My Core Values

2019 October 24

I’ve never tried to verbalize my core values before, though it feels right to do so for the first time in 30 years of my life. I hope this post serves the right place for the future me to reflect on. This post is an open letter to my future self.

You might find many ancient Chinese wisdom influences below, which says a lot about my origin.

Balance

The Chinese idiom, “物極必反,” means “Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme.” Also, in classical Chinese philosophy, Confucianism (儒家), the core is about the Golden Mean (中庸之道). This is true for many situations: carbohydrates/sugar gives us energies, but too much of it causes diseases; sunlights are essential to our biology, but too much of it damages our skins.

This is also my opinion on many subjects, e.g., politics, finance, technologies, social media, etc. Generally, anything that generates too much hypes are dangerous.

I also believe striving for balance is a key to peace and happiness.

Compassion

“己所不欲,勿施於人,” translated to “Do not impose on others what you do not desire,” is undoubtedly the words I live by. This means to put others’ desires before yourself. Understand bad days could happen to anyone just like ourselves. And always give back to the communities because you owe them.

Self-compassion is equally crucial as the compassion to others. Don’t beat yourself up every time you make a mistake.

Autonomy

Autonomy is not about being independent. Instead, it’s about being dependable and become interdependent as a community. Autonomy is to taking initiatives, taking responsibilities, and willing to adapt. For example, don’t start eating out everyday because your employer pays you a lot. Don’t invest in those highest grossing stocks or whatever coin people are hyping about. Don’t let everyone’s opinion become your opinion by default.

Autonomy is the key to freedom - freedom of finance, freedom of mind.

Curiosity

Curiosity is a primal human drive to survive and grow. However, it’s easy to forget about it once we feel comfortable.

“Only the paranoid survives.” - Andrew Grove

Always challenge yourself to do difficult things. Do not be satisfied with your current status quo. Always take the road not taken.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Simplicity

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” - Leonardo Da Vinci

Simplicity keeps our lives focused, and fulfilled. Yet, simplicity is hard work, value to strive for. Especially in the era of information explosion, social media constantly fighting for your attention, new gadgets showing up every other day, it’s easy to lost simplicity.

Conclusion

  1. Balance
  2. Compassion
  3. Autonomy
  4. Curiosity
  5. Simplicity