Of this we can be certain, Life will challenge us to the "nth" degree. Over the course of our lifetime, we will be rocked to our core. How we respond to these difficulties determine the quality of life that we experience. It would behoove us then, to establish "core values" to see us through the tempests that are sure to come. This will provide an "anchor" so that we aren't blown upon the rocks or run aground. How do we go about forging this anchor? Link by link, that's how.
The best way that I found constructing each individual link in the chain is to ask myself; "who am I?" There are obvious answers for most of us; I am a ________ (lets fill in some blanks. Male, female, mother, father, wife, husband, son, daughter, sales rep, church goer, volunteer, etc etc). However, I don't believe we will achieve the tensile strength we desire in our chain if we stop there. These descriptions often become "roles" we play rather than a genuine expression of "who am I." Let me give a personal example. I could say, I am a writer; I am a poet. Or I could say, I am creative. The latter example removes the "role-defining" a. There is an inherent, self-imposed limitation to having that "a" there.
So this is my suggestion; boil your descriptions down to there absolute essence. Rather than saying, I am a caring, concerned individual; say, "I am empathetic." The links forged will be a series of "I Am's" that reveal exactly who you truly are. Knowing who you truly are is the anchor that will see you through the most violent storm.