I showed my close friend, Judith, my “What’s the big idea?” blog post the other day. She read it and asked me, “How did you come up with your own core values and how do you go about it?” Admittedly, I somewhat had a hard time answering. It’s difficult because it’s something I’ve innately done since I was a child — pondering my existence and molding my belief system. I thought it was something natural that everyone does, that an explanation of how to obtain your own core values would never be needed.

Before I explain how I determined my own core values, I’ll explain why it’s important for me to have them. Core values is where I set my foundation in life and the motivations behind my actions. When I’m setting my core values, I’m building a mental and emotional house. Just like how in the physical world we have a home to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of life and to be at a place where we’re comfortable and able to relax and reflect. As important as it is to have my own physical space it’s also important to have my mental space. A place where I feel safe, where I could reflect on my actions, and where I am reminded of the person I am or want to become.

Like any house, you need to maintain it and renovate it. Social and economical trends are like the weather, it’s unpredictable and your house have to be built to withstand it. That’s why it’s important to maintain your “foundation” but also keep it slightly flexible. I admire people with integrity but if it goes unchecked, their foundation is not able to cope with the social and economical weathering and it’s at risk to develop cracks. I’ve seen it happen a few times to people, including myself. I believe it takes the form of depression and whoever experienced it before understands that it’s hard to fix.

It also functions as a guiding point or a set of rules to remind me of what’s important to me. Sometimes, I get lost in all the craziness in my life: my family, career, goals, and the up-and-downs. When I’m in the middle of it all, I forget why I was there in the first place. Core values function almost the same way as my “Design Rules” sometimes when you’re too close you don’t see what’s really is happening.

Back to the point of how did I developed with my core values. Core values should evolve as you mature. My core values are a mixture of points: starting point, mid point, and end point.

Starting point:
What are your interests, what do you love, and what drives you?
In my case it’s creativity. When I was young I didn’t have a lot, I made toys with stuff lying around the house. I was curious and I open a lot of things and put them back together. My step-father saw my creativity and nurtured it. I loved him dearly, he helped me instill a stronger love for being creative. That’s something I will value for the rest of my life.
My first core value is “Creativity can solve anything.”

Mid point:
This is your guiding principal of what’s important to you and possibly help you stay present. I love life and love the people around me. I want to protect what makes me happy and the people I love.

As corny as it may sound,
Love is the base of all actions.

And of course, I can’t let anything get in the way of what I truly desire. Sure needs are important, but I can’t completely compromise my wants. In full circle, my wants are sometimes my needs.
Rule over your circumstances.

End point:
If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, than all talk and no walk makes him a lazy one. This is where I take my previously stated values and turn them into something tangible. To pick the fruits of my hard work and who I am.
Achieve results.

Be victorious!