I just realized I created a Donate page before this Values page. Psh…typical American business plan, am I right?

No but seriously, the Donate link was more symbolic than anything else. Sure, I may occasionally exhibit signs of mania and delusions of grandeur, but even *I* have to admit that my currently-one-post blog offers virtually nothing of value to anyone. However, like I said, the Donate link is symbolically important, because it represents the possibility of making money from my writing. In tech startup parlance, you might say it marks the release of my minimum viable product–just as the rest of us might nod while silently wondering wtf you’re talking about.

[Ahem…your values, Sir?]

Right. Sorry. Values are important!

[Nicely done, Sir.]

No no, there’s more. Values are important because they have an incredible amount of influence over your happiness. After struggling with depression for something like 20 years, I’m finally understanding the connection between my “illness” and my choices/behaviors that forsake my values. In essence, I’ve come to understand that depression is the natural result of living your life according to someone else’s values. Some people can ignore this feeling better than others. For me, this feeling inevitably grows into a monster that eventually destroys everything I’ve used to distract myself from it. Therefore, if I am to have any chance at all of slaying said monster (I call him Sadzilla! (No…no I don’t)), then I need to really nail down these values as explicitly as possible. I need to define my own personal moral compass with which to navigate the treacherous waters of human life.

So here we go. I’m going to resist the urge to google [how to determine personal values] and just wing it. I can (and almost certainly will) modify this page later.

My Personal Values

1. Integrity

To thine own self be true. Which self? Your higher self. The self that believes in these values and strives to uphold them at all times. Pursue your passion. Do things because you believe in them–not because “society” tells you to.

2. Honesty

Always seek the truth. Always disclose the truth when you believe the “good” effects will objectively outweigh the “bad” effects. Base this decision on how the truth affects others–not how it affects you personally. Especially be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes. Admit when you’re wrong.

3. Compassion

Remember that we’re all the same. We all suffer in some way. We all have fears and insecurities. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have and what we know. Avoid judgment. Remember, if you were in their shoes, you’d do the exact same thing.

4. Growth

Never stop growing, learning, and evolving. You will never have all the answers. Life is a journey, not a destination. Don’t get too comfortable–that’s when you stagnate. Suffering is an opportunity for growth and creativity. Challenge everything; assume nothing. You will be wrong. A lot. Get over it.