Be True to Yourself

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If you’ve done the exercise in the previous post, then by now you have a list of your core values on a piece of paper somewhere. It’s easy to use that paper as coaster for your coffee mug and eventually throw it out, but don’t do that! Habit # 1 in Steven Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” is Be Proactive.

Proactive people get things done. They don’t twiddle their thumbs waiting for the right opportunities to head in their direction. Notice the active word here is ‘done‘ not ‘planned‘ or ‘thought about‘. Proactivity is defined by action; positive steps taken in a particular direction. So where does this fall within the overarching theme of values? Being proactive about cultivating our values helps us be true to ourselves. It helps us build consistency; align our lives to some internal compass. For example, you might say that you value creativity, but when’s the last time you worked on a creative project? Do you exercise your creativity every day or once every blue moon (btw, did you know that a blue moon isn’t actually blue? I only discovered that recently and was quite disappointed).

The trick with this is to start with small, consistent steps. Sometimes we set the bar too high and that stops us from taking any action. For instance, you might think that adding ‘Adventure’ on your Values list means you need to go skydiving or something you can’t currently afford, but what if you start small and just decide to explore a new area in your town?

At night.


Without your phone or wallet.

Okay that will probably cultivate the value of recklessness so don’t do that.

But you get the picture. Start small but be consistent. Consistency is the main key here, and to help you stay consistent, you can use apps such as to keep track of your daily/weekly habits or join a community to hold you accountable. For example, the Nanowrimo community is a famous one for novel writers during the month of November, where writers commit to writing a 50,000 words novel.

“A jug fills drop by drop” Tweet this

For those people who are not familiar with Steven Covey’s book, here’s a nice summary in animation form that I found on youtube

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