: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning;
: a rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior;
: a morally correct behavior and attitudes.
Definitions of principle per the online Oxford Dictionaries.
Once you begin to live life-based on a defined set of core principles, you are bound to create a life that you love. Our core principles are those fundamental beliefs that rest deep within our soul. They are the principles that govern our decision making, opinions, patience, and overall approach to life. The unfortunate reality is, few of us allow them to surface and play this vital role. We let other people’s opinions, our rationalizations, and what we see from reality TV personalities, advertisements, or on social media to dictate the choices we make. Rather than trusting ourselves, that is, trusting those principles that make us, us, we do what we think others will approve of or what we believe will make us more likable.
When we act based on anything other than our core principles, our mind, body, and spirit are not in alignment. Our beliefs are not directing our thoughts, words, or actions. This misaligned action leads to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, resentment, a general lack of desire, and unwanted outcomes. Typically when these unwanted feelings take over our lives, rather than looking internally for the cause and solution, we often make matters worse by blaming others, playing the role of a victim, turning to drugs & alcohol, or giving up on life altogether. This state leaves us far away from the gifts that life and the world make available to us.
Believe it or not, the world we live in works in perfect synchronization. Life’s highs & lows, knowns & unknowns, similarities & differences, and every other aspect of humanity are all working together to create extraordinary outcomes. However, you cannot experience the rewards of life if you are not living authentically. That is, living a life based on those core principles that rest deep within your soul. To get yourself in harmony, a set of core principles must be the sole influencer of your thoughts, words, and actions; this is defined as living life in alignment. When life is lived in alignment, we begin to experience life as it is designed. This internal synchronization allows you to receive the benefits of life and the world provide. From this spot, you will soon realize that life is filled with greatness, and all you want is more of it.
To get more, you must consistently rely on your principles and the defined way of being they create. By acting on your principles, you are acting with an honesty and integrity that satisfies the soul. This satisfaction adds meaning to who and what you want to become. Consistently acting in this manner removes the chaos and dysfunction from your life. This new stability allows a clarity of purpose to take control. By acting with purpose, you learn the value your unique abilities add to your relationships, career, interests and society at large. This value fuels your pathway to a life that you love.
Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motor Company) once said, “if you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t, your right.” This simple sentence profoundly illustrates the importance of one’s core principles and purpose. Your principles and the purpose they create is your new way of being, and your way of being creates the belief in what you can or cannot do. If your approach to life is influenced by your core principles, rather than outside influences, then you are acting authentically. This way of being is what creates purposeful action. Purposeful action builds an inner peace that brings joy and happiness to your life.
When you allow your principles and purpose to manage action, intended outcomes become a reality. In this state, limitations and barriers are absent, and possibility reigns. The fact is, the world we live in provides tremendous opportunity for those who choose to go after it. However, to find this opportunity, one must have a belief in themselves. This self-trust is a result of living your life based on principles and purpose. It is really this simple, without belief in yourself and your future, then failure becomes your reality – just like Mr. Ford proclaimed.
You either have a belief that you can complete a task, reach a milestone, or achieve something new, or you don’t - no need to overthink this. As mentioned earlier, your principles and purpose define who you want to be. They define how you want to act and dictate the decisions you make. As importantly, they eliminate “half measures.” Your careers, relationships, sobriety, you fill in the blank, will become a failure if you are not totally committed to it. Your principles and purpose define what is a priority in your life, but equally as important, what is not. This clearly defined intention motivates your committed action and keeps you focused on the chosen pathway. This committed action is void of second-guessing and uncertainty. With this focused determination, your consistent and dedicated efforts will turn opportunity into reality.
Your core principles are the starting point to finding your pathway to a life that you love.
1. Principles provide focus: Chaos is everywhere and can cause massive disruption when we let it take over our mind. This distraction keeps us stationary and being stationary leads to failure. Through a set of core principles, you have defined what is important in your life, in your work, in a relationship, in a hobby, etc. This definition provides clarity of action which if followed, keeps you progressing forward when times are good and even when times are bad.
2. Principles establish trust: When you have identified those core principles that rest deep in your soul, you have found your trusted guide to action. Following your core principles put your thoughts, words, and actions in alignment. This alignment builds a trust in yourself that consumes the mind, body, and spirit. This trust generates the self-worth and confidence you need to act with authentic intention in all that you do. Acting authentically produces intended outcomes, which is the fuel of life.
3. Purpose creates desire: With trust in yourself and a focus on where you are headed, a desire to be better in all that you do becomes your new mindset. This leads to the achievement of things that never seemed possible, and even an awareness of opportunities you never knew existed. The greatness of the world is now present, and you have gained a desire to participate in it, day after day, after day.
The question isn’t whether you have a set of core principles that can lead to a life that you love. It is can you put aside your insecurities, expectations, entitlements, doubts, past, bitterness, or negative energy long enough to allow your core principles to surface? Can you find the determination and commitment to endure the challenges that present themselves as you fight to identify and enact a new way of being? For those that dare to find and live according to their core principles, a life full of joy and happiness will soon follow; a life purpose will gain priority, and old habits will fade away; success will out dual failure and peace will define the soul. And, you will have found your fuel for every new day.
About Choice Recovery
Choice Recovery is an intensive outpatient alcohol and drug treatment facility in Mesa, Arizona. Our approach to care involves so much more than simply identifying the reason one abuses drugs or alcohol. It involves in challenging a client to do more than stop using, but to develop a life that they love. We believe if an individual can begin to live their purpose, they result will be more than sobriety, but an abundance of joy and happiness entering their life.
A few of the therapies our masters level clinicians specialize include, but are not limited to:
- Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
- Relapse Prevention Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
Choice Recovery offers moring and evening IOP and accepts most major insurance plans as well as AHCCCS.