You Are What You Were When…

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“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving…and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” Louisa May Alcott

Here it is the end of January already, where does the time go? While I have not been posting I have been thinking about it a lot. Today, this last day in January, I decided it was time to put my blogging commitment down in writing.  Time always goes faster than I would like it. Tomorrow is here before you even knew yesterday ended. This year my posts will follow a more “pre-determined” pattern. Each month I will commit to sharing a bit more about my life experiences and what I have learned from them.  This decision came from remembering some training I attended early in my managerial career. Some of you may have heard of the term “you are what you were when.”  I paraphrased this term from my early managerial training in the 80’s created by a sociologist, Morris Massey.  The basic premise behind this is we are all shaped by the world around us. If you examine your values, the generation you were born in, and the Significant Emotional Events in your life you will come to better understand the person you are today. Understanding the major periods in your life and the events that impact them will not only give you a better understanding of yourself but also help you understand others.

With all this in mind, I will walk you through my generation and the events that I think significantly influenced my value system.  As we travel this journey together, I will share with you the lessons I learned at each cross-road and how that lesson continues to influence my values today.

For this post, I’ll give you what I consider a roadmap in my own words taken from Massey’s work. I encourage you as we travel along together to review your individual journey to the destination of becoming the person you are today.

On this roadmap, there are three major periods or stops as I will call them. These periods Massey attributes to forming the values we have today.  They are the imprint period, the modeling period, and the socialization period.  I will take the liberty of describing these, they are the sponge, the copycat, and the influenced times in our lives. This early shaping of our values systems stays with us for life and the only thing that can change it is a significant emotional event. This last can be the loss of a job, a divorce, the loss of a loved one, or anything that rocks our world.  I have listed the negative significant emotional events, but these can be positive as well. I see each of these events as a cross-road for me in my life.

As I continue to post you will come to know where my value system comes from when I visited the sponge, stopped at the Copycat Inn, and landed under the influence. As I arrived at each cross-road along the way I will try to explain how I see the impact that had on my life.  At each of these stops I will try to explain what I learned that I carry along with me to this stop in the road that is today.

So put on your walking shoes and get out your hiking stick, we’re in for a long journey.

“Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us and those around us more effectively. Look for the learning.” Louisa May Alcott