About Setting Goals and Principles and why you must walk away sometimes
There are times in your life when you must act on your self-set principles, or you will perish in your self-made meaninglessness. In the next paragraphs, you will learn why I think that taking some time for yourself (something I call me-time) and regular positive affirmations of your goals and your principles are essential guideposts in our lives.
First, let’s talk about principles, goals, and which role affirmations play in this equation. My dictionary defines a principle as: “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning […]” So I understand principles as specific non-impeachable rules one set for one’s own life. By defining your principles, you decide in advance how you will act in certain situations in life. One fundamental principle in my life is – for example – that everything I do or I ever get engaged in must be legal, ethical, and morally in good order. When I face a situation where one of my three premises does not pertain, I walk away without any hesitation. I act according to one of my non-discussable principles, and in this case, I don’t care whether I lose friends, business partners, or even upset the president of a powerful country.
Of course, you can apply principles to every area of your life. From your private life as a mother to your professional career as an executive of a large organization. If you are interested in how you can implement principles in your life, go ahead and get Ray Dalio’s book which is – what a surprise – called Principles: Life and Work.
In the light of principles, let’s talk about goals. Everyone has goals – or at least should have. My personal goals are burned into my mind, and there is rarely a day which passes without me thinking about them. One of my goals is to build a hotel in the middle of the Australian outback. My self-set principles step in when I start working towards my goal. As mentioned earlier, I don’t participate in any transaction which is not legal, ethical, and morally acceptable. Secondly, I don’t engage in any transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. A third principle I hold myself accountable to is that every business I start must be sustainable and socially responsible.
Alone by sticking to these three principles, I instantaneously rule out many business constellations. Never will my venture hurt any Aboriginal family nor will I use unethically earned oil-money to build my hotel. Instead, I will pay close attention that everyone this project affects will be better off afterward.
I guess you got my point. So let’s move on to the next position: affirmations. I find that affirmations are a great way to remind oneself of one’s principles as well as of one’s own goals. I repeat my affirmations in the best case daily or twice daily. By doing so, your goals and principles will get burned into your subconscious mind. As a result, you will subliminally act towards your goals and according to your principles.
However, sometimes life can be complicated and men manipulated by instant riches. So let’s talk about what I call me-time.
Me-time is the time you plan in regularly into your yearly schedule. By asking me today, I would suggest spending 2-4 days every quarter of a year solely with yourself. In the best case, you sit in a silent forest or a calming beach without your significant other, without friends or partners, and without technology; no Emails, messages, phone calls. Beyond belief, me-time is super helpful for you to stay on track with your goals and your principles. You sit down at a quiet place and reflect what did work and what did not work in the past three months. Did you stick to your principles? Work towards your goals? Or were you tempted by greed and quick riches? After a few days or at least a few hours of me-time, you are likely back on track. You quit everything that doesn’t work isn’t per your principles or isn’t bringing you closer to your ultimate life goals.
About not caring what others think
But don’t forget: NEVER EVER CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT THINK ABOUT YOU. To act according to your principles and achieve your goals you must be willing to walk away from any situation without hesitation!
I hope this may help you somehow living a happy principled life.