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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Philosophy is Phun Blog # 52 – Values

Hey guys! Now that the podcast has been up and running for the second week in a row and we are getting back into the swing of things I decided to bring back the blog too. The schedule for this new philosophy content will be on a weekly basis. Tommy and I will be recording a new episode of the podcast every Friday which will be uploaded during the weekend. During each weekend as well I will be typing up a blog post just like this one. I will also be actively trying to aggregate content on my Human Powered Podcasts site and build it into a media network. My next step is to culminate all the great philosophical content on the web from other bloggers and podcasters and showcase it on my site. I’ll keep you guys posted on how that effort is going.

What I wanted to talk about this week were the inherent values that we all have. This will relate pretty closely with the most recent podcast I did with Tommy but more in depth with my personal values and what I’ve taken from them. I went to a meeting for the Terrapin Leadership Institute and it was very informative and helped me realize a couple things. They made us do an exercise where they gave us a list of words for values and we had to pick our top ten and then gradually reduce the list until we got one final value. In retrospect the list was restricting because there are essentially countless values that one could have and there are more values than words used to describe them. There were a few that did resonate with me though when I was looking at list and these words included Achievement, Challenge, Creativity, Optimism, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Growth, Pioneer Spirit, Recognition, and Success.

Something that I noticed about these words is that they are completely open for interpretation. As with many things in our world, everything is relative to a degree and so is the way that we interpret words. We each have a different perspective on what counts for success or what is considered a challenge so even if two people were to have the same values they would no doubt have different ideas or views on what they mean exactly. These values also don’t have a permanent definition. For me the word successful has a different meaning depending on the situation it is applied to. If I’m in class, being successful means doing well on the exam or getting my homework done. If I’m playing in a soccer game being successful could mean making a good pass, scoring a goal, or ultimately winning the game.

I think it is very important to try and assess what your own personal values are as well. If you have an idea of what you cherish in the world it will definitely help you know what you need to do in order to reach happiness. You’re probably thinking “Oh I know what my values are. It’s easy!” Well I said the exact same thing when we were being briefed on the activity at the Leadership meeting and then I drew a blank. If I didn’t have the list to look at I definitely wouldn’t be able to come up with a comprehensive list of my own. I definitely recommend you do some introspection and try to find out what really makes you tick and what you are really passionate about. If you can do that, you are more likely able to reach your values and by doing so you can find ways to make your life happier. Because pioneer spirit was one of my important values, I know that if I act as a trailblazer and take the initiative in the events of my life I will more likely be happier than if I just sit back and watch life pass me by. Plain and simple, if you know your values, you have the ability to make your life better.

-Allan Nicholas