Saturday, June 2, 2012

Values: Part 1

Values: Part 1 I know that in my introduction (first post on this blog) I said that I would talk a lot about goals, goal setting, values, leadership, teamwork, etc. But I also said that we have a journey we need to take. I think that a good place to start our journey is talking about "Values and Attitudes". In 2003, I was 11 years old and invited to be a surprise guest to Erik Weihenmayer on the Oprah Whinnfrey Show. Not long after that I started my own small little Public Speaking venture. I talked to a couple of Rotary Clubs, churches, community groups, etc, about my going blind, the obstacles I had to overcome, meeting Erik and how rock climbing, boyscouts, etc changed my life. The largest audience I ever spoke to was when my Dad and I were asked to speak in tandem at the International Association of Refrigerated Warehousing's (IARW) International Convention in Miami, Florida. I bring this particular speaking engagement up because the theme of the Convention was "Values". Now I was young (12 years old at this time) and didn't really know how to connect my experiences to values. I recently went back and re-read mine and my Dad's speeches and I tried to think about how values have played a role in my life and the importance of values and our attitudes in setting and reaching our goals. Values: First I think we need to answer the question "what are values". Essentially, values are things that we believe to be of great worth or importance. Let's take a look at some basic values that we all learned throughout our childhoods. Respect, honesty, trustworthiness, etc. However, while these are great things to have I don't feel that they are the most important in my personal life. That's not to say that I don't think these are important. On the contrary, I feel that these things are vital to our success as individuals and as members of a family, or organization. But when it comes down to it I think that the things I personally value most of all are the things that mean the most to me. Cliche? So what is most important to us? I can't say what is or isn't or should be most important to you or anybody else. For me though, I can say that the things I value above all others (my true values) are my family and friends, and my health and fitness. How I maintain those as values are those things such as respect, honesty, trustworthiness, commitment, etc. A friend and advisor of mine and my family talks about her order of importance of "be, do, have". She says that for many people it's "do, have, be". We do lots of work to have lots of nice things so that we are happy. Where we should be happy, do that work because of our happiness and then as a benefit of our happiness and hard work we might get to have nice things. I feel the same thing applies with me. In the past few years we've had this economic down turn where we haven't been able to afford as many nice things. I've often been caught up in it as well. My family took a ski trip once a year together for seven or eight years in a row and that was our Christmas present. The past couple years we haven't beeen able to, since airline tickets and house/condo rental have gone through the roof. Was my family disappointed? Absolutely, but we also realize that it's not the ski vacation that is important it's the time we get to spend together on that ski vacation that's important. For me, my order of importance is my family/friends, my health and fitness, and then comes my financial situation. In other words, I will not sacrifice time with my family to make money. And I will not sacrifice my health and fitness to make money. I've been very close with my family my entire life due to my cancer treatment and survival and then not long after I met Erik Weihenmayer we began rock climbing, hiking and camping as a family. As young kids, my sisters and I had fewer friends than the average youngsters, but we were close with each other and close with those friends we had. We grew up in a great household and our parents instilled in us the basic core of our belief system. We learned to respect those around us to find friends that we could have faith in and trust. And much much more. Our parents drilled into us the importance of hard work and having a good work ethic. As I'm entering my final semesters of college and preparing to find a career, I thank my lucky stars that I have such good parents to instill and remind me of what's important in life. After my family, I very highly value my health and fitness. Being a cancer survivor I want to lead as healthy and fit a lifestyle as possible in order to do what I enjoy doing. The fact that I enjoy staying healthy and fit is just an added bonus to its importance. I've been an athlete for a good portion of my life. My sisters and I were competitive rock climbers for a few years and then I wrestled both in high school and college. In order to be the best I could possibly be I had to stay healthy and fit in order to perform at the highest level. If I chose to eat unhealthily, I paid for it with my performance. While I no longer am an active competitive athlete I am a Spinning Registered Instructor and Certified Personal Trainer. So in order to remain credible with my patrons I need to practice what I preach. Not to mention the enormous physical and mental health benefits that eating right and fitness can provide me. So as we begin to wrap things up. I'd like to revisit a few key points. Values, are those things that we deem to be of great worth or importance. These can be things such as trustworthiness, respect, honesty, commitment, etc. Or these can be things such as our family and friends, or our health and fitness. Whatever, and whomever we value, these values can help define who we are and we can use these values to help shape who we want to become. So I will leave with this for now. Think about your values. What are they? Who and what is important to you? And how do those people or things affect your attitudes and actions. Until next time. Climb High, Kyle Coon