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Published:December 16th, 2005 15:58 EST
Principled Living

Principled Living

By Nido Qubein (Mentor/Columnist)

People without principles are like boats without rudders; cars without steering wheels.  Their directions are aimless and their decisions are haphazard.

When principles occupy the center of your life, they help you arrive quickly at the right decision for you when opportunities open or crises loom.

When your life is centered on people, the important thing to you is what others want.  When it`s centered on possessions, the important thing is what you have.  When it`s centered on activities, the important thing is what you do.

But when your life is centered on principles, you are being true to yourself. 

Your principles can be like a compass, quickly pointing in the right direction when crisis time arrives.  They can be like an anchor, providing a source of steadiness amid tumultuous circumstances.  And they can be like the nozzle of a hose -- directing the stream of your thoughts and efforts in a purposeful way while concentrating their power on the things that matter.

Successful people don`t lie awake nights agonizing over decisions and directions.  They simply consult their principles.  They make decisions that are in harmony with these principles.  They don`t second-guess themselves and seldom reverse themselves. 

You can choose the principles you want to guide you by first identifying the values you hold dear.

First, think of the roles that are important to you in your family life, vocational life, community life and religious life.  Now think of the people, activities, and qualities you value in each role.

For each value, write a supporting principle.  Make it personal.  State it in the form of a sentence describing yourself as you would like to be, in the light of these values.  Do this for each of the roles that are important to you.

For example, if one of your values is financial prosperity, you might write as your supporting principles: 

      1. I never miss an opportunity to upgrade my career qualifications.

      2. I take intelligent risks in investing my time and resources.

      3.   I look for ways to enhance the perceived value of my products  or services in the eyes of potential customers or clients.

When you have identified the principles you want to guide your life, use them in measuring each possible career and role choice.  When you have found a pursuit that conforms to your basic principles while allowing you to do what you do best and enjoy most, you will have found your ideal calling.

 Go for it.

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