Creating Your Core Values


Several months ago my husband and I sat down and did something that has I believe has changed our lives.

We set a date and time, and sat down together to write out our family's core values.  Words that stood for what we believe in and treasure.  I had come up with this idea after reading through an issue of Architectural Digest, where they were interviewing Blake Mycoskie of TOMS, in his Topanga home in California.  Near the entrance of their home, Blake and his wife Heather have their family's mission statement hanging on the wall.  It reads: "To live courageous lives, with grace and moderation," followed by a list of core values, including "Put Family First", "Be Present", and "Give Generously" (Rus).  Writing a mission statement and core values out was not something that Blake was new to.  For all of the businesses that he had ever owned and started up, this was one of the first things that he would do.  "When Summit [our son] came along, Heather and I wanted to set up some guideposts for making decisions.  We hung them up in a very prominent place so that we could remind ourselves every day of what is important."  What an incredible idea... Imagine if every family did this.  Husbands and wives came together to really hash out what they believe in, whats important to them, what they see the purpose of their life being.   

I decided that this was something that my husband and I needed to do.  We started off by coming together and spending several minutes writing out our own personal core values: words that stood for what is important to us.  Later, we came back and took turns reading our lists out loud.  We found that while some of our words were unique to us as individuals, several words overlapped and were able to be added to our family's list.  As we listened to what the other read and reflected on our own values, we meditated on the meanings of the words and they might play out in our lives.  At the end of the process, we edited our list down to six core values: lightheartedness, gratitude, service, sustainability, family, and faith.  These were the words that we would look to when we as a family came together to make our decisions.  These words would influence how we would live out our lives.  Some words may be added to the list over time but for the most part, they are what we stand by as a family.  



Mayer Rus. Toms Founder Blake Mycoskie Takes AD on a Tour of His Los Angles House.  Architectural Digest. 2015.