YOUR Life Principles: What are you all about, really?
What are the principles you find necessary for living your life? Have you ever given it much thought? You know you must have life principles. They might be similar to those of others, but they are uniquely yours. Exactly how, when or if we decide to live by our principles evolve in real time.. It’s in the striving that we are human.
Here are some lists of PRINCIPLES to ponder:
Stephen Sondheim, author, lyricist, and musical genius in his book, “Finishing The Hat” (2010) states that there are three basic principles he tries to adhere to in his writing (in no particular order)
1. Content Dictates Form.
2. Less Is More.
3. God Is In The Details.
…all in the service of Clarity without which nothing else matters.
Another set of life principles are described in a slim volume of work authored by Don Miguel Ruiz, called, “The Four Agreements”. In it he describes:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Dan Harper, a Motivational Speaker gives this list:
1. Don’t be a sheep.
2. Make the hard decisions.
3. Be a treasure hunter; consciously find (and appreciate) the good in your world.
4. Choose your attitude every morning.
5. Be proactive, not reactive.
6. Seek to be wealthy, not rich
7. Don’t hang out with toxic people.
8. Don’t let your past become your future.
9. Strive for improvement not perfection
10. Don’t become your parents
11. Under-promise and over-deliver
12. Don’t eat what you don’t need.
13. Don’t rely on Motivation.
14. Do what scares you.
15. Stop looking for approval and permission.
16. Don’t give away your personal power.
17. Deal with problems quickly
18. Learn to control your internal environment.
19. Ask the right questions
20. Be adaptable.
So, how do you go about deciding your life principles? Well, you can start by listing all the things you would “never do” in any circumstance. Things like never killing anyone, stealing anything, or abusing a child. You could list the things you “always do”. Things like placing family above others or self, or staying true to commitments. Don’t be surprised if gaining some insight into your life principles takes some time. It helps if you can write down your principles and review them over and over again until you feel they’re right; adding, editing or deleting principles that don’t feel quite like your truth. Once you’ve got a real list, you can commit it to memory or keep it in a special place for you to review. The key thing to remember here is that these are YOUR PRINCIPLES. Don’t worry if they aren’t like anyone else’s. You aren’t living their life.
Stuff to ponder…