Principles make the Man, and the Woman

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Create a better world by living through principles.

Hemingway said it best when referring to his Code Hero, “a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.” He was referring to living by a set of principles. I don’t agree with the always painful part, but living correctly with honor, courage, and endurance is pretty great start. I’ll add, be honest, lead with love, show compassion, and embrace gratitude. These are a simple set of principles to live by that will improve your own well being and the world as a whole.

I know I’ve gotten angry sometimes, and frustrated, and have had a hard time when things didn’t go my way. Sometimes life seemed to get the best of me and for many years I felt like I was living behind the eight ball or struggling to be happy. Each year for the past decade or so, I’ve looked at my life, tried to figure out where I can improve the most and chosen a specific principle that will help me improve far beyond just going to the gym for a few weeks or eating better.

In the past I’ve chosen principles such as finishing. I’m a great conversation starter and I can begin all kinds of projects, but sometimes I have a hard time finishing. I set that as my new year’s principle one year and it forced me to cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I found my work and my relationships improve because of it and I got a lot more done.

Another year, showing up early was my chosen principle. I drive a lot and have to account for traffic. There have been times when I’ve left no time for an accident or always showing up at the time of the appointment or even a minute or two late. In the big picture it’s not that big of a deal, but for me, I’m much more stress free when I arrive early. I actually took this idea from my wife, she always likes to drive the speed limit and show up early. I’ve found that my stress levels are much lower when I do that.

What are your principles? What might you want them to be for 2018? It’s time to think about it and it’s time to see how you can improve the most. Does it have to do with your relationship with yourself? Maybe with your spouse? Is it a work thing or a career move? Is it a spiritual part of your life that you want to improve? Only you can make the decision and only you will keep yourself accountable. It’s important that you do, the world depends on it.

Whether you decide you need more of the 10 Commandments, more of the Buddhist Eightfold Path, or more Stoicism, you have to create more you-ism. Find the principles that you believe in and begin following them without ever going back on your word. Live with honor, be courageous, have endurance, and love, and compassion, and gratitude. Never waiver from your principles and you will see your life get better as well as those around you. I’m here to help you along the path if you need. Find me @teddymcdonald.

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