Principles I Live My Life By

Early in my self growth in journey, using the advice of Stephen Covey in “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, I created a set of principles that I would guide my life by. I have used these principles to govern my behavior. I have not always been successful and some I’m still not very good at. However I decided these are the actions that I want to be known by when I die. These are the ideas that matter to me.

Principles are important to have, they allow you to govern your behavior. They allow you to act how you want to act, not how you may act instinctively. For example, I may get mad at someone during rush hour, but I remember my virtues and know that it is not Respectful of me to act in such a way. This way you are guiding your life, not letting it be guided. You determine how you are going to act, not rely on the fickle mistresses of chance and fate.

If you are starting out on your self growth journey, you may want to figure out what principles matter to you. It will help tremendously. You may find some of my principles appealing, or perhaps Benjamin Franklin’s principles and John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” make more sense. Regardless of where they come from, knowing how you want to act is extremely beneficial.

As for me, I started out with 13. In truth I used virtues by Ben Franklin, who also had 13, as well as some virtues listed in the book “The Servant” by James C. Hunter. All of my original principles stemmed from those two men. Today I have 20 principles. I got these from Ben Franklin, James C. Hunter, and now John Wooden and my Grandfather(“Excellence is standard not a goal”). They are in order of importance to me. I also include a brief that explanation of how I see them, which may not be in accordance with how the dictionary sees them or how you see them. Also so I further understand what they mean, I have found quotes that depict their meaning. Principles are only words if you don’t know what they mean to you.

Excellence-be the best you can be
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable”- John Wooden

Humility(confidence)-to be rather then to appear
“The strongest steel is well-founded self belief”-Unknown
“The greatest way to live with honor is to be what we pretend to be”-Socrates

Believe in them
Encourage them to grow
Support them at all times
Love them unconditionally

Justice-(integrity, honor, righteousness)-conformity to moral rightness in action and attitude
“When justice is done it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers”-the Bible

Responsibility-do what you should do
“Responsibility is the price of greatness”-Winston Churchill

Loyalty (commitment)-be faithful to obligations, committed to duties, true to yourself and others
“Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”-the Bible

“Lose no time; always be employed at something useful; stop all unnecessary actions”-Benjamin Franklin
“Industry need not wish”-Benjamin Franklin

Diligence(perseverance)-persevering determination to perform a task
“Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly”-John Wooden

Forgiveness-giving up resentment when wronged
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it”-Mark Twain

Honesty(sincerity)- being free from deception
“What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts of others to your own”- Goethe

Patience(poise, temperance, discipline, tranquility)- showing self-control
“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character”-Unknown

Kindness-giving attention, appreciation, and encouragement
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier”-Mother Teresa

Respectfulness(courtesy)-treating others as important people
“Only those who respect the personality of others can be of real use to them”-Albert Schweitzer

Dream-have a vision or goal you are enthusiastic and passionate about
“All our dreams can come true… if we had the courage to pursue them”-Walt Disney

“Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and others “- John Wooden

Selflessness-meeting the needs of others
“Needs not wants; be a servant not a slave”- James C. Hunter

Frugality-make no expense but to do good to others or yourself(waste nothing)
“Frugality may be termed the daughter of prudence, the sister of temperance, and the parent of liberty”

Silence-speak not but what may benefit others or yourself
“Do not speak unless you can prove the silence”-Unknown

Initiative-take action

“Make a decision! Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all”- John Wooden

Order(organization, structure)- let all things have their places and let all events have their time


2 thoughts on “Principles I Live My Life By

  1. That was excellent.

    It’s also helpful to study the lives of role models – how they struggled or succeeded in living up to their quotes; John Wooden is a person who lives up to all of his quotes.

    You might be interested to know that Mr. Wooden has his own role models, Mother Theresa (whom you quote!) and Abraham Lincoln, who of course has quite a following.

    Anyway, thank you very much.

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