It’s said that setting our personal ethos gives us direction in life, helps guide us and give us purpose and strength, but what is it, how can it help us, and where do we buy one??
Creating ethos statements for businesses is something I’ve done in the day job for quite some time. Teaching businesses that their values, morals, beliefs and behaviour all influence the perception of their brand to their audience. The tone of voice they use on social media, their brands look and identity, their customer service and the way they treat people are all markers for interpretation by those they are trying to attract. A wrong, public move by a company can massively harm their brand, losing them followers and damage their reputation. So as individuals, does the same thing apply? Of course, it does.
The values we hold close, our behaviour, our morals, our actions all give off an impression of who we are as individuals to the outside world, but more importantly, they make us who we are on the inside. These are the things that make up our soul, the things that keep us grounded, a representation of the true person we are, who we’ve grown to be, influenced by the nurturing of our parents and guardians and those we hold close around us.
Our childhood, our upbringing, our memories, our life’s decisions have all had an impact on the person we are today, as well as all the things that have happened to us in our live thus far, big or small. We all have a place of harmony, peace and balance within us and veering off that track from time to time at some point in our lives is a given, but we have to always come back to be that person if we are to live our lives truthfully. We must be authentic, honest, have integrity, live our values, walk our talk, be ourselves, and live by the ethos we set.
We get to choose, we make the decisions, we have the opinion, we say what we think, we feel what we feel, we are in control of it all, no one else has the power over our thoughts or actions, mentally or physically. We must take responsibility for the people we are here today and ensure that we live by the rules of our inner being, the rules we’ve set ourselves.
Someone very close to me once said “We are the sum total of all the decisions we make” and that rings so true with me. Yes there are things I regret, things I maybe wish I hadn’t said out loud, things I wish I’d said to my Mother before she died, times when I could have maybe helped someone more than I did but that time has passed, there’s no going back, I cannot change what has already played out, but I can make sure that for my future, my inner GPS is set to align with my soul.
I want to help more people, I want to be kind always, I want to teach my children so much about humanity, about the world around us, I wants all to travel more, so I must do it, I must make these things happen. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life so far, it’s that we can be anything we want to be, regardless of age but more than anything, I just want to be me and live my life truthfully, for myself, and not have to wear a mask or put up a façade to suit those around me, I am who I am, like me or don’t.
When we think about our ethos, and the person we want to be in the inside, the true us, it should be ruled more with our heart than our mind, it’s our emotions that pave the way forward. Our ethos is like a helping hand, a hand to guide us when we’re tempted to wander, steady us when we need balance in our lives, aid us when we’re uncertain and hold us tight when we need support. It should guide us toward the person we want to be, the best version of ourselves, with all our strengths and weaknesses. It should also help us to overcome challenges, when we need to dig deep.
Of course, a personal ethos is just that, personal, each one is different for every person. We may have different values, beliefs, faith to the next person and how we look at life and plan on living it may be different to others, but no matter your make-up, the end goal is the same, to be the person you want to be, the one you know you can be, to live the real you.
So next time you have 10 minutes alone, make a list. Make a list of the values you hold close, all the things that are important to you in life, the things you believe in which you feel make you who you are, and then live by it, it’s your playbook.
For me, I wrote a list and narrowed mine down to the three values that are most important to me; Kindness, Contribution and Balance.
Kindness is an obvious one and one I live by, we should all be kind to one and other and help and support where we can, it’s what the world needs no matter what religion or race, and what I will continue to be and teach my children to be, always. Plus it’s so easy! We have no idea what goes on in other people’s life so a simple ‘good morning’ or a smile, or holding a door open can make someone’s day, and mean more than we realise.
Contribution is my goal for making a change to the world, or at least to someones world. I’ve done some amazing volunteering work, which I loved and am hoping to pick that up again here in Australia. I’ve worked with a child bereavement charity, a domestic violence charity, worked with the homeless and from a work viewpoint, small business start-ups that need help, which I’ve done for free, for no reason other than because I can. Being part of something bigger is so important to me, and I will always help, give advice and get involved when I can if it makes a different to someone’s life, no mater how big or small.
Balance is one I’m sure everyone can relate to, the balance between work, house and kids. As parents, we exist to nurture our children, to keep them safe and to make memories for them, memories they will treasure and ones that they will set their ethos on when they get to this point in their lives. Spending time with the kids and Hubby is so important to me and here in our new life in Oz, I’m making it a priority, starting with no work on the weekends!
Living well is the goal, and there’s no work worthier of our effort, but just take the time to make sure you’re living it your way, truthfully. Setting your personal ethos, being aware of it, writing down your values, recognising your morals and what’s important to you and living by them can strengthen you, give you focus, give you purpose and remind you of what’s important to you in this life. Stay true to yourself, we only get one go.
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.