Thursday, August 2, 2012

Priorities and Value.

I remember one of the first times I earned a scholarship. I had an actual interview with a Vietnamese newspaper and one of the words I threw into my beauty pageant answers of how I became dedicated and hardworking was the fact that my values steered me there. It made the interviewer pause, and ask "You mentioned values, exactly what values did you mean?" I racked my brain -- thinking of all the stock answers one would say. I could not even think of the stock answers. Instead I said I could not articulate in words what values I was lead by.

 I think after hearing the words for years during my life I still haven't been able to pin it down until my time here at Chevron. It's continually drilling and chipping away more and more at the question of "What value is this activity providing?" and "Do I really need to do this?" So asking those questions repeatedly has made me finally pull back the curtain to the mysterious nature of this word. I ask every day at work: what is the HIGHEST value thing I could be doing with my time? What return am I providing to people based on the actions that I perform? And I often find that it steers me down the right path as I find that my efforts are being driven by history, by thinking that busy'ness is the same as value-adding.

It was a rude awakening when I realized it was not. Something that really pushed me to understand the value I provide was the 200 word summary that I needed to provide to my boss to represent me in a mid-year ranking process. At first I could not understand and resisted the activity, but while doing it, I realized I spent the majority of my efforts on the wrong things. It was disheartening but a tough and necessary lesson learned. And applying it to my personal life I realized the glut of reminders on my phone and to do list kept me in the past with the priorities of yesterday, and not with the changing climate of now. I need to constantly re-calibrate and re-assess where I should be headed. What was valuable yesterday is not valuable today, and I need to be okay with the dropped priorities of yesterday.

My priorities of today are Fitness, Career, Family, Friends, Finances, Partner, Photography, Mental Health, Experiences, and Adult Skills.

I must say instead of looking at the categories I'm not achieving the progress that I want, I'll highlight where I'm moving the needle because it is hard for me to give credit when it is due to myself.

In regards to Fitness I have been doing so well. I think a large part of that is because so much of my esteem is tied to how I feel physically and mentally. And when a hard day's work just grinds at me mentally, I feel that at the very least I need to keep my physicality in line. And I have been. With the combination of my slow carb diet and my 2 body blast sessions per week, and signing up for the 10k, I've been on the mend. I am seeing stomach muscles I haven't seen before and I find that I am not terribly sore (in the incapacitated sense), only in the mild sense.

In terms of adult skills - I've moved into my own place and navigated the whole process of selecting my apartment, finding a roommate, signing a contract with an electric company, applied/got approved for my first credit card, signing a contract with an internet company, and really ironing out all of the details in between. I'm a bit more domesticated and I like it and I'm proud of myself now that I think about it. -pat on the back-

I may not be moving the needle in all of the other categories, but I'm a work in progress. I need to set goals but I completely understand that these goals will change over time.