Our mission at Compete to Create is to help people find their best. One essential part of that process is helping people figure out their personal philosophy.
Historically, think back to Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other impactful cultural leaders. They all have very clear personal philosophies.
THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS WERE IN ALIGNMENT IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY.
In our Finding Your Best workshops, when we are working with any level of attendee – from coaches to managers to athletes to enterprise business decision makers to military leaders – we ask them to participate in an exercise that makes me light up everytime I participate. We challenge the audience with a question: “Who here has a personal philosophy?” And then we ask them to raise their hand if they do. Most hands go up. We all have a way that we live our lives, from the clothes we wear to the way we treat others; we all have a way about us. We then walk the room through developing and writing down their personal philosophies.
After seeing this exercise hundreds of times as a participant, you’d think I would have my philosophy nailed down or written in stone. Yet I still was not confident in what I would say if I were called on. The one word that always popped into my mind was “love,” and the first iteration of my personal philosophy was “Love and be loved.” For the longest time I kept it inside and never shared it with anyone. I always felt like there was some more work I had to do, and I needed to make that sentence longer. Recently, I did some more work on it, really digging deep and exploring what I truly believe and know about myself, and came up with: “Empower. Love.” What I found is that it’s typically not a spur-of-the-moment “word” that accurately captures a whole personal philosophy, but rather an ongoing process that can always be revisited and updated.
AT COMPETE TO CREATE, OUR PROCESS FOR HELPING PEOPLE WRITE DOWN THEIR PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY IS AN EXERCISE WITH A FEW BASIC PROMPTS TO GET THE JUICES FLOWING:
- Who are some people you admire? What did they stand for?
- What are some of your favorite quotes?
- What are your favorite words?
- Once you have a list of words, narrow them down. Really think about each word – does it enliven something inside you when you read it or say it? Sometimes people narrow it down to just one word, and that’s their word that starts them on this journey of self-discovery.
When narrowing it down even further, ask yourself: Do all your thoughts, words, and actions align with this personal philosophy? Can you articulate it in 25 words or less? Would you be comfortable standing up in front of a group and declaring your personal philosophy without hesitation? Does it feel authentic coming off your tongue?
We’d love to hear your personal philosophy story on social media (@competetocreate), or if you haven’t started this work and want to join our “Finding Your Best” online course, there’s a new class starting every few months.
Jaime Davern, CEO Compete to Create
Personal Philosophy: Empower. Love.