After watching this talk about inventing on a principle I started thinking on what kind of core principles I have that I live by, or try to live by. The talk isn’t really about core principles, rather it’s about finding your calling in life. This in itself is something worth discussing, but currently I’m more inspired to write and discover my own core principles. 🙂
So what do I really mean by core principles? To me it’s a set of rules that
- I strive to follow and uphold regardless of what. If I break any of these principles my self-esteem takes a toll, I feel bad, and I instantly regret it.
- Define who I am. These principles guide me in all my actions.
- Are almost set in stone. I don’t easily give up my principles, but I’m willing and often do think of flaws in them. In spite of these flaws I tend stick to my principle since I think the pros outweighs the cons. If I change the principle I usually just tweak it a little, and rarely (max every 5 year) I change these principles.
- Might act upon if others break them. For example I act when people talk shit about a group or behind ones back, but not if people are late (more about these principles below). I guess this happens for principles I feel affect others—including society—more than just me. I.e. if you’re not in time (for whatever) I don’t really care as that will mostly affect your outcomes, not mine nor others (if it’s not a large group meeting). But if you do talk shit behind peoples back then I care since it will affect another person indirectly.
My Core Principles
Never talk shit about other people I never talk shit about other people, not on purpose at least. I can get angry about and want to hate on people when they’re not around but I have trained myself not to do so, sometime it happens. I’ve found that it usually just makes me more negative, being worse of longer and spreading lies (or what you think are facts) doesn’t only hurt other people but those you are currently talk to get tired of you. I’m not talking about venting now, that’s fine every now and then; if you talk behind people’s back to lift yourself that’s what I’d call hating or shaming. If you do that I can get mad really quick and I seldom get angry, not even slightly—not an ideal situation if I want to have a discussion as I get into a “I’m always right, you’re stupid and wrong” when I’m angry 😛 Preferably though, instead of venting talk talk about the issue with the person you’re angry with, if you can’t work them out learn to accept them.
Venting is never comments like “she’s a slut”; they are about lifting yourself above the other person. You are free to think that and value yourself over other people, but please keep your thoughts to yourself, don’t take it out on other people. If I notice a conversation going into this direction I tend to steer it away, especially if it’s not a close friend. If it’s a close friend I let them continue if it’s venting and then by some means try to steer the conversation away from this. I don’t even think venting is good for you (I think resolving the issue with the person or thing is better). It might be good for you. I no clue really, it’s just my intuition says otherwise. I never fuel the venting either by agreeing or disagreeing, I let them pour out their thoughts until, as I mentioned, feel it has been enough.
Why do I have this principle? Because I think all of us are equal in some sense, I don’t really care who you are, what life you’ve had and have, you’re a human like the rest of us. If you’re born in Sweden, born in another country, rich, a beggar, a feminist, or a racist: I don’t care, I don’t like it if you devalue a person or a group even if it’s one I don’t agree with. For example I consider myself as a feminist in one way or another, but I hate it when feminists talk shit about racists with a tone of “we’re that much better than those stupid racists people, they aren’t worth anything”. I don’t agree with racists one bit, but they are still human. Arguing is totally fine and I like arguments as long as the conversation stay intellectual and not some wishy-washy burst of hatred. The same goes for any group to any group or person. If any of my friends start posting hate material, propaganda or other stuff based more on feelings than facts I either unfollow them or unfriend them, especially if it’s hate material. It just makes me mad and I rather be happy for the day than mad.
After rereading this before I publish this post I can say I’m venting about this right now. That’s how much it affects me, just thinking of it gets me fired up 😛
Keeping my word This one is really hard. It’s not hard to keep things like “I won’t tell anyone about this”. But more like “I promise I will have this done by Thursday”, “I will check this thing in the near future”, or “I will get back to you next week”. I.e. everything I say and promise should be true. If I say I will call you next week I will do that, I won’t call you on Monday morning the week after and say I’m sorry I forgot. Forgetting is not an option, nothing is a valid excuse.
Why am I so keen on keeping my word? I want people to have absolute trust in me. Why? I’m not really sure, maybe because it’s cool, maybe because I think I can change things for better. But I think what got me inspired was a role model mentioning what if everything you ever said always came true. If you said you “I will have the system ready in a month”, “this information will help you fulfill your exercise goals, guarantee it”, “my new game will be a game changer”, “we’ll have a great life together with lots of love and spare time :D”. If everything you ever say comes true then you can really just decide on how your future will look like and it will come true; you won’t need a genie 😉
I wasn’t really sure were to put these, but they seemed like sub-principles of keeping my world.
Always on time I want to be on time for everything usually on the minute or 1-5 minutes before. I don’t like when people are late, but I can accept that and I put people into “on time”, “usually 10-30min late”, and “plan for something else” categories so I don’t have to get irritated if they are late.
Being honest I don’t really know if this should be it’s own principle or sub-principle. It’s true I need to be honest for people to trust me, but it’s more than that; I value truth and think it goes a long way to be genuine and sincere. If people ask me a question I try to answer it truthfully most of the time. I always say the truth, maybe not the whole truth if I don’t know the person well enough. Note, these are rare cases. If a person would ask me a really personal question I would probably answer it. One exception: I never answer truthfully if I’ve promised another person I won’t or feel that it’s too private for me to share about them. I.e. if I get the question “What are you thinking about?” I will answer truthfully, even if it’s something I might not feel too comfortable saying [use your imagination], if the other person didn’t want to hear that too bad for them it’s their fault for asking when they know I’m honest 😛 I might say something like “Do you really want to know?” if they don’t know I’m an honest person 😛
It also means that if I don’t agree I speak up, or if I get irritated on something I talk about it, usually directly or the next day. For example in a relationship you could get irritated on how your partner takes butter from the pack, maybe you want it smooth and your partner doesn’t really care as long as they get their butter. I used to stay quiet about these small things, but then someday, I’d have enough burst out angry at them; usually to their astonishment. Today I would say something like “I’ve noticed that I get irritated by how you take butter from the pack, is there a way we can solve this?”, or for putting dishes in the dishwasher I usually say something like “I’m a very weird person, but I want everything to be in a certain order in the dishwasher. You don’t have to follow this, but I’d appreciate if you put the dish on the bench and I’ll take care of it, or you could learn my system. It doesn’t matter to me which one you choose”. I believe solving these small issues quickly even if they’re tiny as they seem to equate to longer (and more loving I think) relationships (Hanna Fry, The Mathematics of Love). That’s what I’ve noticed too 🙂 I’m not as irritated now as I have been before.
Being enthusiastic, genuine and loving I love genuinely enthusiastic people, or rather when they get enthusiastic about something (usually everything) and so I want to be enthusiastic and genuine too :D. Days when I’m feeling a bit down it’s harder to be genuinely enthusiastic, but by being enthusiastic more often I’ve noticed that half-way through my enthusiasm I get genuinely enthusiastic 😛 I haven’t mentioned anything about loving yet 😛 I have a weird thing where I try to think “I love you” whenever I hug or greet a person and maybe even in a conversation. I want to do it more often but I’m quite inexperienced and don’t remember it very often 😛 I usually feel more loved when I do this and why wouldn’t I want to feel more loved? In hindsight I’m not sure this is a principle, it doesn’t feel like the other principles but it does confirm to the rules.
Conclusion and Thoughts
I guess knowing my core principles better makes it easy to choose how to act in certain situations. Or rather you don’t have to choose just live by or core principle as you know you have thought about this before. E.g. I’ve come to the conclusion to act enthusiastically, genuine and loving in almost any situation, thus I don’t have to think how I should act; I “just” act genuine, enthusiastic and lovingly. Or if I’m going to a meeting I don’t take a risk if I’ll be there in time, I’d rather be safe so I plan everything around that—if I’m early I plan for something to do while waiting. In one sense this makes life easier, in another sense could make it harder. E.g. It’s easy to know I should tell the truth, but it doesn’t make telling the truth easier.
What are your core principles? That would actually be extremely interesting to know, what core principles other people have…