On my journey to discover who I am, I have been thinking about my values. By codifying my values, I hope to have a list of criteria for things that I do, then if what I’m doing doesn’t reflect this list of values, it’s the wrong thing for me to be doing.
I took me a while to get the list together, but I finally was able to boil it down to 5, each beginning with a different vowel. The 5 initial letters gave me a challenge to really think this through and pick what are the quintessential values for me:
A – Authentic
E – Essentially
I – Integrity
O – Orderly
U – Unity
Authenticity is being true to myself, open with my life, being genuine. This would probably be the number one word that people use to describe me when they talk to me, something I hold as a great honour.
Essentially is about minimalism and essentialism. It’s an adverb, so it’s about how I do things.
Integrity is doing what’s right by others and by myself. Integrity is very important to me.
Orderly is about doing things in a systematic way. It doesn’t mean pushing order onto others or not being able to handle the messiness of life, rather it’s an adverb about how I naturally seem to do things in an orderly, systematic way, and as a leader bring order to chaos. This means that when I do something, I can turn it into a framework or maxim, which I love.
Unity is being one with the world, with nature, with others, and therefore not being judgmental. There’s a spiritual element to this, but also an aspiration to be someone who’s at peace with others, rather than in antagonism with those I find difficult.
What I like is that as vowels, these are my “vowels” – and every “word” that I write with me life will have will them in it. They are also my “vows” – the way that I commit to living.