Today’s exercise involves principles.
Write down 10 of the most important principles you believe in that shape your life priorities. What are the big-picture fundamentals that you know deep down should be guiding your decisions and that you all too often forget about in the daily grind? It doesn’t matter if they’re obvious or simple; you’re not trying to impress anyone with your list. This is your private reminder of the principles you ultimately want to be living with.
Because I’m also reading, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, this has come up as well as living a principled life. I’m going to try to form those aforementioned guidelines for my life here.
- Be accountable/responsible
- Be reliable
- Be trustworthy
- Be helpful in whatever capacity you can
- If you can’t be helpful, then be supportive (if it aligns with your other principles)
- Harm no one (that doesn’t ask nicely ;D –> and even then this one is very malleable)
- Draw your borders and stand by them. Know when enough is enough for you and validate it. If you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it. If you already have too many things going on, state that. Stand for yourself because no one else is going to.
- Be understanding.
- Be open minded/flexible. Support individuals for the common collective
- Be productive with all the time you have. You’re eventually going to run out, and you’ll wonder what you should have done instead.
Okay, then what borders am I willing to construct?
- I will not do something that is not beneficial to anyone. I will do nice things for people even at an inconvenience to myself, but those are for select people.
- I will decide what’s beneficial and what’s not. If it’s not providing some sort of positive impact, I won’t do it.
- I will select who is in my life and who I keep out. I ask myself, what do they contribute to my life? I also ask, can they be one of three things: sun (warm, unconditional love), lighthouse (be a beacon in times of trouble and willing to help when I need it), or a disco ball (someone who’s life is reflective, fun, and inspirational)? I don’t have time to waste on people that are not going to contribute in one fashion or another. Call me selfish, but I won’t do it.
- Make sure your relationships are based on these three things as well: mutuality, emotional control, and respect. All of them. Each and everyone. We can get in heated debates. But never will I subject myself to another yelling match.
- I will say no. And stand by it when I need to.
- I owe no one an explanation for the way I act. If I want to let you in, be thankful about that. Unless I work for you and mess up something, I owe you no explanation about my actions or why I do things unless I deem that it will give a positive impact.
- I will account for my flaws when I do indeed screw up. But it has to be merited. There can be nothing unfounded. If the foundation is dubious, please preamble it with “I feel…” I am much more receptive to that statement than accusatory statements.