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 teaching others how to succeed – teaching them how to fish as opposed to simply giving them fish. It highlights the importance of 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 successful people.
• Creative Thought: Creative thinking is literally imagination – finding solutions and figuring out what’s on the horizon long before others do. It’s discovering where things can go verses were they are – moving beyond the known. Its problem solving and thinking of innovative solutions. Albert Einstein in fact once said, “Imagination is more important than 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 impact on our lives through the businesses and innovations they’ve created.
• Critical and objective thought: It’s very important to think critically and objectively. It’s particularly important in modern times to determine one’s own truth and understanding vs. blindly following and trusting the dominant narratives. It involves seeing things how they are and asking unpopular questions. 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 was nurtured in, they may not have been given all of the necessary tools necessary to succeed – 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 calls upon individuals to take responsibility for their own 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 – 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. 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.
• 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 – 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. Like pieces on a chessboard, winning sometimes involves sacrificing smaller victories for larger payoffs 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.