The Big 5

The Big 5 has many meanings. In psychology it has to do with personality. We can tell everything about a person from 5 simple words that seemingly don't fit together. It is the fundamental core of personality psychology and research, and it makes us who we are.

I also have another Big 5. A personal Big 5, if you will. I first learned them as a 14 year old Cadet at a military academy I attended during my early high-school days. These 5 traits have been drilled into my brain and have become core to who I am now, as an adult. Loyalty, Labour, Courage, Honour, Committment. When I first heard them, they were 5 random words placed in a circle around my Academy's crest on my shirt. But when I looked around, it was everywhere. On my shirt, sweater, shorts, anything that had the crest. It was engraved onto our capbadges (which, by the way, would blind you if you looked at in direct sunlight they were so polished!). By the end of my first week of basic training, those 5 simple words defined who I was becoming. They bonded the Recruits together, made us family - they made us brothers. Striving to uphold the values of the Academy as best we could, and then do it better. By week two, we had written a 7 page essay (1 page per word plus intro and conclusion), and the Big 5 were officially part of who we were. It has remained a part of me to this day, 13 years later. I still remember hearing my instructors telling us for the first time how critical it was that we remember them.

I'm not asking for an essay. I'm asking for 5 minutes of your time to consider what the Big 5 means to you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or write them down and bring them in. My hope is that the simple words change your life for the better, just as they had done for me.

Always remain loyal to what you believe. Always work hard at any task you do. Find something that scares you, and do it anyway. Take pride in what you do and who you are. Always see a task through to the very end, and give it your all.

Loyalty. Labour. Courage. Honour. Committment.