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Are You Anchored to Your Values and Aspirations?

Jane Jiyoung Park, Musician, Entrepreneur & Mother of Three

          It is important to have a guiding star that shows you where to go when you feel lost. Everyone gets worn out sometimes and feels ill-equipped to face life’s daunting responsibilities. We are also all vulnerable to distractions and temptations. However, as long as we know what’s most important to us and our lives, then we can correct our course and keep moving in the right direction. We must constantly engage in candid reality checks and make sure that our actions align with our values—our vision of who we want to become and who we ought to be.

          My own values mirror the faith I keep and practice. My Christian faith has taught me the power of a life led by God and the importance of accountability, integrity, compassion, perseverance, optimism, and positivity. These are the core values to which I anchor myself in every aspect of my life.

          Equally important are our aspirations. We all have dreams. My children and I talk about our future plans all the time. At this point, I know that my dreams are not as ambitious as my husband’s. But having a dream in the first place—even if it’s only a short-term plan or hope—is what’s important. Such a dream will inspire and excite you, waking you up early in the morning.

          My dream has always been to help others through music. My mother started telling me when I was five and first started playing piano that she thanked God for giving me this great gift and prayed that I would use it to help other people thrive. I have been so deeply grateful for the impact I’ve been able to make through music.

          I also try to help others by listening. My friends have told me that they find peace in talking to me. All I ever do is lend my ears to them, pray with and for them, and try to cheer them up, but these humble tools work, and my ambition is to continue these efforts, supporting them through all their challenges. From a grand perspective, such dreams may look vague and modest, but what matters most is having them, and pursuing them for the betterment of yourself and others.

          Over the years, many of my women friends have shared stories with me about their relationship challenges, at home and in the workplace. Summing it up, they often conclude that their difficulties stem from choice constraints, conflicts in priority-setting, and other aspects of human dynamics. At such moments, I always remind them of the importance of anchoring yourself to your core values and aspirations.

          This excerpt was extracted from our latest book in the ‘Rethinking Asia Series’. To read the full article in ‘Rethinking Asia 8: Women’s Leadership Retold,’ click here.

Learn more about the Center for Asia Leadership’s programmes in strategic foresight and adaptive leadership here at

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