I went back and forth about whether to do a post on this topic since it seems a little self-serving. But I often blog about self-introspection, so why not?
A few days ago Lindsay and I were talking about guiding principles. She was working on a class assignment and I was intrigued enough to go through the exercises with her (which shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m living vicariously through her with this course. Not that it makes this any less ridiculous.).
Naturally it started with us googling guiding principles. I was surprised to learn that principles aren’t quite the same as values. They’re connected, but in some ways I feel like it’s a little easier to think about principles because I can refer back to a motto or statement. It’s like it gives my values some weight or context.
Then came the fun process (fun for me, anyway…) of finding expressions or statements that I want to live by or that resonate with me. At first I thought I would have a massive list, especially since Lindsay and I were tag-teaming it. In the end, though, I was able to narrow it down to just 12 statements (which, let’s be honest, is good for me). It also surprised me to see how many of them were connected to another principle on the list.
- Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in life. It’s about what you inspire others to do.
- Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filed lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.
- Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
- My superpower is kindness. What’s yours?
- Be positive, patient and persistent.
- I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
- Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
- I’d rather say less and mean more.
- I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.
- Even the nicest people have their limits.
I’m not sure how well I live out my guiding principles or even what they say about me, but that’s probably part of the process. And naturally I’m now trying to find a fun, crafty way to post this list or at least a quote or two at home or in the office. If nothing else, it might provide a bit of inspiration when I start getting overwhelmed (and actually, “stop the glorification of busy” almost made the cut for the list. Somewhat strange that it didn’t…).