Principles will make your life much simpler. They will guide your actions in times of uncertainty and provide you with a road-map when life gets tough.
Here are some ideas and principles I try to follow:
- Follow the path of most resistance - when in doubt, choose the more difficult task or what you don’t want to do as that is typically exactly what you should / need to do. If you want to obtain something in life, you must do the things that are outside of your comfort zone. Moreover, I find that the path of most resistance usually leads to the greatest return / reward and fulfilment.
- Sometimes, the work is easier than the workaround - do not cut corners. Do not waste time looking for the latest and greatest 'hacks' and shortcuts. Most of them don't work or bring only marginal results. Moreover, by cutting corners, your opportunity for growth is cut too. Do the work and your efforts will bear fruit. Just do it.
- Don't stop doing the things that got you out of a bad situation - sometimes when we get out of a rut, we can slip and start to fall back in as we lose the incentive to work on ourselves. Do not cut corners. Success is built by doing the same things that got us out of a bad situation everyday, over a long period of time.
- Record everything - journal, video, etc. - the more you record parts of your life (ie. jotting down how you feel at a particular moment in time), the more you will learn about yourself. You will find patterns emerging, revealing relationships between your repeated behaviours and how they make you feel.
- Prioritise and execute
- Take relentless action
- Practice consistency over intensity
- Always remember 物极必反 (wù jí bì fǎn); which translates to Things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme or as Jaden Smith says "too much of good stuff is bad stuff." Be intentional / deliberate about things and approach in moderation.
- An often thrown-around life principle is to "avoid being the smartest person in the room." My take on it is to always put yourself in a position to learn things from people smarter or more knowledgeable than you. That being said, do not undermine the ability of others as there is always something to learn from someone else, and you do not want to fall into the trap that is egotism.