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What are your underlying principles?

Table of Contents

1.Deciding Your Underlying Principles

Today we will look at determining the underlying principless on which all our choices are made.

Most people don’t know theirs

Believe it or not, most people would have a hard time listing their underlying principles. They know them in general but have never really formulated them. Take some time to ask yourself, what do I really believe in? What are the underlying principles that I live by? Look at various aspects of your life to answer these questions. Here are some questions you could ask:

2. Questions to help you determine your principles

  • What morals do I live by in regards to how I treat people?
  • How do I want to be treated?
  • What about the physical environment? What responsibility do I feel?
  • How important to me are such virtues as honesty, justice, fairness, etc?
  • How do I treat those who believe who are totally different from me?
  • What is the one attribute I can’t tolerate? (For me, it’s laziness.)
  • What do I feel about those less fortunate than me?
  • How do I feel about the death penalty?
  • What do I think about abortion?
  • How do I define forgiveness?
  • What does loving others mean to me?

This is not an exhaustive list. Not even close. But can you see where I am heading? I’m only suggesting you take some time to think through how you approach life, the rules you live by, the rules you think are set in stone for everyone, like murder is always wrong.

Unless we know what we believe, we will find choice-making difficult.

A personal example

For example, I never have to decide whether I need to return extra change or bring the attention to a clerk that she’s undercharged me because honesty is very high on my list of principles. Also, I don’t ever gave to choose what I will tolerate from other people. It just makes my choice making so much easier when I have a firm foundation. (I did not include scripture references because there would be too numerous to list but the Bible covers all those questions.)

2. What is truly important to you?

Whatever it is, try to identify your three most important principles , and try to put it in a short and precise statement. This will be your philosophy of life. It may even be a quote by a famous person, or a verse of scripture. Of course, as you grow and mature, this statement could evolve, but its soul, its foundation, will basically remain the same. Now, write down your statement. Call it what you want. Here are some ideas:

  • Three virtues I live by.
  • Principles I live by
  • How I should live
  • My philosophy of life
  • How I live
  • My compass
  • My guideposts for life
  • How I will live my life.
  • My principles for living

3. The process isn’t hard

person writing on a notebook beside macbook/underlying principles

This all sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it?

It really isn’t.

If you just start thinking about it as you are going through your day, I believe it will come to you. Than all you have to do is decide on the the most important three and and write out your statement. Keep it handy.

4. Why the process is important

So why is knowing your underlying principles important, anyway?

Because unless you know the principles that govern your life, you will go through life without a compass. It’s good to know what you believe. In Jeremiah 31:21, it states:

“Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road you take.”

We function better with parameters. It’s that simple.

God bless and have a good day.

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