When a person goes through their life, typically they have these things called morals.
Some have more; some have less. Your morals, values, and ethics are what guide you and make you who you are.
Some people have questionable ethics. Some people are the purest people you may ever meet. Some people are just plain hurtful. I’m sure you’ve all come across an array of all types of those people.
Here’s the interesting thing though: if you really think about it, every person has a different set of core values and morals that guide them through their lives. These values help you make decisions and help you decide how you will react to situations, your emotions, your relationships, and your schoolwork. Your core values are most of what make you who you are.
When reflecting on my own life, I think I would say my top three core values revolve around my work ethic, the importance I place on relationships, and the cliché treat others how you’d like to be treated (because karma’s a you-know-what).
Firstly, I think anyone who knows me will attest to my work ethic. I’m one of the hardest working people I know! My days are literally filled from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep with something. I’ve always been a hard worker and have always had the drive to do things well. I hold myself to extremely high standards, and when I fall short, I tend to be really hard on myself. (Some would call this “eldest child syndrome…”)
Even though sometimes I put myself under un-needed pressure, I think it is exactly that that has made me who I am today. I know the value of hard work, and I know that in order for something to happen, I can’t just wait around and expect it to fall into my lap.
I think with most of the opportunities I’ve gotten, they’ve come about because I have worked hard for them and put in the legwork. For example, the job I have right now is mostly due to the fact that I’ve had a lot of experience writing. I also was very determined to land this job at a newspaper as a starting point. I don’t like to take no for an answer, especially from myself, which is another part of my hard-worker trait.
Another core value I have is that I focus whatever attention and energy I have left after working into my personal relationships with my boyfriend, friends, family, etc.
I know at the end of the day, if you have your job or a whole lot of money, it’s really no good unless you have someone to share it with, for your good experiences or even bad. I find that I feel my best and most like myself when I am around those who love me. I am willing to go the extra mile and have that late conversation with a friend who needs it or take a short lunch so I can get out early and spend time with someone whom I haven’t seen in awhile. It’s the people whom I surround myself with that really make me who I am today, and I am so thankful for all of those who have stuck around through the thick and the thin (because we all know there’s been both).
Lastly, which I think plays into both of these other values I have, is to treat others how you would like to be treated. You can’t go through life expecting everything to be wrapped up nicely and just put in your lap. You can’t expect people to stick around if you don’t put in the time to let them get to know you. You can’t expect people to treat you nicely if you have never really been there for them. It also goes along with the saying, “you get out of it what you put in.” I find that to be true of most situations. If you treat others how they want to be treated, or go above and beyond for a friend or co-worker or even just smile to that person you cross paths with every day, you will be surprised at how much better you will make them feel, and even better, make yourself feel.
You can’t expect everyone to do everything for you, in all aspects of life: work, family, and friends. Life is a two-way street, no matter what you think, and you get out if it what you put in.
Remember that the next time you think about trash talking that person in your class or choose to do something else rather than spend time with a friend who needs it.
You have to work for what you want, and make those in your life a priority whom you want to have around you when you’re not at work. Otherwise, you’re not left with much.