July 2019

Values: Deciding What Really Matters teaser image
Dr. Shaub is a mentor of mine and someone I greatly respect. He does not simply talk the talk—he walks the walk. I had the opportunity to be two of his classes this past year: Auditing and Ethics. Through my six semesters and two summers of classes at Texas A&M, Ethics is my favorite class among them all. Dr. Shaub has taught me many important lessons; the core commonality of those lessons is the importance of knowing one’s values. Our values are critical to who we are. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “If you don’t know who you are, there is someone out there waiting to turn you into someone they want you to be.”
In a fast-paced, over-stimulated world, it can be easy to adopt thoughts and beliefs around you without a question or a second thought. To stop, ask, and think, “What do I truly value?” is a loaded task. What does value—in the noun and the verb—actually mean? The relevance of Dr. Shaub’s quote is that not knowing what really matters to you leads to certain vulnerability. The people who influence you can be good, or they can be bad. Even if they are “good,” your values would not be self-chosen. Imitation is different from adoption. It can be effortless to imitate; that is what we do as children. To adopt something is more individual, it takes willpower, it says “yes” in bold and underlined letters. Imitation simply says “ok.”
Learning and maturing into adults during college is a formative time. If we choose to take the time to step away from the noise and ask ourselves what we value, we will be prepared to answer to our beliefs and values with the actions we take. What really matters to you? How do you believe you ought to live? Do your actions align with the principles you have chosen? Know who you are so you may be steadfast in the “whys” behind your actions and beliefs.

---Lauren Abiog
Lauren Abiog is a Masters student enrolled in Mays Business School

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