Highly Principl-ed.

This weekend during brunch with my oldest friend, we got to talking about the philosophy of life.  She mentioned that she was reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is now on the top of my reading list after I finish The Pillars of the Earth.  Basically we discussed how as humans, we tend to focus our lives around one theme, be it work, family, relationships, etc.  Though the focus often changes as our lives change, these external foci always leave us feeling as though we're not in control; however, if we concentrate on living our lives based on principles, we feel more empowered and therefore, more effective.  She didn't go into detail about what author Stephen Covey believed his 7 principles were, and I'm sure I'll have more insight after reading the book, but I thought this was a very interesting idea.

Whether I like it or not, I often find my happiness depends a lot on how my work life is progressing (not much), how exciting my love life is (see pseudo-date reference), and how much family support I receive (lots, but never enough).  Instead, I've decided I will begin focusing on a few principles:
  1. Accept. I will accept that this is my perfect life...right now.  No waiting around for something different to happen, the best for right now is here and ready.
  2. Minimize. One's life is never bigger than the little things that it's made of: a decadent piece of chocolate cake, a long fall run, a super late night with friends, a 'job well done' email from the boss man, a smile left for a stranger.  The littler your life is, the bigger and better it gets. 
  3. Maximize.  Seize the opportunities presented to you.  And keep your eyes and ears open, sometimes opportunity knocks softly. 
  4. Love.  Dish it out in every shape and form.  And be sure to give yourself a extra large helping. 
  5. Believe.  Trust that you're stronger than you realize.  If you believe in yourself, and in your decisions, whatever they may be, you will always be right.
So I'm not quite at 7, but I think it's a good start.  Besides, I've always been highly principl-ed.

(image from Cal Tech website)

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