The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two focuses are Career Discussions and Health/Wellness. Whether its your personal life or your professional life, there are principles that lead to success in both arenas. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Life Principles That Will Help You Professionally and Personally.
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Life is a deeply complicated thing, to say the least, and there are all sorts of different ideologies, viewpoints, and approaches on how to live the best life, and how to get the most done with the time that you have on this mortal coil.
The self-help section of any bookstore will contain a vast number of tomes dedicated specifically to such topics, and there are of course all sorts of proprietary systems that have been suggested by various entrepreneurs and celebrities, for the express purpose of making money, and helping you to achieve your dreams – whatever those might be.
As it is often difficult to figure out exactly how to move forward in a specific situation, or how to sift through and select between the different strategies, approaches, and personal and professional achievement techniques that you have encountered, one of the most consistently useful things to do is to have a set of general principles that can be applied in the broadest possible range of situations, with good effect.
So, here are a few life principles that will help you professionally and personally, in almost all situations.
Use the right tool for the right job
There’s a very old idea, that has been spoken about by learned people, for a very long time. That advice is to always use the right tool for the job, and there are various related sayings and bits of folk wisdom that imply some of the hazards of not doing this.
Take for example the saying; “when the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.” Though this doesn’t precisely make the same point, outright, it implies it by painting a picture of a person who crudely and inappropriately misdiagnosis the various situations he is confronted with, as a result of his bias and narrow framework of understanding.
The idea of using the right tool for the job applies both very literally, and also more abstractly. In a literal sense, the need for specialised equipment, specialised tools, and specialised materials, is precisely why companies such as Clinton Aluminum and Stainless Steel exist and thrive.
In a more abstract sense, you can use this concept as an injunction to stay dynamic, develop a broad range of skills and outlooks, and try to exercise a bit of nuance in your understanding of the world, and your approach to resolving different issues.
This could have implications for everything from your interpersonal interactions, to the way in which you attempt to make a success of your business.
There’s a lot of power in old proverbs and aphorisms – the older and more widely spread there are, the more likely they are to be meaningful
These days, we all generally tend to subscribe to the idea that the ultimate truth and wisdom in how to act, moment by moment, is to be found within the broad world of “science.”
In practice, though, there are many problems with trying to use science as a catch-all insight-generator for how to handle personal and professional issues. For one thing, science generally addresses the “how” of material and rationalistic phenomena, but doesn’t address the “why” of the subjective world, including questions such as which course of action might promote the greatest degree of human flourishing and meaning.
Another issue, is that scientific consensus is often not clearly established in different areas – and even when it is, paradigm shifts may always occur and throw out a previously unshakeable understanding of the world.
Then, there’s the fact that virtually no one who isn’t an academic scientist themselves, has the time, training, or contextual understanding, to really weigh up the body of literature on any given area and make sense of it in something approaching an objective and balanced manner.
For all of these reasons, among others, the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb – writer of such works as “Fooled By Randomness,” and “The Black Swan” – argues that, instead, the best way of orienting yourself in the world is often to turn to ancient proverbs, aphorisms, and traditions.
As a general rule, it makes sense to think that the longer a particular proverb or aphorism has been around – and the more cultures it is dispersed among – the more “true” it is likely to be on some fundamental level that pertains to the human experience. This is true, largely as a matter of a sort of Darwinian process. When an idea has endured for centuries and millennia in popular consciousness, it is heavily implied that this idea provided some adaptive benefit for the people who subscribed to it, whereas ideas that were fundamentally destructive and “out of sync” with reality, would have died off as their adherents died off.
Therefore, when you’re looking for insight into how you should act at any given moment, consider turning to old sayings and bits of folk wisdom.
Always be prepared
Life will often catch you by surprise and throw many strange and unwelcome circumstances your way, and your most effective bulwark against these kinds of woes and unwelcome scenarios, is to always be prepared, to the greatest of your ability, and to directly face whatever eventualities may present themselves.
Whenever you have an intimation of there being some kind of challenge or problem on the horizon, do what you can to plan for it and pre-empt it, today.
This might mean something quite large-scale and dramatic, but it could just as easily be something relatively small-scale that would nonetheless have outsized consequences.
For example, if you have no lunch cooked for tomorrow, and you know that you will likely be tempted to spend money you shouldn’t spend on junk food you shouldn’t eat, you could rather short-circuit the whole process by spending some time tonight cooking for tomorrow.
Preparation, generally speaking, gives you a degree of control over the future that is often extremely valuable.
There is no easy way
As has often been observed over the broad sweep of human history, there is no “easy way.”
Many people preach many systems and doctrines for achieving your dreams and overcoming obstacles with minimal effort, from the Law of Attraction to all sorts of other systems.
Always and everywhere, though, the most reliable standard to keep in mind is that hard work solidifies real results.