If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything. How Your Personal Constitution Guides Your Life
By Jackie White
You have a personal constitution and you might not even know it. What I am talking about in plain talk is what is it that you stand for? What is important in your life, so important that you live by that “rule”?
For example, if you are someone who values adventure, you might be living a life that is sprinkled with mountain climbing, traveling, or jumping out of a plane. A desk job may feel very restraining for someone who has adventure as a core value, where the opposite may be true for someone who values stability. Some people value community and see that volunteerism is a mandatory activity they include in their life. Others may value health and wellness, and their life is fashioned around exercise and choosing healthy food choices. The choices are almost endless!
Each of us has a set of core values that make up our own personal constitution. These values make up the rules we live by. If you aren’t sure what yours are, you may find yourself feeling like you are a bit lost in life. Here’s the good news though, you likely have some values you have been unknowingly following. Let’s begin by taking a look at where these values come from.
These values come from those things in life that influence you. The good stuff and even the bad stuff in life molds our impressions on how life should work. Some of the key influencers are your parents, significant people, friends, life experiences, and/or media.
Parents: The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Of course, our parents influence our beliefs and values. If that influence is positive, you will likely line up with many of the same values your parents have. However, if your childhood value system is one you take exception to, then likely you will work towards molding your own values based on other influences or beliefs you have grown into.
Other Significant People or Friends: We look to others when we are shaping our values, which by the way tends to start around age 10, but by age 21 are solidified. Values can change over time but likely are strongly tied to those set into place in our earlier years.
Life Experiences: Your life experiences certainly can shift your priorities and your values if your mind has been opened to something you never knew before. For example, if you visit a country with severe poverty to an extent you had never imagined, your values may shift to focus on global community efforts.
Media: The media can influence a person’s values. News, the internet, websites, movies, and music can play tapes of certain mindsets and value systems. Some good, some not so good, but nevertheless, influential.
What Does All This Mean?
Your core values are what you stand for. They are the rule book for how you conduct yourself in life. If you have never taken a few minutes to identify what your core values are, it would be worth your while. Once you know without a doubt what your core values are, making decisions about your life becomes much easier. As well, if you have children, you are imparting your values to them whether you know it or not. Therefore, it is critical you know your core values and identify how effectively you are demonstrating them for your children.
Children and Core Values
One great way to bring your family closer is through core values. When your family lives by a core value such as service, you can volunteer together to make your community better. If one of your core values as a family is play, then spending time together having fun and being playful should be part of who your family is. Again, it is a guidepost to define who you are individually but also as a family. Some families even proclaim statements like “We are the Smith Family and we are hard workers.” It’s up to you to think about how you might want to infuse active use of core values in your family’s life.
As you can see looking at what people stand for is an interesting archeological dig. Each person has their own constitution of how they should be living their lives. Upon examining what you find meaningful in life, you can begin to design the life of your dreams.
For a list of core values go to FindYourSoulShine.com/Resources
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.