The importance of principles.
Principles are vital in our day to day living, principles gives our life a sense of purpose, they make us understand the real meaning of life, when you live under principles, you don't go with the wave of the mass, you stand by what you believe is right, and by those things that makes you grow to the direction of your goals, you stand by your true self meaning and values, when you become a principles centred person, you see things differently, and because you see things differently, you think differently, and because you think differently, then you act differently, and this is what gives you the foundation of a highly effective and highly productive life.
What are principles?
Principles are laws or rules that has to be followed, they are guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct, and by approaching our life with principles, we create a solid foundation for development of the four life support factors, according to Stephen covy, in his book 7 habits of highly effective people, the four factors are; security, guidance, wisdom and power, security-is the sense of worth, your identity and self esteem, guidance- is the direction of life, the standards and values that governs decision making, wisdom, this is your sense of balance, the ability to know how things are done and why, the understanding of how the 4 principles apply, power - this is the vital energy to make choices, and decisions, and the capacity to overcome deeply embedded bad habits, and develop new good habits.
When you have set principles, all the four factors are constant, they do not shift according to environmental changes, principles define who you are as a person, and they live deeply within you, but when you don't have principles, the four factors can change when environmental factors changes, you are reactive instead of being proactive, here are some other types of paradigm that we can place as analogy to principal focused paradigm, they are, and not limited to:- spouse /family centred paradigm, money centred paradigm, possession centred paradigm, pleasure centred paradigm, friends centred paradigm, enemy centred paradigm, church centred paradigm and self centred paradigm, when you have one of this type of paradigm, your decisions will be made based on your specific paradigm. which changes every time the circumstance changes, this individual is reactive in nature and not proactive.
How does your paradigm affect your decision making?
lets take for example you are have planned to spend a quality day with your spouse or family, and then before the day starts, you get a call from your business partner, informing you of a deal you need to take part in that day, you have three choices to make based on three different paradigms, if you are spouse/family centred that means you will make you decisions based on your current feeling and cancel the business deal, and go with the family, if you are money centred, you will cancel the family day out and go with that current money feeling and go for the business deal, even without thinking about it.
On the other hand, if you are principle centred, you will try to stand apart from the emotions of the situation, and from other factors that would act on you, and then evaluate the options putting everything into consideration, your money needs, and your family needs, your Goals in life, and come up with the best possible solution, based on your principles centred paradigm.
lets see how principles centred paradigm affects the 4 factors, security :- your security is based on correct principles that do not change regardless of external conditions, guidance:- you are guided by goals which enables you to see where you want to go and how you will get there, wisdom :- you are proactive hence you see things differently, and act differently from the largely reactive world, power:- your decisions and actions are not driven by your current financial or circumstantial limitations, therefore, if you have set principles, you will make a decision that you wont regret later based on your principles.
How do we develop principle centred paradigm?
To develop principle centred paradigm, you need to consider the end result, who you want to be, think of what's important to you, if somebody told you, you have a month to live, what would you do with your time? with yourself? who will you spend time with? this is the way you can tell what's really important to you, then use your creative imagination/vision, using hypnosis, go into trance and envision yourself on who you want to be, see yourself doing the things you want to do, see yourself 20 years from now, then come back and back track your vision and come up with a plan and principles that will help you get there, those principles should be in harmony with your mind body and spirit, putting everything that matters to you into consideration.
Before you do anything everyday, ask yourself, is this going to help me attain my goal? is it in line with my principles? See? When you have principles, you become a proactive person, and not a reactive individual, with principles, your life develops a meaning and a purpose, and everyday is a winning day. no single day will you ever end with a regret of, oh, I wish I did this and that in a different way, you always know you did well all you could have done at that particular time. but with all other paradigm, you make decisions out of your current situation and circumstance, out of emotions.
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."