I’ve heard many profound statements in my life. This quote by Harrington Emerson on the importance of principles is one I cherish so much. He said,
“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
No truer words have been said. Your principles of living determine your default response to whatever life throws at you. To a large extent, it also determines what will come to you in the first place. Principles make men just as men make principles.
No man can make the most of life who doesn’t live by principles. Today, I share a few principles of living that have helped me make the most of life.
1. Direction over speed
Speed is a disadvantage when you’re moving in the wrong direction. If you are on the right path, every progress is additive. Doesn’t matter how slow you are. Before thinking of what you’ve achieved and how far along you are in life, ask yourself, ‘Am I on the right path?’
2. Value is attractive
It was English preacher, John Wesley, who said, “I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn.” That’s what value looks like. It attracts people. When you become a person who gives value, in whatever form that is, people will naturally gravitate towards you.
3. Growth is non-negotiable
I am better today than I was yesterday. I will be better tomorrow than I am today. For anyone who wants to be relevant, you must embrace the process of growth that keeps you becoming better every day. Becoming a lifelong learner is one way to do this.
4. Take responsibility
It’s easy to accept the consequences of your action when the results are pleasant. Anybody can do that. But the best kinds of people also know how to take responsibility for their errors. Choose to give no excuses. Soon, you’ll find that you don’t have any to give.
5. Give ceaselessly
Instead of focusing on what you can get from the world, think about what you can give to it. When your life is more about giving than taking, fulfilment and satisfaction will find you. And interesting enough? You’ll end up receiving even more.
What do you think?
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