A Personal Vision Statement

One of the first things I noticed on LinkedIn.com this morning was a short video by LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, addressing Personal Vision Statements.* Comparing them to the vision statements of companies or organizations (their “true north”), which can inspire their employees, he suggests individuals can also create such statements to guide them and define their actions.

I’ve given thought to such a thing before, but I was inspired today to nail down a definitive statement to claim as my own. This is what I got:

“To graciously, thoughtfully, and with fullest honesty live and give to others.”

Originally I extended it to include “…in such a way to give back greatest value for the life I’ve been given,” but not only did that make it too cumbersome, it’s also redundant. Giving value (purpose, reason) back is the whole point of a vision statement.

My vision statement may not read particularly specific, but it is an edited version of the following points I wanted to include.

  1. To give value, demonstrating good reasons for living and for other people to care about or even pay attention to me,
  2. …primarily by giving graciously of myself, my talents, my experience, and my concern to others.
  3. To be thoughtful in all things; what I say, what I do, and how I respond.
  4. Not just thoughtful, but honest. Honest in communication with others, but more importantly honest by being true to myself. To be real, to not hide my true self or my abilities out of fear or other unworthy reason. To conscientiously be the real me to best help other people.

Of course, coming up with such a statement is one thing. Putting it out here is another. The real test, though, is acting on it and living up to it.

 

*Thanks for sharing this, Richie Norton!

What I Don’t Know About Keeping Perspectives in Perspective

Dad never liked to tell people “you should,“¹ even though his experience and wisdom could easily give him such authority.  He preferred to offer options and let the other person decide how to proceed, even if the decision was to do nothing at all.  Likewise, I hesitate to offer unsolicited advice, at least when doing so doesn’t lead to additional harm to anyone.  While my goal is to be mindful of my actions, I understand that isn’t the case with everyone.  Even if it was, how do we know what we consider to be logical, thoughtful actions are accepted the same way by others?  I don’t think we always can.  It depends too much on personal perspectives.

I have a lot of experience cashiering in retail settings.  As a cashier, I have felt disrespected and considered the customer rude when they don’t hand their cash or form of payment to me.  Especially when they drop it on the counter in front of me.  I know other cashiers feel the same way.  So we try to always think of the cashiers when we are making a purchase, and hand the money or card to them pleasantly.  It’s a little thing, but we know how much it can matter.

My girlfriend is a nurse.  Although she also has cashiered in retail, it has been a long time for her.  In that time, working in a hospital, she has come to understand just how filthy and germ-covered things can be.  Including money.  Including cashiers’ hands.  I’ve noticed that when she makes a purchase at a store, she often doesn’t put it in the cashier’s hand.

Our perspectives, based on our experiences, are different.  Am I wrong?  Is she?  I don’t know that either of us are.

¹A lot of what I know — and don’t know — I picked up from my dad.  You’ll probably notice that in my posts.