Every now and then, I think it’s important to re-evaluate one’s personal values and overall identity. I find it a helpful exercise that gets me in touch with what’s important to me, and where I should focus going forward. It also helps me simplify things, as a person who tends to try and take on too much at once.
Going through the exercise, I think about what inspires me, what I like to do and what I feel strongly about. I also think about things I’m set against, as these ‘anti-values’ help reveal other things about which I’m passionate. As you will see, my values are aligned with my thoughts on physical culture, fitness for people over 40, and for staying healthy and pain-free throughout life.
I’ve been influenced by other coaches and mentors, of course. Leaders such as Erwan LeCorre (founder of MovNat) and Coach Steve Maxwell of Maxwell Strength and Conditioning. Both are friends and have helped me shape my views and determine what I stand for. And my RawBrahs friends helped motivate me and encouraged me to open up without worrying about judgement from others.
Here’s how I’d define my current core values:
- Eating minimally processed, traditional foods
- Focusing on habits that improve day-to-day reality (mood, energy level, reduced stress, etc)
- Encouraging people to move every day. Going for walks.
- Being able to play and experiment with natural movements at any age, regardless of physical capabilities or limitations
- Promoting healthy aging by being a positive role model
- Becoming and staying strong, mobile and lean
- Being physically able in a wide varieties of tasks
- Disconnecting. Spending more time outside, especially in nature.
- Making small changes; slowly building good habits and putting them gradually into practice
- Flexibility and self-experimentation
Anti-Values / What I dislike:
- Prioritizing potential future outcomes (i.e. weight loss) over daily positive habits
- Turning every single workout into a competition or personal challenge
- Societal pressures that discourage people from doing playful physical activities because they’re “strictly for kids” or are unsafe for older people
- Those who sell the promise of fitness, health or weight loss, but who rely on gimmicks and products rather than lifestyle changes
- Over-emphasis on cardio and endurance, especially for older people
- Specialization. Fitness trends and crazes.
- Always seeking comfort
- “All or nothing” approaches
- Rigidity, tribalism, extremism
I think that once you’re clear on what you’re “about”, life gets easier to manage. How do you define your own values and personal identity?