I am not embarrassed to tell you that a couple years ago I went on a life coaching retreat. Yes. I know. Life coaching. But it was actually a very enlightening experience that helped to get my actions and behaviors more in line with my values. We did a lot of values work there and I determined I valued Wonder, Awareness, Creativity, Adventure, and Passion. It is therefore of no surprise to me that after taking the Schwartz Value Survey for one of my courses, my results put me in the Openness to Change / Self-Transcendence realm which values creativity, curiosity, independence, excitement, novelty, and exploration. In fact, I have put much effort and intention into living a life full of actions that exemplify these values. The high achievement score is a bit surprising, but deep down I guess I do long to be successful. I’ve certainly got gumption, and what I lack in skill I make up for in persistence, if not to prove anything to anyone else, then to myself for sure.
My career choices could be considered the poster child for ‘Openness to Change’ as I have had many different jobs and my career has been nothing if not eclectic. Although each curiosity pursued, each skill mastered, each adventure explored, has built the foundation for what I hope to be another exciting epoch in the timeline of Samm. I follow whims, and winds, and gut feelings, but I do it with dedication, intelligence, and an intrinsic need to know more today than I did yesterday. To do more today than I did yesterday. To be more. To give more. This is reflected in my artistic endeavors and my ever growing thirst for knowledge and understanding.
Had my values leaned more towards Self-Enhancement or Conservation I am fairly sure I wouldn’t even be in Oregon today. I may have stayed in jobs I didn’t enjoy, or settled for what was expected of me. But I never did that, I just burst out the door to see what I could find. And find I did.
My favorite cliché thing to say to people is “sometimes you don’t find the trail, sometimes the trail finds you.” Or at least that’s what I told a bunch of 4th graders once when we were lost in the woods. I didn’t find the trail I was looking for, but the one I did find took us home. If I had kept looking for the ‘right’ one we would have been out there all night, or even worst, I would have had to admit to them that we were lost. Nah.
Interested? Take the survey yourself here.