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Passion Circle

Nitin Julka (njulka -at- gmail...I'd love to hear from you)
Passion Circle
Updated: 7/6/2013

Everyone has their own set of evolving values - whether articulated or not. I am constantly coming up with small mantras, lists of values, or mini “missions” to help me stay focused and grounded.

One of my most enduring images of my own values is something I affectionately refer to as the Passion Circle. I find it important to live a life of passion while upholding my values.

Then, there is my pyramid.

Integrity is the base of my pyramid because I try making integrity the foundation of all the activities in my life. I know that integrity can sometimes sound cliche, but I find myself often facing challenging situations where ‘a small white lie’ or ‘omitting a small detail’ or ‘nobody will ever find out’ would make my life much easier in the short-term.

But I believe that living a life of integrity means never compromising my honesty and trustworthiness.

I also consider another element of integrity to be treating all individuals as fairly as possible, regardless of their position . If I say that, “I will get that document to you by Thursday,” then I will put all my energy and focus into getting them the document by Thursday or letting them know ahead of time if I won't be able to.

One other method I utilize to ensure that I am living a life of integrity is to ask the question, “If what I was doing was being published in my biography or the front page of a newspaper, would I be proud of how I acted?” If the answer is “no,” then I know that my action does not represent something of integrity.

Openness to feedback. I feel that my own knowledge is limited and that I can learn from everyone around me. That is why I am constantly soliciting input and feedback. After meetings with colleagues or clients, I try to ask, “Do you have any feedback for me or our organization?" If the person says something relevant, I will jot down a note and attempt to incorporate it into my habits and priorities.

Optimism. I find long-term optimism to be a good way for me to operate. While I know that other highly productive people do not always share this trait, in my experience, an optimistic mindset provides me with guidance in working through short-term challenges. Optimism inspires me to work hard, persevere, continue self-development, and enables my colleagues achieve at their highest level.

Listening. I battled with “listening problems” for years. I view deep listening as one of the most important traits and values in my life. It requires an empty mind and complete focus on the person or people in front of you. In my opinion, a significant component of listening is not thinking about the next thing you want to say and instead allowing the person to fully share their thoughts. I have found a few strategies to greatly help my listening skills. I try repeating, summarizing, or asking questions about what the person said to ensure that I fully comprehended their ideas. I also try reserving my views and judgments as much as possible until I have taken the time to reflect and fully consider the other person’s perspectives instead of quickly jumping in with my own point of view.

Hard work. I understand that there are different schools of thought on this one. The idea that resonates with me is the following: If you take two organizations of equal talent and equal personnel - the one who works harder will win. Benjamin Franklin constantly promoted being “frugal” and “industrious.” In my opinion, hard work will be a crucial value in my entire life.

Intelligence. I am most conflicted about this as a “value” because there are so many forms of intelligence - social, intellectual, organizational, or academic. Also, intelligence is somewhat more of an intrinsic trait than a value. The reason I have it on my list, though, is because I think it is important to constantly be striving to be as thoughtful as possible and commit to lifelong learning. It is important to be a strong problem solver, writer, and learner.

Patience. Patience, in my mind, is related to listening and openness to feedback. I constantly tell myself “slow down,” “be thoughtful,” or “this will work in time.” Again - I understand that some thinkers disagree with the concept of patience. Bill Gates says that he is an “impatient optimist.” While I’d always like things to get done as soon as possible, I also think it is important to be patient in terms of expecting outcomes. Good things will happen in time, and it is important for me to enjoy the journey of doing rather than impatiently expecting things to immediately happen.

Simplicity. This is one of my favorites! My favorite Einstein quotes is. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” This, to me, summarizes it. I constantly find myself battling over-complexity in ideas, thoughts, and plans - even my own. I also find that a focused effort to make things “as simple as possible” has served me well as I try building the best life and organization I can.