Whether we realize it or not, we all have some sort of principles. Principles are things we refuse to do or always do. They are the rules of thumb or code of ethics we follow. Our principles are what we live by. One principle might be to always being honest or to treat all people with respect. Principles come in all shapes and sizes, but together they are the bedrock of who we are as a person.
Developing strong principles leads to a good life. Living by your own code will keep you at peace. Having good values can help you fade regret out of your life. Regret comes down to two simple things, regret of doing something and regret of not doing something. When your code of ethics is one that forbids you from doing harm to others, you will not have regrets for your actions. When your code requires you to put your best foot forward and take a well calculated risk, you will not have regrets because you took a chance. Developing strong principles and living by them will help eliminate regret from your life.
Great things are in store for those with great character. People are drawn to people full of integrity. People will want to be around you and great opportunities will come your way when you are a person of high moral character. If things are not going well for you in life and opportunities are not flowing in, maybe it is a sign you need to improve yourself. We are never perfect and we can always improve. The more we grow, the greater we become. The greats can’t be ignored in the long run. If you feel ignored, then it is time to focus on creating worthy principles and follow them. You can become a highly sought after person by following a high moral standard.
The people you respect in life are full of integrity. They live by strong moral principles that guide their daily actions. It’s what causes you and others to be drawn to them. What is it about these people that make you respect them so much? What do they do that causes you to admire them? Chances are that whatever you like about them so much you can become yourself.
If you admire a person for their honesty, you can decide to live by the principle “to always tell the truth.” If you admire someone for their work ethic, you can live by the principle “to always give your all for the things you care for.” If you admire someone for the love they express to others, you can live by the principle “to always show love and be a bright spot in people’s days.” I learned that a lot of the people I read about and considered great in my life were people who radiated positive energy. So, I decided to live by the principle “to live life full of positive energy” and over time began to develop the trait that I admired so much in others. It is amazing how in life when you make a definite decision, things begin to fall in place. You can develop the trait you respect in others when you make the decision to become what you like in them.
You will be tested when you develop your code of principles and live by them. Whenever you feel pressure from the others to act contrary to your beliefs, ask yourself “who am I?” if I don’t do what I ought to do. “Who am I?” if I betray what I hold most sacred. “Who am I?” if I am a bystander to wrong. This will help get you to do what you know you have to. In the times I did not do what I should do, I felt terrible and learned from these mistakes. These moments caused me to say to myself “I don’t ever want to feel like that again.” The amount of times that I have had that feeling of remorse are fewer and fewer the more I have begun to embody the principles I live by.
There is no greater joy in life than doing what you know is right. Showing your love for others, working valiantly to achieve something great, standing up for the person who needs it, being there for others in their darkest times, or whatever is righteous. Having a strong set of principles gives you a moral compass to follow in life. As Gordon A. Eadie said,
“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”
Good principles lead to avoiding great pitfalls.
Write down what you value most in life.
Write down what makes you consider someone a great man or woman.
Write out principles that are in accordance with your values that you are willing to live by i.e. always be there for my family and friends, don’t speak badly about others, always tell the truth, etc…
Start small with a few principles and try to exemplify them for the next week. You might find more meaning in your everyday life than ever before.