Inside-out Reflection: Values

After deep contemplation and narrowing down the scope of my values, I came up with the following five ranked values:

  1. Optimism
  2. Appreciation
  3. Creativity
  4. Accountability
  5. Wisdom

My values continually changed over the years, however, my top three values have been around since as long as I could remember and give me peace of mind and happiness. During my college years, accountability and wisdom cemented themselves into the fourth and fifth position because my level of maturity (friends and family’s opinion may differ [smile]) and thirst for balance increased.

Like a well-written suspense novel, I will save my best value for last and go in reverse order of what each value means to me. Let us begin with wisdom. I am in constant search for wisdom. The why things happen, how things happen, and what makes things happen constantly flood my thoughts. I find it fascinating to learn something new and to unlearn things that I already learned.  Wisdom gives me the opportunity to be a student of the world and a teacher to those willing to listen.

Next up, accountability. I believe that we must let our “yes” be “yes” and “no” be “no.” Sitting on the fence with a “maybe” is a temporary state and must eventually be changed to “yes” or “no.” When tasks are assigned or requests are asked, we must provide a firm answer. If we agree to the task or request, then we must be accountable by our action or inaction. At times, things will happen beyond our control, with that aside, our word is our bond and accountability will strengthen the foundations of our relationships.

The middle child of my five values, creativity is comprised of a universe in constant wonder and curiosity. Challenges and puzzles are the fuel to creativity.  Especially, when others say it cannot be done, creativity comes to the front and says why not?  Creativity opens the mind to possibilities and does not let society, economy, culture, and negativity get in the way of its potential.

Appreciation is the second value that would be happy to be in any of the five positions. After all, appreciation in its pure form is being thankful for our countless blessings. By appreciating ourselves, we develop self-encouragement, happiness, and inner peace. By taking a moment to appreciate others, we show care, interest, and empathy. By appreciating life experiences, we learn to be compassionate, inspirational, and engaging.

Optimism is my top value and the foundation to what makes me who I am.  I am an incurable and eternal optimist.  When bad moments or negative thoughts marches towards me, my optimism rallies up the troops and quickly defeats them. I believe that chaos may be organized and that lessons can be learned from bad events. Optimism reminds me of the bigger picture of why I am doing what I am doing, fuels my purpose, guides me toward my vision, and helps me endure past the 25th hour.

Sometimes, I am caught up with life that I forgot the values that got me to where I am, today. Each value has a reason for being in my life and grows in strength as the years go by. Optimism, appreciation, creativity, accountability, and wisdom are my top five values, and I am glad to finally recognize and reflect on their importance.


  • What are your top five values?
  • Where did your values come from?
  • What influenced you to be the person you are today?
  • How are your perceptions of “self” fortified by your values?

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