I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Despite Mr. Emerson's adage, I love quotations (especially Emerson, ironically) - and you'll see I use them generously here. There is something about the wisdom of others expressed in words that seems to help us make sense of our own experience. Quotations can spur us on, motivate us, give a new perspective on a situation we are facing.
In fact, in this 24-hour news and life cycle we seem to be living in, finding our own voices amidst the background noise and din of others' opinions can be challenging.
In coaching, we use the concept of values as one way of articulating and creating your path. Different than morals or ethics, values are who you are at your core. The coaching perspective holds that deeply fulfilling life comes from true alignment with your own set of values.
To examine this concept of values more closely for yourself: think of a time you were at your personal best – either personally or professionally. What was happening, who was with you, what was in play? Who were you being?
In this experience, look for what were the personal qualities or characteristics you were demonstrating that made it a personal best. Translate these into 5-7 prioritized values – we are usually operating from our values when we are at our best. With your values in mind as a compass, you can begin to look for how best to align your actions in your current life.
Oprah popularized it: "Tell me what you know for sure." Even if it's not condensed to a set of personal maxims, what do YOU uniquely know? What do you use as your own personal guidelines in life? How do you know you're on track or not?