How it the [email protected] did I end up here!? What happened to my life?
Well… hopefully you never end up at a place in your life where you ask yourself those questions. But I can tell you I’ve been there.
And when I looked back at the path that led me to where I was at, I was shocked at what had guided me there.
So let me ask you a question…
What guides you through your life and defines how you live your life?
It’s a question that most of us probably don’t stop and ask ourselves very often. In the busy hustle that is our daily life, you are constantly in a battle to react to everything that you feel like you must do… pay the rent, get to work on time, meet that deadline, get groceries for dinner, schedule that doctor’s appointment, reply to the dozens of emails in your inbox…
It’s a wonder you are able to maintain your sanity at times! (And some of us don’t…)
So once again… what guides you through your life? And the reality is that for too many people, it’s others that guide them. Their family, friends, co-workers, their boss or employer, news outlets, and social media.
Think about this scenario for a second… we are constantly bombarded by marketing telling us what to eat, how to dress, where to shop… basically what to think!
And as a result, you can’t drive past a fast food restaurant without thinking about their commercial or your kids yelling from the back seat that they want a Cheeseburger!!
Yet these are the sources of input that keep you on your path.
But here is a question to truly think about… is this the path I want to be on?
It might not be a question that you can readily answer.
And I used to be no different… headed through life down a path with no real thoughts about how I was led to that path and why I was on it.
But through a series of personal events, including a close family member passing before their time and my financial net worth being crushed to smithereens, I looked back at what led me down that path and I made the choice to go on a journey…
To take back control of my life and shed the chains of financial dependence on others.
And through my journey over the past few years, I have had the extraordinary experience to work and study with dozens of mentors, coaches, and successful entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors.
I have learned things that I never even dreamed of or thought were possible… and my life trajectory has been forever changed.
So I would like to share one of the things that has had a massive impact on my life.
This is something that all of those I work with and study have in common.
And that is Guiding Principles.
Some call them personal rules or personal laws… I call them my guiding principles.
Now before you balk at the idea of personal rules for yourself, I want you to think about something for a second… your car. Or motorcycle.
Or more specifically, the act of driving a vehicle on the public road. What’s in place to guide you as you drive along the roads?
Laws keep us in line. Stop lights guide us through intersections. Lines keep us on the right side of the road. Signs tell us when to turn, how much further we have to go, when to use caution, when to exit, how fast (or slow…) to go.
Hell… when you think about it, there are so MANY rules of the road that we have a hard time keeping them straight.
Yet we follow them as best we can because we have to. And if we don’t, there are consequences.
If you go to fast, don’t obey the yield signs, or pass when you shouldn’t, you can get in an accident or see the flashing lights in the rearview mirror… uh oh!
So what guides you through your life?
Some people already have guiding principles.
Consider a deeply religious person. Or think about a strict vegetarian… you put a juicy steak in front of a vegetarian… they simply are not going to eat it, period. No question about it.
Yet the person who is on a diet (it’s probably a couple weeks after New Year’s… we’ve all been there), they say they don’t want dessert at their nephew’s birthday party. Yet everyone is eating cake… offering them cake, saying “a little bite won’t hurt” and sure enough, two pieces of cake later, they’re crying in the bathroom and are feeling like shit!
But what if that same person had a rule… and their rule is they do NOT eat dessert except on Thanksgiving and their own birthday. Period.
It’s their personal law and they don’t break it. There is no decision to make because it’s already made. Suddenly that situation is a lot easier. And there’s no crying in the bathroom either.
Guiding principles can apply to any part of your life.
For me, they cover all aspects of my life. Some are more spiritual in nature and others are specific. The point is, I have them and I follow them. Sometimes I slip up. Bad Brian!!
But I have them and that is what’s important.
And I want to share my guiding principles with you. My hope is that they can inspire you to create your own and give you the ability to create a new path.
But first, real quick, how did I come up with my guiding principles?
First, I borrowed from others. Yes, I know it sounds bad, but it’s true. There were those that I looked to and their guiding principles really resonated with me, so I put them into my own voice and words.
I journaled… I wrote down things about my life that I wanted to change and created rules around them.
And last, trial and error. I tried some things, tried a few others, and made adjustments along the way.
These are very personal and important to me and I do not share them lightly…
So without further BS, here are my Guiding Principles:
I recognize that we only have this one life, this one chance to make the absolute most of it.
To live like no one else will by being willing to do what others will not do.
I recognize that every day my life is one day shorter and I commit to making every day matter.
I am my own hero… the Father my kids look up to, the Husband my wife loves, the Son and Brother my family cherishes, the Friend that supports and encourages others, the Mentor that encourages those hungry for knowledge, and the Man that I am proud to be.
At the end of my path, I will be able to look back and say…
“I did my absolute best to live a life worth living, that provided incredible value and meaning to others, and it was a journey worth bringing others along.”
I Am Responsible…
I take responsibility for my life and my decisions.
How I deal and react to situations that are put upon me by others is still my responsibility.
Frustration, anger, fear, hurt, and other negative feelings are okay to feel when others put me, my family, friends, or clients in a bad or negative situation. But I am responsible for how I move forward beyond those feelings, how I react, and how I ultimately succeed… that is my choice.
I Control My State…
I am the one in control of my state. My thoughts, my speech, my physical body.
I do not have negative internal conversations or dialogue.
I am aware of my speech and how it influences others.
My physical body is the visual representation of my state and I control it.
Record the Journey…
I journal every day regardless of where I am at in life.
I am living an incredible life and it is worth remembering.
Learn Every Day…
I read or consume knowledge and content every day. My path will always include learning and gaining different views because my growth is a constant and never-ending part of who I am.
A Healthy Life…
I acknowledge that I only have this one body, this one chance to be healthy, in both mind and body.
I respect my body and treat it accordingly.
I exercise regularly 5 days a week.
I do not consume food or alcohol after 9 pm.
I make healthy choices when eating outside my home and take responsibility for my decisions.