In many self-help books & blog posts, a common question posed to help point readers towards personal transformation is “what do you value most in life?” From my experience, this question is often answered with a cliche that we rattle off in response – family, having a great career, getting to travel. Well, of course! Most of us in the entire universe would automatically say we value these things. But those values are too wide and overarching to get down into the the depth of what really, truly drives each of us. We can’t just ask questions that evoke preprogrammed answers. What I’ve found gets to the heart of what fuels my flames is this one simple question:
What is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
The most meaningful compliment I’ve ever received is just four little words from my dad. It was my first week being back home from living in Vietnam, and he was still hearing all of my crazy stories and almost mishaps that occurred while working in Southeast Asia. At one point during dinner, my dad smiled at me with fatherly pride and said, “You sure are ballsy, girl!”
Now, let’s not give him an award for being sentimental, but these words BLEW ME AWAY. Wow, he thinks I’m brave! He said that over a year ago, and my confidence sailboat is still being carried by that wind. (Get used to my cheesy metaphors and lame jokes.) My dad probably doesn’t even remember saying that now, but those words clearly meant a lot to me and illuminated what I value most in life…
To be ballsy. To be brave. To be gutsy about what I desire.
When it comes to following my dreams, I’ve realized that I want to be fearless. Not that I am fearless. Let’s get real – I have shit-tons of fear, guys. But that doesn’t matter! What matters is those 10 seconds of crazy, ridiculous courage that we summon to go and submit that application to Peace Corps, or call our dream mentor for the first time, or buy that plane ticket to Vietnam (with no return ticket)! That is how I always want to live my life – by seeing all of my goals and then the even bigger fears pushing back on me and saying to them in my sassiest diva voice, “Screw you, fear! You don’t rule my life!” To hear that my dad could clearly see me living that value out in my reality meant the entire would to me. It meant I was doing right by my dreams.
So, what is the best compliment you’ve ever gotten? What does it show that you value in the deepest parts of you? And now that you know what you hold most important, what gutsy things can you do to kick ass in that area of life even more?
Thank you for reading and sharing! I can’t wait to hear your stories in the comments below!
Wishing you a day of awesomeness,