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Annual Summer Values Roundup by Dave LaRue

There is so much energy in summer. I just love it! Summer is the time when there is the most energy available from the sun. Shortly after the height of the sun and the longest days in June, this peak of energy translates into a peak of energy in the smallest forms of life. Then there's a peak of energy in plants, insects, and smaller animals. Larger animals like us join in all the energy and excitement, too.

Summer is a great time to be alive and feel all this energy. And, I've always felt, it's a great season to have a birthday. As I approach my birthday, I usually take time to reflect and take inventory on my life's journey. An awareness I find crucial is to review my values. It's a valuable exercise, and that's what we'll talk about this month.

Discovering, defining, and clarifying my highest values has helped me so much in navigating my journey. Investing the time to know and understand what you value sets the stage to create a powerful life, one that's full of successes, true love, deep happiness, unbelievable relationships, amazing experiences, the knowledge of human behavior, and the ability to be present. Just to name a few of my favorite reasons.

The value of telling the truth about yourself is absolutely key to the discovery of your values. While we may have trouble being hard on ourselves, for successful people, we often have the opposite issue in effect; It can be difficult to accept yourself as you are. You may be more comfortable judging yourself against an outside standard, or a story you've told yourself for a long time. You may feel that you have many reasons for this. A sneaky reason can be that we don't want to be kind enough to ourselves to accept ourselves as we are. After all, harsh self-talk got us this far, right? But if you're at a plateau or otherwise not sure how to move forward or do better, this exact change may be the most necessary one.

Whatever the case, so many people hesitate to invest the self-acceptance, courage, time, effort, money, and faith in this process—in themselves—that their whole life passes them by in hesitation. But there's no good reason to hesitate. As I have before, I will share some of my values and why I keep them in focus. Then I'll share a long list of values to help you think over yours—for the first or the 100th time—and choose, re-articulate, or reconfirm them.

Here is a list of most of my values:

Spiritual alignment, adult (honest, direct, and respectful) conversations, Health, Happiness, Looking and feeling great. Freedom, Choices, Predictable (in the sense of security), Making a difference. Coaching. Leading. Playing in my Genius. Loving what I do and doing what I love. Great family time. Hanging with "Real" people. Great, effortless relationships. Always learning and growing. Humor. Fun. Creating great experiences. Wealth. Building revenue streams. Creating opportunities. Being present. Being results-based.

The process of learning these has been a process of getting to truly understand myself—who I am and how I work. I had to let go of some storylines I had and accept myself as I truly was. With this understanding, I have a much clearer vision of what I will and won't do. So, when I set my goals and desires, they are always congruent with my values, especially my highest values. Otherwise, I just have a difficult time committing to them, and they usually end in disappointment, because I don't accomplish them.

There's no better time than now to spend some time working with your values. Take a moment to sit and be open to new ways to explain what's important to you, what drives you, and what success looks like. What is the character of achievement that means the most to you, the types of situations you want to be in most? What are the feelings that best motivate you to act, to care, to try, and to persevere?

Here's the big list. I’ve tried to find at least one for each letter of the alphabet. Please share your thoughts on any of these you feel strongly about, and please let me know if there are any you'd like me to go into more detail about:

Abundance, Accomplishment, Adaptability, Adventure, Affection, Aliveness, Appreciation, Authenticity, Autonomy (or agency), Awareness.

Balance, Beauty, Boldness, and Bravery. Calmness, Challenges, Clarity, and Collaboration. Compassion, Connection, Contribution. Creativity and Curiosity.

Daring, Determination, Diplomacy, Directness. Discipline, Duty, Education. Efficiency, Empathy, Empowering others, Enthusiasm, and Excellence.

Fairness, Faith, Family, and Fearlessness. Financial serenity (finding peace in your relationship with money). Flow, Focus, Freedom, Friendship, and Fun. Generosity, Grace, Gratitude, and Growth.

Happiness, Harmony, Health, and Honesty. Honor, Humor, Impact, and Innovation. Investing in yourself and others. Integrity, Intimacy, Joy, and Kindness. Knowledge. Leadership. Learning. Legacy, Liberating others. Love, Loyalty, and Mastery.

Meaningful work, Mentorship, Mercy. New connections, New ideas, Nurturing, Obedience. Openness, Opportunity, Optimism, and Organization. Originality, Passion, Peace, Perseverance. Planning, Pleasure, Pragmatism, Proactivity.

Professionalism, Recognition, Reputation, Resilience. Resourcefulness, Respect, Responsibility, Risk-taking. Self-expression, Serving others, Spiritual alignment, Stability, and Teamwork.

Thankfulness, Togetherness, Trust, and Trustworthiness. Truth and Understanding. Uniqueness, Unity, Virtue, Vitality. Wealth, Wisdom, Young-mindedness ("Keeping the old man out"), Zen (Clear-seeing of and acceptance of what is—and what is changing—without attachment).

This isn't an aspirational list. You may see virtue in many or all of these, and new words may create new clarity, but it's about feeling what really matters most to you right now, what really fires you up, the style you feel best in, and what really defines success to you. Some may change over time as you do, some may always be the same. You're not trying to align with anyone or impress them. There are no wrong answers. You might not see your words on this list. Good! Write your own!

However the exercise goes for you, every minute you spend getting clear on your values creates a day's worth of calm, clear joy. Let me know what you find out about yourself.

Have a great summer! Make a difference!

Thanks a billion,



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