It is no secret that in order to accomplish anything in life you need goals. Goals help us to prioritize and move ahead in life. However, without knowing what were are striving for or what is most important to us, we may find it difficult to know what our goals are. Short-term goals may be easy to define, but discovering what our long-term goals are might be more difficult. Taking the steps to identify our values is an essential part of figuring out what motivates us. Finding out what motivates us, is a good step towards staying focused and actually accomplishing our goals. In other words, starting from step one can really help us get to the last step of the process towards success.
Finding our values may seem like an overwhelming task. Especially because it seems that in today’s society our values and motivators are all wrong. Sometimes I think people do know what their values are but have simply prioritized them all wrong. To come up with what I find most valuable I had to really look outside of myself and ask myself some tough questions. Initially I was prepared to write down a few quick answers, but once they were written down, they didn’t look accurate. Once I followed the meditation procedure of closing my eyes and relaxing, I got very different answers. At first I had a very difficult time seeing how my answers related to my values and leadership skills. Later I found that all my answers came together at the end of the exercise. Once I put everything together I was able to make the connections and see the big picture.
I found that most of my values come from my family. My parents (as well as I) are immigrants who came to the United States to make a better life for themselves and their children. All of my life I have never known my parents to seek out any type of financial handout or government aid. Instead I saw two parents that worked tirelessly to feed 4 kids and provide us with what we needed as best they could. Even with all of their hard work, life for us was a struggle. We didn’t always have everything we needed. We didn’t always eat, nor have clothes for school or money for extracurricular things. We all endured some tough struggles and suffered throughout the years. However, the one positive thing that I took from that experience is that family is constant. We had each other and we took care of one another always.
Having had those experiences of adversity as a child, made me realize that life has so much more to offer than money and material things. I learned that there is much more to strive for than a fancy car. I learned that family is an important and sacred commodity that cannot be bought with money. This is why I chose to leave a lucrative career in the tech field for a career that fulfills and honors my values. My values list (next page) is a good reflection of what I find important and what drives me and gives me purpose.
Highest Priority Level Values: 1. Career 2. Family 3. Personal Growth 4. Financial Security 5. Travel/Life experiences 6. Helping Others Always 7. Education 8. Friends and love 9. Following the Golden Rule 10. Health
The next step was to figure out how I was going to take the most important of these values and translate them into leadership values. The first value I looked at was Family. The value of family as a leadership skill is valuable because I am able to make strong connections with my team. When I visualize a team as a family, I am able to bring balance and cohesiveness to the team. The next value I looked at was that of Helping Others. Translating this value helps me to view the team as one large entity working together. If one person fails, we all fail. The next value I translated was Personal Growth. This value allows me to see the importance of staying positive and viewing every situation as an opportunity for growth no matter how bad. Education is another value that I can