Mantra Making: An Exploration of Core Values

9th Grader, Marie, shares how her irrepressible nature led her to the empowered mantra – “I am Strong.”

Just a like a potter’s hands sculpt clay, your environment shapes who you are. Ever since
I was little, I’ve more or less lived by the mantra “If you’re not bleeding or dying, you’re ok.”
It’s a result of tough love and a mantra I’m not ashamed of; it led me to become the resilient person I am today.

With my mantra, comes the inherent feeling of strength when I power through my challenges. It leads to the derivative of my mantra: “I am STRONG”.  This strength however isn’t always physical, it becomes mentally and emotionally directed as well. The physical, mental, and emotional aspects of my mantra lead to some of my other core values which are all centered around “I am STRONG”.  Take for example HONOR. It’s not easy to continuously be an honorable person who upholds moral values in the face of adversities. To
do so takes strength, and is therefore the reason HONOR is one of my core values.

Similarly, COURAGE is another value of mine that requires strength. COURAGE is a trait that may be called for in a multitude of situations like friendships, relationships, and other settings. For lack of a better option, though I believe Harry Potter is a rather good one, take Albus Dumbledore’s quote as proof. “…It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” He proves for me that COURAGE requires strength of many kinds in the challenges that are presented to each of us daily.”

Unveiling one’s core value can help bring clarity and purpose to the way in which one interacts with the world at large.

Discover your Mantra:

  • Make a list of your 5 most important core values – you can find a very comprehensive list below.
  • Once you have your list, cross one value off, leaving yourself with four values
  • Narrow it further, by crossing off another
  • Repeat this process until you are left with one single value, “I am ______________.” 


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