In our experience, values and principles form the foundation for everything. From the health of our inter-personal relationships to the success we experience in our careers – our values and principles and our ability to stay true to them make all the difference. So, we asked the community to share the values and principles that matter most.

Ellakisha O’Kelley | Empowerment Attorney

I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper. This principle assumes the responsibility we have as human beings to use our talents, resources, and skills to improve the lives of each other. Especially, those that are disenfranchised or stuck in battles that we were blessed to overcome. It guides me in being a beneficial presence in our existence. Read more>>

Bakari B. | The Lyricist, Da Don Dada, & The Juice

I have two main principles that I stick by. Cherish those who are in your corner, and always remember who you are. It’s always imperative to remember, respect, and care for those who want you to succeed and who are helping you along your journey. No one person can get to huge goals or success alone. It usually takes a team or collective to reach it. You should always cherish them for their service (paid or not), and because tomorrow is not promised for anyone. Read more>>

Geinene Carson | Visual Artist

As a practicing artist, I have come to believe that there is no opportunity too small or insignificant to seize, because you just never know where it may lead to next. Like dominoes, one opportunity can uniquely lead to another with the next success potentially hinging on just one solid contact or relationship established. When I submitted my art for exhibit at a small local library several years ago, I did not consider it a significant opportunity; rather, just a way to keep my work somewhat visible and out of my cluttered studio. Read more>>

Ashton Reynolds | Entertainment Mogul/Founder of Blessed Koast

Accountability. Along with discipline and transparency, these three intangibles work as a cohesive unit to ensure that you are prepared to handle the upcoming obstacles that are attached to success. Indeed, everyone has the general idea of success embedded in their mind as something that all aspires to achieve, but the process separates those who truly want it from those who only talk about it. If you want it, you have accepted the challenge to truly discover and live out your purpose. Read more>>

Tayla Gay | Gymnastics, Tumbling and Fitness Coach

The values that are most important to me are Integrity, Kindness, and Courage. I feel in anything you do or accomplish it’s about integrity. You have to be honest and have strong morals and values to stand by and for. Additionally, it is important to show kindness in your everyday life. I am a fan of Ellen Degeneres’s “be kind” initiative. Showing love and understanding doesn’t require a lot of effort; we should incorporate love and compassion in our everyday lives; it will surely reduce anxiety and stress. Read more>>

Michael Vincent Parks | Lifestyle Portriat Photographer

The most important principle for Mister Mundane Photography is enjoying every moment. In the age of social media, many people spend their days stressing over matters that are ultimately difficult to suppress. The Mister Mundane Photography brand serves as an escape to an endless perfect day which is cherished by all walks of life. Read more>>

Megan Blaising | Author & Adjunct Professor of Sociology

Integrity. Having personal moral integrity encourages true authenticity; thus, allowing the manifestation of some of our greatest work as when it’s real, it resonates. Moreover, being morally undivided and unified permits peace – and sadly – peace today seems seldom. Knowing yourself that intimately allows a certain freedom that I argue most do not have the privilege of experiencing. Being able to trust yourself to that magnitude in a world that conditions us to second guess our every decision, and preference is liberating. Read more>>

A.K. Barr | A.K. Barr

One of the principles that matter to me the most is, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” That value means a lot to me because I always believed everyone should be treated with the same respect that they would like in return. It amazes me how awful some people are toward other people…merely because they feel that they can. If the tables were turned, I’m sure they wouldn’t like it. I believe if everyone adhered to this philosophy…the world would be a better place. Not perfect but a little better. Read more>>

Corey Snowden | Actor/Screenwriter/Director

Integrity. I’ve come to a place in my life and my career that I no longer care about what other people think of me. I am no longer concerned with following the crowd or being judged by not doing what everyone else is doing. I value my character. I value my beliefs. I know my voice matters, even if no one wanted to hear it. I know my story matters, even if no one wanted to see it. I have good intentions with every character I portray as an actor, every inspirational story I create with my screenplays, and every valuable message I wish to tell as a director. Keeping my integrity and my core values is essential. Read more>>

Nakisha Adams | CEO of Skribble INC.

The value that matters the most to me is integrity. It is important that my clients trust me and trust that I am representing their best interests. I have been taught, that it is not about what you do when people are looking, but what you do when they are not. Read more>>

Holly Miller | Artist

Respect There are very few things that I clearly remember from my early childhood but 2 questions I asked my mom at a very young age have stuck with me throughout my life The first question was “who do you love more, me or daddy?” “ your dad. I love you and your sister but your father is my first love.” It took me a few days to digest her answer and get over my shock but eventually I realized that it was a deeply honest and sobering answer that kept me from getting a fat head and kept me grounded. Read more>>