A few years ago I started to feel the need to define my values and what principles I want to live by. I felt that these principles are a must for me as a person and me as a brand. My personal brand, so to speak. I do ask myself the question “what do I live for” ever since I was a kid, but the question had different connotations across different periods of my life.
Now I am here and I feel this question is the most important one in my life. I noticed lately how I cannot function when I don’t stand by things I believe in or feel. How I cannot take certain situations or people, without making a move, expressing an opinion, trying to change something, trying to influence a situation for the better (well, “better” in my definition, I am sure each person has their own definition of “good” in the end).
So … what do I live for?
First answer that comes to mind – and I tried to shoo it away, as others seem more important – is change. I live for change, constant change, constant adaptation and evolution. I completely adore the times we live in, with everything constantly moving and changing, it just seems that this era is built by my character. The new scares me, excites me and challenges me and it’s the most energizing thing in my life. New meaning anything from a sports endeavor (my god, down-hilling was horribly amazing) or trying to learn how to code (so meticulous, indeed). Bring me the new and you have a happy, quiet bunny, until I get the grip on it and I want the next new best thing.
Second thought that comes to mind is people. I like people. Especially meeting new people, it is amazing to interact with a new brain for the first time and extract whatever is of interest out of it. Meeting people is one thing I’d never get bored with. And the moment when I meet “my kind” of people, those persons that you can have a completely effortless conversation going with, with irony and “your type” of humor, mockery and jokes, well that moment is almost as exciting as the moment I was up on the mountain on my bike wondering how am I going to carry my bike all the way down, as I will never ever ride it down.
The third answer is knowledge. It’s tightly connected to people, as knowledge comes from experiencing the world around you and the people you interact with but I’d like to take it as a standalone topic. Knowledge is definitely a reason to live for. For me. The problem I am facing is the huge quantity of knowledge around me, which I don’t know how to process, but well, prioritize and select. It’s basically like entering Wikipedia to read about WWII, as you don’t remember exactly how it happened that we – Romanians – switched sides and you end up reading about the fact that the cucumber is actually a fruit, just like the tomato and most plants with seeds (did you know that? It shattered my whole view of the world. What’s a fruit salad now?).
I’d stop here. Obviously, as any other human being, I live for love, human connection, rapport, family, friends and so on and so forth. But that’s something valid and innate to us – almost biologically, so I don’t feel the need to include them here.
What’s interesting is that, if you actually get to do Tom Rath’s strengths finder test, your strengths identify with your values. They do for me. It makes me wonder how much of my world values are actually designed by my strengths or are my strengths decided by my world values?
So, my friends, what do you live for and how does that fit your strengths?