Having decided a moral code to live by, you then have to decide what you value. What do you hold up above all else in life in yourself and appreciate when others exhibit the same?
A few of mine were principles earlier in my life but are actually outgrowths of my principles in action. I value tangible and intangible and all of them take work. First on the list is…
Inner Strength, the strength within to carry on in the face of negativity, the quiet warrior unmoving in a ferocious wind. This leads to…
Integrity. Exhibited by not selling out all you stand for when the price is right. Once lost it is hard to regain and a black mark on your soul remains. These two came from my self-respect and are highly prized by me when others or I can walk through life’s fires with their souls intact.
Responsibility is valued; to me it shows people you are taking ownership of your life. Of course, this draws from the personal responsibility and accountability principles.
Loyalty, the hallmark of a good relationship. I make every effort to be there for them and appreciate the same. A loyal person is not an enabler, they care enough to tell you when you are messing up, and because of their track record with you, and a person should take heed. Honesty, a rare thing it seems, so rare it should be valued when you find it. Spawned from the Honesty Always principle.
Courage, the ability to face your fears. I have many, of which most fall into the fear of the unknown, one day I’ll be as courageous as a man fighting a lost cause and never wavering. Think Tiananmen Square. This is something I am actively cultivating. Honor, thrown around as much as the word respect. How do you gain honor, is it by the recognition of other people? It is simpler than trying all that, it all comes down to this question: Are you living according to your own principles? If so, then you have honor, this is the highest level to me. This comes all the way from my self-realization.
Determination, the inability to quit, not blind but intelligent determination. It is a value I was brought up on and hold in the highest regard.
Intelligence, I love it, it is in my nature and a beautiful thing. It’s one of the very few things that can hold my attention, which is why it’s so prized.
Proactive, intelligence and goal setting in action, both of my primal driving urges at work. When I see this in action, it is almost as gorgeous as a sunrise.
A Work Ethic, a value I was raised on, my dad taught me that if I wanted something I have to work for it, it is one of his greatest lessons to me. It is making things happen, not passively waiting. This is a value weaved throughout the pyramid. I just have to appreciate someone with a good work ethic.
These eleven values are intangible, cultivated from within. The last two come from within and without. Taught, but made your own. I speak of Fitness and Martial Skills. Fitness for a healthy, balanced life that can be better enjoyed; you do not have to be a body builder or into Pilates. Just find something you enjoy, make sure it works and use it along with watching your diet. I value this in others and myself so I try to set a good example. Fitness teaches you about yourself, your (current) limitations and capabilities, and is self-defense against illness. Same with martial skills, and by martial skills I mean hand-to-hand, weapons, mindset, awareness, know thy enemy and know thyself.
These are valued because they protect the very life we strive to live and enjoy. The other benefits of martial skills is the ability to read people, the awareness to take in the little things, the grand scheme of it all and to control yourself at all times.
This is what I hold up, and try to live up to as my standards. What do you value and does it jive with your principles?