Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Principle Centered Life

I think Leslie's last comment speaks loads about the current state of mind, so I am going to take a couple of weeks to discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and has nothing to do with our community politcs. This topic actually is very personal and unique to each and everyone of us. These are the principles and values that we each believe in and act upon in our daily lives.

I am a big fan of Stephen Covey and his work. One of his key concepts is that people should not center their lives around things. (ie children, spouse, fame, work, money, friends, etc) The rationale is that often when choices need to be made it will lead to conflict and unhappiness. For instance, the work centered individual will sacrifice the spouse/kids often to fulfill their sense of obligation to work. Another is when a spouse focuses all their attention/life around the children to the detriment of their own hobbies/life, or the marriage. Finally, we all know folks who become money/possessions centric. The alternative according to Covey is to identify the Principles you truly believe in and then begin making your choices with these in mind.

Well, I got to this point and became somewhat stumped. I mean what exactly are Principles and how do I define them well enough to live by them? Luckily, I got some help at TeachingValues. (google is amazing...) So, I started with their version and modified them until they fit me.

Just a note: a principle by definition is respected and very similar across cultures, whereas the expected values/behaviors within a principle may change significantly depending on where you are. An example, integrity is respected in all cultures however what truthfulness is varies greatly. (ie white lies, brutal honesty, cultural norms, etc.)

The image to the left is my high level diagram that I will be discussing over the next 2 weeks. Please feel free to comment. I love learning from other folks different perspectives.

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