Today I read a short blurb by my woman-crush, Angela Ahrendts, which really resonated with me.
She discussed the importance of identifying your vision and the steps you will take to make it a reality. Now, I’ve never known and probably never really will figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up, but I know what kind of legacy I want to leave behind. Whatever I end up doing with the years I have left, I want it to be awesome, inspiring, and meaningful.
Like Ms. Ahrendts, I think a lot of my values were introduced to me by my parents.
First, I was always told to do what I know in my heart to be the right thing. By this, I mean to avoid hurting people as much as possible, no matter how badly they have hurt me. I was raised by the two most kind-hearted people in the whole world – I know damn well the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to take the more righteous path, when it’s so much less painful to follow the crowd. But I’ve made selfish mistakes in an effort to take the easy way out enough times to know that in the end, it really isn’t worth it.
Second, I was taught the virtue of hard work, and earning things by merit. Over the last year, I know there have been times when I felt like I went to hell and back, but I know that even the times I felt I hit rock bottom were nothing compared to what my parents endured in trying to build a bright future for my sisters and I. I’m so lucky to have been raised by such strong-willed and persistent people. I believe that I acquired their work ethic, but I can only hope to reap the benefits of my hard work just as my parents did. They deserve this great life they built for themselves and my siblings – I look up to them, and hope I can do the same for myself and my future family someday.
Third, I was taught to be honest. There were so many times in my life where I would have the opportunity to cut corners or take shortcuts that I did not rightfully earn. It’s always so tempting to take advantage of situations like these just knowing that it would make my life a little bit easier. However, I’ve always been the kind of person whose conscience always gets the best of me. Whenever I gave in to temptation and tried to game the system, my mind always ended up haunting me and I can’t function. I’m a terrible liar. So I’ve always needed to own up to my mistakes and deal with the ramifications of my bad choices… Honesty in the first place would have saved me a hell of a lot of trouble.
As much as I like to pretend I’m capable of being damn near perfect, I know I’m the complete opposite. I am flawed in a million ways. But, especially lately, I have taken every day as an opportunity to improve. I know that the kind of leader I want to become someday can’t afford to make the same mistakes I’ve made over the last few years. I’m glad I stumbled upon Ms. Ahrendts’ article because it gave me the opportunity to identify and remind myself of what my core values really are, and how they’re going to guide me in becoming who I want to be.