Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference, by
Carl von Clausewitz
The principle of life is a hypothetical force to which the functions and qualities peculiar to living things are sometimes ascribed. I love the man that can smile in trouble; that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘It’s the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. It is often in the trial of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny. Whether we realize it or not, each one of us has guiding principles that guides our life in the choices we make. Most of us do not even realize what they are; they are just ingrained in our beliefs. If you were to make a list of what your guiding life principles are, what would they be?
What You Need To Know. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, made a list of his guiding principles. These principles were fundamental in how Mr. Jefferson lived his life.
1). Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
2). Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3). Never spend your money before you have it.
4). Never buy what you do not want; because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.
5). Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6). We never repent of having eaten too little.
7). Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8). How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
9). Take things always by their smooth handle.
10). When angry, count ten before you speak, if very angry, a hundred.
Write Them Down and Use Daily
Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, however many of his words of wisdom still apply today and are good principles to live by. If you had to write down your ten guiding principles, what would they be? Once you’ve written them down, ask yourself if your life is reflective of these principles.
Guiding principles in your life are extremely important today just as much as they were at the time of Jefferson. There are countless issues and challenges you will face through your life that will push hard against your principles assuming that you have strongly established them within your mind, attitudes and actions. These testing issues can arise from the most unusual situations, or can happen to you at work depending on your particular circumstances.
You Will Be Tested Constantly
Take for example, a person who has strong guiding principles that have not let him or her to lie – that is, they are honest and forthright and have lived that creed daily. Then, they are promoted over the years to a senior manager’s position and come face to face with what may at first appear to be a terrible dilemma. This dilemma is that you are told to tell a story, a lie in fact, to union members that just aren’t true. Senior staff wants you to make sure that the union does not know the truth because it would cause senior management total embarrassment and would jeopardize union relationships for many years to come. What do you do? Do you go along with perpetrating the lie for it will have to come from your mouth and you will carry the weight of any adverse reactions? What do you do? What do your guiding principles tell you?
How To Resolve Issues
Your guiding principles clearly tell you that the action asked for by senior staff is absolutely wrong. Your principles tell you that you should tell the truth. If you go along with what senior staff wants you to do, you will be doing what they want and will not jeopardize your job but you will seriously violate your own ethics. Or, do you just do it this once and say never again?
The real test of the strength of your personal ethics or principles is what you decide to do. If you violate your own ethics, you set a terrible pattern in motion where you put yourself forward as one who will easily change their ethics as the direction of the wind blows.
How much is your cherished ethics worth to you?
” I have ever deemed it more honourable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.” by Thomas Jefferson
“Do not worry; eat three square meals a day, say your prayers, be courteous to your creditors, keep your digestion good, exercise, and go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy, but my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.” Abraham Lincoln
“May we, in our dealings with all the peoples of the earth, ever speak the truth and serve justice.”
In the quest to become successful and acquire wealth, many people resort to doing things that taint their integrity.
Consider this STORY:
In Africa many years ago, there lived a great King. This king ruled his kingdom with wisdom and might, but he had a problem. There was no child to succeed him when he dies. He had married many wives, but none of them could give him a male child.He thought about it deeply and decided to choose a successor from the kingdom.
He told his town crier to make an announcement to all the villagers about his intention requesting that they present just one of their children to come the next day at the village square so he could make his selection.
The next day, the King’s palace was filled to the brim with children from different homes in the community. The King handed each of them a particular seed and told them to go home, plant their seeds in a jar and nurse its growth for 8 months. Once the eight months were due, they should return to the palace and he would access how well they’ve done, then select the best as his heir.
There was a young boy from a poor home named Ikeh who received his seed and returned to his village. When he got back, his mom helped him to find a vessel and put some soil into it. Ikeh made sure he watered his pot every day.
After each month, the children of the villagers who were given the seed would gather and compare their plants. All the seeds of the other kids have started sprouting and budding, but there was no sign of life in Ikeh’s pot despite his efforts.
Ikeh was disappointed, but he kept watering his pot daily. A few months passed and now all the other children’s pot really came to life. Some had short trees growing in them, some had beautiful flowers and some had leafy shrubs.
Poor Ikeh still had nothing growing in his pot and the other children started to make fun of him. They said he wasn’t good enough and couldn’t even grow a seed. They jeered at him and called him names. Ikeh was unhappy, but he never for one day failed to water his pot.
Soon, the eight months was over. It was time for the king to choose his heir. Ikeh didn’t want to go. He felt there was no need and sat down crying. All the kids were going back with beautiful plants that are all grown, but look at his jar… Nothing!
“I have watered this plant every day.” “Why should I go to the palace?” “I have nothing to show for it.” Ikeh said to his mother with sadness on his face. His looked at him in the eye and told him to return and show the King his barren vessel, no matter the consequences.
Ikeh reluctantly went to the palace where he met other children dressed in their best and carrying their well grown plants with so much pride. He found more reasons to be sad from what he saw.
The wise King came out of his palace and started to walk through the crowd, looking at the many beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that were on display by the children. The boys all puffed their chests out and tried to look as royal as possible, hoping that they would be chosen as the successor to the throne.
Then the King came across Ikeh, who was bowing his head in shame. He looked at his pot then he looked at him closely. “What happened?” He asked.
“I watered the pot every day, but nothing ever grew.” Ikeh replied nervously.
Then the King smiled, nodded his head in admiration and moved on. After a few hours of reviewing other children’s plants, the Emperor finally completed his assessment.
He stood in front of the children and congratulated them on their efforts.
“Clearly, some of you desperately want to be my heir and would do anything to make that happen, but there is one boy that I would like to point out as he has come to me with nothing. Ikeh, come here please.”
“Oh no,” thought Ikeh. There must be another boy with his name with a grown plant. But the King directed his servants to bring him up. He slowly sauntered to the front of the group, holding his barren pot.
The King held up the vessel for all to see and the other children laughed. Then the King continued, “Eight months ago, I gave you all a seed. I told you to go away, plant the seed and return with your plant. The seeds that I gave you all were burnt up with fire until they were no longer useful and wouldn’t grow, and then they were coated to look like good seeds. Now, I see before me thousands of plants and only one barren pot.”
Therefore, Ikeh is the successor to my throne.
Story by Ikechukwu Nigel Ogbuchi
Integrity is vital for success. Most people are ready to do anything to get successful, but few people actually get there. Why? Because those few people value their integrity, the people who are ready to do anything often make serious mistakes which mar their chances of success.
As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with your-self. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility. Nelson Mandela
Those who conduct themselves with morality, integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty. Nelson Mandela
A bright future beckons. The onus is on us, through hard work, honesty and integrity, to reach for the stars. Nelson Mandela