I'm working my way through Brian Tracy's TurboCoach: A Powerful System for Achieving Breakthrough Career Success (I figure if I am going to be here for the duration, I might as well do as well as I can). The first exercise in the first chapter is "From the list of values found in the appendix at the end of this books, select the three to five values that most represent the organizing principles of your career or business."
What an opportunity! I get to define the three to five values I treasure most, that I either am or want to be. This was pretty exciting - and difficult, considering there were probably about 100 listed.
I carefully started my list:
One - Authenticity - was so obvious I didn't even make it past the end of the "A" column.
Two - Joviality - was easy (could have equally been Humor, I suppose).
Three - Wisdom - was something I have some of, but want more of.
Four - Godliness - wasn't even on the list, so I added it.
Five - And there I stopped.
Because there is a five - I just don't know how to define it.
I looked down the list, then looked down it again, then went back to front - and still did not find it.
I know what I want it to symbolize - the value of independence, the value of self-sustainability, the value of growing things and providing for one's self, the value of conservation, the value of simplicity, the value of the natural - but it's not something that I can really put into a word. How does one create a value that one cannot fully define?
But maybe to define it is simply to lose it. Maybe it is that sense of Authenticity, that I am what I seem to be (Benjamin Franklin) - and what I value is all of those things.
So maybe in fact those five values are four - or maybe eleven. Perhaps it doesn't really matter to define them as values, but as what is significant to me. Because in being significant, they are valued and if valued, a Value.