I was encouraged by a mentor to think about the principles of my blog (and myself personally) as they would help guide me and my readers. He also encouraged me to encourage my readers to develop their own set of core principles. After pondering it, while my major areas of focus are: Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are in fact several core principles which underlie my content and me as an individual. My hope is that these principles will organically flow through my content. There may be some overlap between them. They include:
- Creating Ecosystems of Success: This principle involves showing others how to succeed – teaching them how to fish as opposed to simply feeding them fish as said in the classic Chinese proverb. It involves teaching the importance of a specific set of key attributes and qualities including: being coachable/teachable, curiosity, personal discipline, emotional intelligence, true grit, resilience, and work ethic just to name a few – all qualities embodied by the successful in our society.
- Creative Thought: Creative thought is literally imagination – finding solutions and figuring out what’s coming on the horizon long before others do. It’s discovering where things can go verses where they are now – moving beyond the known. It’s problem solving and thinking of innovative solutions. Albert Einstein in fact once said, “Imagination is more important that knowledge.” Creative thought is critical in professions that require solving very difficult problems – entrepreneurship for example. It’s the creative thinkers who have generally made the greatest impacts on our lives through the businesses and innovations they’ve built and created.
- Critical/Objective Thought: It’s very, very important to think critically and objectively. It’s particularly important in modern times to suspend judgments, and to perform one’s own research in order to determine one’s own truth and understanding vs. blindly following and trusting dominant narratives. This involves seeing things how they really are and asking unpopular questions even at the risk of upsetting others. We all have feelings, but what’s the truth?
- Empowerment, Liberation and Strengthening of Others: This principle is related to “Creating Ecosystems of Success”. Depending upon the culture, household, and community an individual is raised and nurtured in, they may not have been given all of the necessary information and tools necessary to succeed in our society and in the world – I certainly wasn’t and had to gather many of the tools in my toolbox along the way.
- Self-Accountability: This principle is important because it calls upon individuals to take responsibility for their circumstances and outcomes – both positive and negative. It’s easy to take the credit for life’s victories and ascribe our losses to others, but true growth and maturation comes from accepting our roles in both the positive and the negative. Lastly this principle allows one to change his/her circumstances.
- Self-Reliance: This principle involves positioning one’s self to not rely on the help of others – controlling and shaping one’s own destiny. We usually think of this in the context of finances and economic power and in my writings I will probably discuss it in that context frequently. It has become my belief that in the United States, self-reliance is the key. Communities and cultures who have it flourish, while groups that don’t have it languish. On a personal level, non-forward thinking, reliant and dependent individuals are also a lot less fun to be around.
- Teaching of Wealth-Building and Financial Literacy: Two of my passions have become Wealth-Building and Financial Literacy. It seems that everything stems from these two things – even some of the principles mentioned above. Wealth-Building and Financial Literacy allow for Self-Reliance in addition to creation of opportunities for others. They also make for a better quality of life personally.
- Long-Term Thinking and Delayed Gratification: A popular quote is, “It’s Chess, not Checkers.” This saying speaks to long-term thinking and well thought out moves – the keys to winning in Chess and also life. This principle fits into many aspects of life, but for the most part it involves setting goals and figuring out what it takes to achieve those goals – particularly having discipline and true grit. Like pieces on a chessboard, winning sometimes involves sacrificing smaller victories for larger victories later on. This involves a strong level of self-awareness, and self-contentment as others may not understand the choices being made in the short-term.