In 2010, I went through what many 20 something millennials go through - my quarterlife crisis. Glamorous, I know. Here I was, I had graduated from college, bought a house, had a steady boyfriend. Picture perfect, right? Not really. I was fat, bored, and I knew something was not right. So much so, I could feel this on a physical level. Do I take out a bunch of debt and go to graduate school? Rush to the altar and get married? I did everything “I was supposed to do”, where is my instant happiness? After a year of deep personal work and a breakup later, here I am.
Since getting clear with myself, I dug deep identified what are my values. What is important to me? What do I stand for? Each year since then, I go back and reflect. Are these values still important to me? Am I living my values?
I started out with seven but over the years I have been a bit more discerning. These are the values that guide how I live, love, and work.
Service - I have known for a long time that my life’s purpose was to help others. As far back as I can remember, I always “picked” jobs where I could help others. First, I wanted to be a vet because I loved animals. Then I wanted to be a teacher and a counselor. When I got to college, my idealism only increased. (I actually didn’t pick a major based on that idea though.) Rather when I graduated my career lead me down that path. I find myself helping others often. Whether it’s showing someone how to print something or being a first responder in a serious situation. Being of service is not limited to working in certain occupations.
Focus - This one is a bit newer for me and is really quite simple. This is about sticking to who and what is important. We can dig shallow wells everywhere or one deep well.
Compassion - I try. I fight. I struggle. Compassion is not always an easy task. Rather, compassion is a conscious act. Compassion includes being compassionate toward others and oneself. I am one of those who can easily beat myself up for days. One of my favorite yoga teachers would say, “The most important words are the words you say to yourself, about yourself”. These days I am finding forgiveness, permission to make mistakes, and kind words.
Connection – In the grand scheme of life, this value is the most important. This could also be called community or relationships/friendships. I was raised an only child, so finding my sisters from other misters is important to me. Connection is that space between souls. Its feeling connected on a deeper level. Your tribe is important because they’re the family you choose.