[Listen to me read this reflection here, if you prefer audio]
For most of my life, I blindly absorbed values from teachers. These teachers included family, friends, culture, society, education, workplaces, media, role models and more. The younger I was, the more porous I was and ready to absorb whatever was around me.
The company that we keep, the content that we consume, the contemplations that we explore, all shape our values. Our values shape our choices. Our choices shape our experience of life.
We are rarely given the space, or rather rarely encouraged to create the space, to choose our values and beliefs. They are handed to us, often unconsciously.
Living at home with my parents over the past few months now, watching them in close captivity, I continue to make sense of so much now, about myself, that I have long been curious about.
My work ethic has been reflected back to me by my mom so clearly. She is gardening, painting, tidying and learning constantly. Behind this is a desire to always be doing something, a desire to be productive. She cannot sit still and I have yet to inspire her to meditate with me. Now I know that this desire to always be productive, which I value, and at times have even resented that I value, is something that I have absorbed from her.
My interest to imagine what does not yet exist has been reflected back to me by my dad ever so clearly. Dinner conversations are filled with an endless stream of new ideas from him. I grew up watching my dad share his ideas enthusiastically with others, and now am privileged enough to be the first to hear many of his ideas. Now I understand why I am continually sharing new ideas with my teams, and also how they may feel. Creativity and imagination is something that I value and that I have absorbed from my father.
It can be a powerful, sometimes dangerous, combination to feel the space to imagine new possibilities and to feel the confidence to execute them.