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    My Personal Core Values

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    Like the Air Force Core Values, each Airman, or individual, has their own unique set of values that define their moral compass and often outlines the way one goes about achieving their goals. These principles drive each and every one of us toward greater achievement and help guide us in our daily decision making. We do not want to hit the bare minimum, and so we create these standards with which we base our life; specifically, I strive to live my life on five core values that I have discovered align with the Air Force Core Values fairly well: resourcefulness, open-mindedness, selflessness, balance, and growth.

    Though it is often thought of as a value, resourcefulness is an essential mindset. It requires a specific train of thought, particularly in encouraging and driving us through difficult problems or obstacles, both in our personal and professional lives. It is especially relevant when our goals seem difficult to achieve. It requires imagination, initiative, and ingenuity; however, the virtue of being resourceful is not in creativity, but often involves careful planning and efficient decision-making so that we may handle any obstacle that we might encounter. It is a definitive category of “Excellence in All We Do,” as we strive to provide only the best in proper utilization of resources, especially with indispensable skill and talent.

    This requires competence and confidence and proves that the same individuals who are resourceful must also be open-minded, especially in today’s day and age of new ideas and worldviews. This requires being honest and implementing “Integrity First.” Additionally, those who embody true resourcefulness often strive to educate themselves beyond their normal responsibilities so that they are able to provide a set of valuable attributes to their team. It is a virtue that leads to greater accomplishment – excellence. After all, Albert Einstein did say, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”

    While resourcefulness often embodies open-mindedness, it should be seen as a worthy value of its own. Being open-minded requires the ability to break boundaries and redefine what is and is not possible. In doing so, it’s imperative that we consider new ideas and differing thoughts from our own, to make mistakes and learn from them. At times, other’s ideas will prove more successful than your own, but being open-minded is about finding value in all kinds of different people, events, and circumstances, and learning from them. This can be seen as a key factor or “Service Before Self,” as we learn to adopt new beliefs and ideals surrounding the diversity of our workplace.

    As such, it is imperative that we see the strength in each point of view and embrace an array of possibilities, opportunities, thoughts, views, suggestions, and experiences outside of our norm. It requires reaching outside your comfort zone and discovering new things to improve, expand, and grow as an individual, while maintaining proper respect – “Excellence in All We Do.” In doing so, there is an honesty in admitting that you are not all-knowing. As such, it proves a relation to the Air Force Core Value of “Integrity First,” which emphasizes honesty and maintaining trust that unites us through common goals and purpose.

    Similarly, when we look at “Service Before Self” the first thing to come to mind is selflessness; specifically, this traditional virtue of generosity is about services to a worthy cause – the bigger picture – sometimes at the cost of our personal desires. Being selfless requires an individual to look at the entire group for recognition, instead of to themselves. It is the desire and selfless care for others without expecting anything in return – you derive no personal gain from your actions. In fact, selflessness is a key virtue because it binds men together and proves to each individual that they are not alone; it produces courage, a key virtue of “Integrity First,” which defines doing the right thing despite fear and empowers us to make ourselves better, and builds on the Warrior Ethos and brotherly love.

    Despite valuing selflessness, it’s imperative, too, that we learn to value balance; specifically, it can be hard at times to see the balance between personal and professional life and goals, and requires proper accountability and ownership of our actions – “Integrity First.” Balance involves making the time for things that matter most to us, and at times, that can mean family, friends, or work. It does not mean there has to be a definitive split between life and work, but that we intentionally prioritize what matters most to us on a daily basis. Most of the time, this means being able to express most, if not all, of our core values. In doing so, we begin to feel more energized, fulfilled, and purposeful, instead of feeing stressed and dissatisfied. The key is to not let any single thing dominate your life. In turn, it can allow greater focus on the task at hand and truly impact your life positively. This properly embodies “Excellence in All We Do” which directs us to develop continuous improvement that propels the Air Force and ourselves beyond the capabilities of our enemies.

    Last but not least, it’s imperative to value growth. This is not limited to growth through education or training, but specifically, it’s growth through your various aspects of your personality. Growth is possible everywhere, and it is important to look for lessons in your past mistakes and learn from them. That being said, it’s easy to ignore the growth and react defensively, causing avoidance and stubbornness in your ways. How you respond is your opportunity for growth, and that’s why they’re called ‘growing pains’ – sometimes, it can be hard to accept. This is when true professionalism emerges and defines you as a professional. It is the embodiment of both “Service Before Self” and “Excellence in All We Do.” We prove this in the way we choose to grow to better those around us and improve the success of the mission and bigger picture, but also in the strength it takes to truly grow from our mistakes and lessons learned. In doing so, we provide only excellence in our future endeavors, always striving for the best and improving ourselves toward betterment of the Air Force mission.

    Believe it or not, at the beginning of this assignment, I did not feel my values of resourcefulness, open-mindedness, selflessness, balance, and growth properly aligned with the Air Force Core Values. To my surprise, I was able to find more similarities than I thought feasible. Most of my values overlap “Service Before Self” and “Excellence in All We Do,” and I figured that would be the case from the start; however, I found more similarities than I thought possible with “Integrity First.” Breaking it up into the three subsections of honesty, courage, and accountability helped see the bigger picture of self-control and it’s relation to my moral compass. Since then, I can only see a positive impact of these core values and my personal and professional achievements as they positively impact the greater Air Force mission to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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