What are values ?
Do you know your values ? They are the reference points that motivate you and allow you to make decisions in accordance with your personality. They are your compass to chart your life path and be its captain.
For example, the freedom to be myself is very important to me. As soon as someone tries to force me to do things according to rules that are too codified, my need to express myself feels oppressed and I find it difficult to hold back my desire to rebel. This value can be found in every area of my life. For example, I practice English boxing and foot/fist boxing because it is a sport that allows a great freedom of action and in which I can express my personality and my style.
It is sometimes difficult to express your deepest needs to those around you. Indeed, each one has its values, and in our needs to exist, we clash with the values of others. Either these people understand and act in a way that is compatible with our values, or they do not. In the latter case, living together is inevitably difficult, and one or the other suffers from seeing his or her values abused.
In order to exist fully and not to mute one’s values under the oppression of others, one must sort out one’s relationships. This sorting is done naturally if we know ourselves well and if we have a solid confidence in ourselves. Without this, it is easy to be influenced, to give in to others, or even to sabotage ourselves.
It was very difficult for me to assert myself in front of some of my relationships, or in front of the values of society (which rewards power, success to the detriment of love, benevolence and other values which allow us to be authentic !)
Identify your family values
My parents are my first role model. They braved many hardships and managed to build a family home by their own hard work. It is important to understand that my father lived in Vietnam and joined the army to escape the misery and the communist regime. As for my mother, she was adopted and experienced the dislike of her adoptive mother. Living in poverty, neither of them had an education. That is why founding a family was for them a revenge on life. Their history and their sufferings contributed to forge their character.
For example, my father has no confidence in the French because of the racist bullying and other mishaps he suffered (he did have a French friend who he said was “the best of all the French”). So, it was natural that he chose to make his life in Tahiti, far from the metropolis! In the same way, I understand his mistrust of his daughters’ French companions.
My mother, on the other hand, used to tell us not to give birth to children in order to give them a difficult, even miserable life. I think that at times she regretted being born because she suffered a lot from being considered undesirable by everyone.
And despite their suffering, they had three beautiful children, balanced and loving, always ready to face injustice and the hardness of life, just like their parents! They are farmers and give without counting the fruits of their harvest to their friends who never leave empty-handed, and when we go to see them, we always gladly offer our vegetables. I am filled with gratitude for this abundance of nature where we, her children have contributed to build this work together.
So these are the values that were passed on to me by my parents:
Family, Courage, Perseverance, Solidarity, Generosity
Now it’s your turn to identify your family values, those that your parents passed on to you during your education.
Identify your own values
As a child, I always dreamed of living the Great Love, of starting my own family, bathed in love, and of having a harmonious life. Like the Ingalls family in the series Little House on the Prairie, which I love. It’s a story of a wonderful family that faces up to the ups and downs of life with brio thanks to the values it conveys: tolerance, kindness, family and love. There is also the series The Roads to Heaven by the same director. Equally touching because it touches on universal values. I know it’s fiction, but as a child I really wanted to convey its values.
My parents lacked a lot of love in their lives and loved their children in their own way. They were not demonstrative in love (in the Asian culture of my parents’ time, there was a certain modesty and restraint, this has changed a bit nowadays). I am glad to live in different cultures, French, Chinese and Tahitian because it has allowed me to take the best from each of them while freeing me from my parental patterns (I don’t want to be a complainer like my mother, nor sacrifice my life to work like my father).
Below is a list of personal values :
Love, Respect, Surpassing oneself, Perseverance, Generosity, Friendship, Justice, Creativity, Compassion, Freedom, Curiosity, Health, Open-mindedness, Sharing, Fun, Humility, Team spirit, Courage, Determination, Authenticity, Efficiency, Balance, Professionalism, Patience, Simplicity, Humor, Rigor etc… and lots more over here.
- Write down about 10 values : those that are important to you and make you react.
- Then select 3 values that seem very important to you.
- Write down on paper what these values evoke in you and why they are important to you. Take the time to elaborate on what the values inspire you based on your personal experiences.
My 3 values at this time are :
Freedom, Creativity, Open-mindedness
Freedom : I think of the freedom to be myself because in the past I acted according to the wishes of others, forgetting what I really wanted, in order to win their love. I think of the freedom to travel, to discover the world even though I am not rich. I think of the freedom to live without being judged.
Creativity : I don’t conceive my life without experimenting and creating. I like to draw, I like to cook, I like to discover the treasures of others. I wish to sow and create nuggets of happiness everywhere around me.
Open-mindedness : there is so much to learn from life. I am interested in personal development, in happy sobriety, I train and inform myself on things that I like or that bring me joy and pleasure.
For example, creating this personal development website is a way to express myself freely and to continue drawing. To open myself to you is to remain open to other universes that can bring me tools and confidence to enrich my universe.
These values can change and evolve during your life path. They also have an impact on the different areas of your life: family, friends, profession, entertainment, etc.
The evolution of my values
1) Discovery, Learning, Curiosity (ages 19-23)
Discovery : This is youth. How many times I had imagined being of age to have more freedom. It was wonderful because I experienced the first stirrings of love and I was done with my studies once I graduated. I started to build my life path: a job and challenges in love.
Learning : I will finally be able to learn interesting things about life without having my knowledge evaluated by school grades. I will be able to start spending time on subjects that I enjoy. That’s exploration.
Curiosity : Questioning is a constant for me. I don’t like to be left with no answers so I search until I find the right information to be satisfied. I know that I don’t know everything and that’s what motivates me.
2) Surpassing oneself, Freedom, Honesty (24-26 years)
Going beyond myself : I leave my comfort zone to discover and experience beautiful things. I don’t hesitate to take risks and I do everything to reach my goal of living a beautiful love story.
Freedom : What is freedom? The freedom to live wherever you want. This is the case for my parents, but also for the many French people I have met in Tahiti and Moorea who come from the mainland and other countries.
Honesty : Honesty is important for me to be able to give my trust, it is a way to open myself to the other without taking advantage of it. I am a loyal person and honesty is very important to me in any relationship. It is difficult enough for me to reveal myself, but to reveal myself under embellished and hypocritical appearances is out of the question for me. I am who I am (and I love to scratch my nose)!
3) Family, Authenticity, Solitude (27-38 years old)
Family : I have decided to create a family, a refuge, a place where I and my children can feel loved and protected, a place to recharge their batteries. This is what I want and what I have been missing.
Solitude : I love solitude because it allows me to maintain my secret garden. As a military wife, my life was punctuated by the absences of my husband, leaving me to manage my daily life, to be independent and always learning. But as my activities did not bring any recognition, gratification or valorization in the eyes of society, I sank into isolation and depression.
Authenticity : I was able to blossom as a mother and discover a world that resembles me. I named it “La Magie d’un Autre Monde” (see my book “La Magie d’un Autre Monde”).
4) Family, Freedom, Optimist (38-39 years old)
Family : After the divorce, I wanted to give my daughters a refuge at all costs, so that they would feel reassured and not feel fragmented.
Freedom : I find myself starting all over again. It’s a good thing, I’m rebuilding with my girls, with my rules. A freedom to choose where I want to go.
Optimistic : This is what I needed for every day of my life! I had come a long way and was depressed. I had suffered so much injustice that I had to digest and hope for better days. I was not alone anymore because I had my daughters to protect. So I started to assert myself more and regain my self-confidence. It was out of the question for me to surround myself with toxic people.
5) Freedom, Creativity, Open-mindedness (40+ years)
I took back control of my life thanks to the 100-day challenge. I saw my personal values clearly and they still guide my steps and decisions : freedom, creativity, open-mindedness.
And then I met my Teddy Bear. We show ourselves as we are without entering into the game of seduction, without any ulterior motive, simply sharing our little pleasures of life. We got to know each other and then, as the weeks went by, we discovered each other a little more, we were naturally attracted. Our values are in adequacy.
I felt : his benevolence, his empathy, his presence, his generosity, his simplicity, his voluntarism etc… That positive waves of which I was deprived for a long time and that I want to integrate in my way of life with my girls.
Why it’s important to define your values :
- It helps you make the right decisions. Be really careful because you will be confronted with many different values. It allows you to put things into perspective and to be forgiving of someone who is different from you.
- It will allow you to know yourself better and to understand the reasons why such things, acts or thoughts or people annoy you or bring you joy.
- You become aware of your evolution and this reinforces your self-esteem. We feel like actors of our life. It reinforces us in our idea to be always on the right way, the one of our way and not to borrow the way of another.
- It allows us to respect ourselves.
It’s up to you now !