I have always liked "principles." They must satisfy my need to simplify the complex. The problem is I seem to have gathered together too many "lists" of them. The result? I fear they could possibly be complicating the simple. So of late I have been in search of a new all encompassing list that will ensure all those other ones can be forgotten, or at least dispatched to experience. At long last I feel my journey may have reached its zenith. I have found a list of five - from the always excellent Farnham Street Blog - that I am still reflecting on (a good sign) and slowly progressing to acceptance. I want to share these with you. Those of you who have already been subjected to these, think on them more. The rest of you, read on. This may be a breakthrough moment for you, or a means to think deeply, or an "aha" moment, or simply a "that's interesting" read. You never know!
Direction over Speed. If you're headed in the wrong direction it doesn't matter how fast you're going, you're not going to get there! But if you are locked onto a goal, personal or business, and know how to get there, speed becomes less important. In fact sometimes you may slow, or stop for a while. Doesn't matter. That is often the way things are. We need to stay the course and be confident that we will get there.
Live Deliberately. How often do we go into auto pilot and just do what we did last week, last month, last year? Sometimes we will be living in order to get that promotion, buy that new house, plan that next trip. But what we often don't do is live today. Living deliberately is about awareness and purposeful action. Set time aside today to pursue your dreams. Start today to learn the things you would like to know. Reach out today to repair that strained relationship.
Thoughtful Opinions Held Loosely. I really like this one. How do you respond when you're faced with evidence and facts that go against a long held belief? Do you update your knowledge base with these new facts, or do you flail about and try to rationalise and refute the new facts so that the status quo is unaffected? Human nature causes us to disregard new information that doesn't relate to our own deeply held beliefs. We tend to hold our opinions very tightly! Some of us will never let them go. Well, we are in the enlightened age. Some of yesterdays facts are todays fiction. We all need to take our blinkers off and accept that the first stage of learning is awareness!
Principles Outlive Tactics. Tactics are the "what" and "how." Principles are the "why." This is a simple one. If we don't know why, how do we know what and how?
Own Your Actions. Another simple one, but also one that goes against the very fabric of our being! Own up! Take the blame when you have stuffed up! It is the only way to improvement, and the only way to Trust.
Principles should help us when we have a difficult decision to make, when we are unsure, when our confidence is at a low ebb, when we see risk and failure in every corner. Think about these. Do they suit? Will you actually use them? Or are they too hard? Remember, the power of reflection is the answer to ignorance!
Be well, stay focused and abide by principles.