So much has been written about values. What do we value in life? Do we use our values to guide our life? It’s on my mind a lot these days. Our world is in challenging times and even in those hard times, it is important to remember to keep those values front and center in what we do.

For me, one of my highest values is family. It wasn’t always that way. I spent a lot of life focused on work and my profession being the top priority for my life. I suppose as you get older, you begin to re-evaluate those things and wonder if it was worth it. The opportunities I’ve had have been great, and yet it has cost me valuable time with family. That has changed for me and is no longer the top priority. Family is. With a new husband here and the rest of my family far away, the ongoing challenge is to figure out how to put all of that together.

Integrity. Simple, right? It means, to me, simply say what you mean and do what you say you will do. Operate life with total integrity and you don’t have to answer for the wrongs later. We see a lot of that in our world today. Businesses find themselves seeking to figure out how to cover up past mistakes. Our government trying to explain actions they are taking or have taken. It would seem so much easier if it was all done with integrity the first time. If we don’t have our word, we really have nothing.

Respect. Sometimes I think we are seeing a loss of respect in our culture. And yet, it’s not a tough thing to do. Respect the people around you, treat them with civility. Does that mean we always agree? Of course not. It means we learn to disagree, with respect. Years ago I had two great mentors who often used the wording “with all due respect” when they disagreed, and they meant it. They truly respected each other, even when they didn’t always agree.

Peace. No, I’m not talking about world peace, although that would be nice. What I am talking about is peace in life. Being at peace with where you are and what you are doing. Being at peace with myself is important to me. It means I am doing things that truly make a difference as I invest my time and energy. It also means if that isn’t true, then it becomes something I really don’t want to invest my time in. Sometimes that leads to tough decisions. Sometimes it means life’s course has to change. Sometimes it just means you have to refocus your energies.

I am interested in what you value. How does following that list of values impact your life? And what struggles do you have as you attempt to live life by the values you have created for yourself?

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