Defining My Values – And Other Brand Bogus

I’m in my Hermit phase, and gosh, it is painful and magical at the same time! Yes, that was a Taylor Swift and Tarot Card reference in the same line. Thank yewww. 

After a series of traumatic and painful events in my life, I decided to come home and hit the reset button. It was time. Now it’s been three months. My period of reflection and hermitude is coming to an end, and I am starting to rejoin the world. 

One of the main reasons my life became so painful was because I was not living by my values. At that time, I didn’t realize I had values or that I wasn’t living by them, all I knew was that I was unhappy. Like really really really unhappy. Like cry alone on your birthday unhappy. My Unhappy Birthday Cry was a profound moment for me, it was the moment I hit my rock bottom and decided to start changing my behavior.

It’s been nine months. I’ve been on a journey ever since, or more like a detective case trying to uncover the underlying causes for the moments of pain in my life. I have concluded that these moments of pain were often caused in response to someone or something conflicting with my values or myself contradicting them. 

Values are basic, fundamental, and individual beliefs that guide or motivate our attitudes and actions. Every single human has values. When humans work together, they often clarify on values: churches, companies, clubs. However, I have learned, just because you say you have certain values doesn’t mean you actually live by them, but it’s easier to know if you are living by them if you know what they are.  

To figure out what my values were, I used this worksheet from Carnegie Mellons’ career website. Thanks Google and the Internet for making quality information accessible! 

There are 400 plus values out there in the world that every person could be living by and slight nuances between them. There may be more that resonate, but more than five core values doesn’t mean core. It is all about refining and simplifying your values to the essentials. Or for me, the ones that cause me the most pain.

I thought I would share my five! By sharing them with you, I hope you will hold me accountable to living by these. It also might help you understand why you are my friend or choose to keep reading my blog posts. 

I’ve added them to my Twitter bio. Wouldn’t live be easier if everyone had shirts that said their values on them? I mean I guess that’s the whole idea of branding and religion – but still! In a secular world it’s confusing! How am I supposed to know every brand or every religious group?! There are SOOOO MANNY. I mean even people are now brands! My blog / Sammy – brand. Sheryl Sandberg – brand. Kanye – brand. Obama – brand. Donald Trump – brand. Brand brand brand brand brand! What is the world we are living in! 

Except that this is not new. If you have seen Hamilton the Musical, you will know that ‘brand’ and ‘personality’, or what was then called ‘reputation’ and ‘character’ were incredibly valuable and a perfectly good reason to die. 

So yeah – here are my five core values bitchessssss in no particular order!  I also want to say, these are allowed to change and I will reassess and refine them the more I develop as a person. 

Literary Pixie’s 5 Core Values


Being able to connect with others on a profound level of mutual understanding and concern. Not sympathy, but relating through shared experiences that transcend time, place, and diversity. 


Giving firm support and remaining committed through dedicated and consistent action. This can be shown both to institutions and people. 


The process of continual and infinite learning and development physically, mentally, and spiritually. 


Great energy, passion, and enthusiasm in pursuit of a vision, dream, cause, or objective! 


I think Hesse says it best, “The very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again!” (Demian aka the book that changed my life) 

Those are mine! What are yours?

“My Self” – Career Handout, Carnegie Mellon, Adapted from TapRoot – Read here!

Image is a close up from Long Beach Museum of Art, Moffat Takadiwa