Excellent example of self reflection and explicitly defining your values and purpose

I spend a lot of my time encouraging students and leaders to focus on self reflection in order to be more self aware and define their values, purpose, and what really matters in life beyond the superficial and materialism.

Every once in a while, someone sends me a copy of what this all means to them. To state the obvious, there is no one way to do this, and the values and areas of focus will be different for each person.

Here is a note I received from a good friend last week that I have read several times. It has really helped my personal self reflection:

Hi Harry, I thought I would share this with you. A tab from my “life excel doc.” You can see the influence from reading your books and being raised by my parents 🙂


  • I don’t use tobacco or Nicotine products (occasional cigar or pipe)
  • I only drink alcohol in Moderation-socially (guiding principles: 0-2 drink max)
  • I go to Sunday Mass
  • I go to monthly Confession
  • I tithe my money each year
  • I don’t lust after women, they are my sisters in Christ
  • I don’t take advantage of people, I love them
  • I have a positive impact on the world, I am one of “those guys”
  • I don’t use foul language, I honor God by my speech and example
  • I am a man of integrity (I do not cheat and I play above board)
  • I am open to and seek opportunities to create a positive experience and generate high value in the lives of others 🙂
  • Relationships are the most valuable thing: with God, family, friends, others
  • I know myself and steer clear of overly dangerous situations where I may lose self control
  • I form connected and Christ-centered relationships with others (whether they know it or not 🙂 )


Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash


  • Thanks for forwarding this list of values / life guidelines. It inspired me to create my own list as a reminder of my priorities.

    I also wanted to add that these are not a list of “must do’s” as part of a life plan. Rather these are the “want to do’s” that provide love, happiness and fulfillment. Notice there wasn’t anything hung about money, power or being a famous influencer.


  • Efrain Cardenas

    Harry, Efrain here, EMP 94 grad. Appreciate the courage in sending this out. I know in the business world Catholicism is not always embraced. Keep shining. 🙂

    If you’d permit me to share…While at Demontreville (thank you for the intro), similarly I used one weekend to define my Mission in this life

    My mission

    To be a servant to God. Be present, find gratitude, be childlike in my enthusiasm and curiosity, be spiritual before human, to look first for spiritual explanations before the secular, the limiting, the probable; to answer every question with compassion, lead with mercy and unconditional love, be a Eucharistic minister. Depend fully on God with complete confidence. Waste time with Jesus, savor his surprises, feed my faith, contemplate him holding me in adoration, train my eyes to see him my ear to hear him and my feeling to be touched by him, God loves me so bring joy, generosity, compassion, optimism, and faith in A BIG WAY!, stand taller, smile bigger, be louder!; Live life as if you believed God loves me unconditionally, do not let others feelings dictate my feelings. Joyfully help the economically and socially poor; to bring freedom to slaves and help the blind see: CLUES, Lionsgate, Demontreville, St. Edward’s Church, Franciscan retreat house.

    I am very curious what else is in that “life excel doc”. Keep sharing. Shalom. Efrain Cardenas



  • Wow, just WOW! Thanks for sharing!


  • Charles Rossmann

    My values statement, which I’ve tweaked over the years, is: “My vocation is to be a happy, healthy, & holy son, brother, friend, husband, and father so I can invite people to Heaven. I practice my faith and remain in a state of grace, love my wife and stay married, am a good provider and tithe, and spend time with our family.


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