What’s your personal credo? What is a personal credo?
I didn’t have one until about a year ago when I went through some training for work. One of the activities was to write your personal credo. I had never thought about it before, but when I did, I became fascinated by how I could use it.
As I have been exploring my purpose and the concept of making changes in my life with small time commitments, I have found that there are often multiple projects, goals, and changes I want to pursue. Sometimes, all of these activities are competing for my attention and time making it difficult to focus on the other important things in my life like my family and my relationships.
Every one should have a personal credo because it will help you make decisions when the goals you are pursuing are in conflict with each other. When this conflict occurs, you can go back to your credo for guidance on resolving the conflict.
Credos are something we normally think about in terms of religion, but it is simply a statement of belief. What do you believe in? What is most important to you?
What simple statements can be the guardrails for your life; giving you the guidance you need when your priorities are in conflict?
1. Family First
2. Two Gs – Grateful and Generous
4. What will they write on your tombstone – what will they say about you at your memorial service? What’s the song they sing for you that sums up your whole life? If it doesn’t exist, write it.
5. Be relentless
6. Live unconditionally
7. Small bets, but lots of them – a la 15 Minutes of Change
Whenever I find myself thinking about a decision that involves the priorities in my life, I try to remember to go back to my personal credo. I used it at the end of June 2013 to help me decide whether to ride in the second day of the MS 150 in Colorado. I had been out of town the week before (actually in the training where I learned about personal credos). I had gotten home late Thursday, gotten up early for work on Friday, and was due to start the ride early Saturday morning. Then, the plan was to stay overnight in a hotel Saturday night and ride day two on Sunday, getting back late in the afternoon, tired from the two days and 150 miles of riding.
As I was riding Saturday, I thought about how little I had seen my family that week. A friend I was riding with was going home Saturday afternoon and could give me a ride back. I could ride the whole course or wake up Sunday morning and have breakfast with my family in my own house.
Since you’ve already seen my personal credo, you can guess what I chose, but I really felt like it was a tough decision: Finish what I started or spend time with my family. In the last 10 miles of the ride on day one, I made my decision by going back to my personal credo and realizing that family comes first. After that, there was no reason to deliberate any further. When I woke up on Sunday morning and spent the time with my wife and kids, the decision felt right and I haven’t regretted it since. My personal credo helped clarify my priorities and made the decision easy.
A personal credo is not set in stone. The one I have above has gone through some tweaks in the past months.
The important small bet is to write one down – today! Live with it for awhile and adjust accordingly.
What are your priorities? What is your personal credo?
Image Courtesy of www.mypersonalcredo.com