Revisiting core values

Discover the power of revisiting core values and operating principles. Use these tools to become the person you aspire to be.

Revisiting core values

Are you feeling lost, uninspired, unmotivated, dull, tired, or bored? Are you struggling to bring the best version of yourself forward?

Trust me. I feel you. It's happened to me many times in my life. I also have a new professional milestone to add.

I have experienced the first layoff in my career.

Getting laid off was a blessing in disguise. It became my wake-up call to pause and reflect. As the business evolves, you may find that the founder's vision differ from your personal goals and values. The experience was another reminder that I was building someone else's dream, and I was never meant to stay forever.

August became a time for internal reflection, recovery and gratitude. I wanted to understand who I am ("Current Koh") and who is the person I dreamed of being ("Renaissance Koh").

Becoming the person I dreamed of being

I imagined what Renaissance Koh would be like. What traits would she exhibit? What is her motivations? How does she interact with others? Renaissance Koh is daring, inspiring and kind. She is direct but never antagonistic. She is firm in her principles yet flexible on her approach and execution. She continuously encourages and support her community, as she is grateful for their encouragement for her to be true to herself. Through her actions, her community takes action and ownership to become arbiters of their own destiny.

In order to create a plan to become "Renaissance Koh", I had to understand the gaps that exist between the two states.

Re-evaluate and reconnect with core values

I started off with listing core values that were important to me, and I identified the following five.

How would my ideal self operate

From these core values, I drafted a set of operating principles to guide and align "Renaissance Koh" with the right people, decisions, and environments.

Time is the only asset I consume and cannot make back. I will allocate precious time to the projects and people I care about the most. I will say "no" to activities and people that drain my energy.
πŸ› οΈ
Agency is the ability for me to personally accomplish what I want in life. I will maintain autonomy over my work and vision. I will ship early and often to accelerate learnings and personal growth.
Integrity is upholding my values, no matter the situation or who is watching. I will be open about my progress, challenges and milestones with my audience and community. I will ensure my actions match my words and stand up for what is right, even when it is unpopular. I take ownership and responsibility when errors occur and learn from them.
Creativity is being flexible, open and innovative as to how problems are solved in order to make positive change. I continuously challenge the status quo and rethink existing ways of doing things, even when the outcome is unclear. I celebrate wild ideas and unconventional solutions.
Community brings a sense of connections, understanding and resilience among people. I will learn, share, play, grow, collaborate celebrate together with people. I ensure all voices are heard and represented regardless of background, identity and status.

Aligning actions with beliefs

Revisiting core values and guiding operating principles yielded clarity on where the gaps have existed. By paying attention to how daily activities impact my energy and emotions, I can be more mindful about what activities truly align with my core values and operating principles. For example, I chose to not entertain any employment opportunities since the thought of "being employed" frankly drained me. My partner was very astute when he mentioned, "I'm not allowed to be a capitalist and entertain any literal earning-related activity."

On the other hand, creating and sharing stories excite me (even though I'm really anxious on how people will receive them). When I feel anxious, I just think of how Renaissance Koh would act in this situation.

Committing to the journey

Revisiting and realigning to core values and operating principles can be a powerful tool to become the person you dreamed of being. In the near term, I want to focus on understanding and battle-testing these values and operating principles. Β It may take some time, effort, honesty and willingness to make changes. It can be challenging, scary and uncomfortable, but I am trusting the process and respecting my time of play to fully explore these facets to help me lead a more fulfilling and purposeful life.