, like work colleagues or housemates. Sometimes the most interesting answers come from people who are at the peripheral of your social circles – perhaps they only know you from an interesting Twitter DM conversation, or from monthly articles…
What drives your identity, life, or business? I’d love to know how you incorporate your core values into your everyday actions – or what you think mine are! Tweet me at @RebeccaComms – I’m always up for a chat over social media, or even a cuppa at Grow’s Coffee House on South St, Exeter.
This is a special article – my final piece for Grow, for now. It’s been an absolute privilege writing for the team. A big thank you to Joff and Stella for their support of my voice, which has evolved and strengthened over the years. Catch you in the Coffee House!
Written by Rebecca Broad
Photo Credit : Megan Elle Photography
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