Three Life Principles Not To Live By…

photoWant some advice on how to make your life easier?  Then do not apply the three common life principles listed below!

Sure, you might hear these phrases repeated over and over by your friends and family, but honestly they may actually do more harm in your life than good.  Below are some useful advice from Steven Gaffney‘s perspectives on these principles and why he believes they don’t always work.  My own thoughts are shared in italics.  If you’re ready to change your life for the better, then read on to learn more.

Principle 1: Live in the Present
It is good to enjoy the moment, and I do live by this principle – to an extent. For instance, if I’m spending the day with family or friends, I try to focus on them rather than obsessing over business while I pretend to listen to them. In that way, living in the present is great advice. But the trouble is that this principle of living in the moment doesn’t always offer the right perspective. How can it possibly help you make effective business decisions, career decisions, financial decisions, or family decisions? Those decisions require long- term thinking. I love McDonald’s – in the moment. But afterwards McDonald’s doesn’t make me feel so good. Living in the moment is important, but it can make us shortsighted.  I think this is true.  When I was young, I used to live by this principle only, but now I enjoy the present, but plan for the future. And as a result I am much more strategic with my life and business, which has helped ground me.

Principle 2: Treat others the way you want to be treated
The Golden Rule. Hard to argue with, isn’t it? The trouble is that we are profoundly different from one another. Treating people the way you want to be treated often only works with people who are like you. Suppose you’re a meat lover and you’re having a family of vegetarians over for dinner. Should you serve them meat? Of course not ! Life demands that we develop greater flexibility than this principle suggests. The best leaders and managers I know have expanded their capabilities and developed the muscles to adjust to other people’s styles and personalities.  Absolutely true, have you heard of the book The Five Love Languages?  I have learned to understand the love languages of those around me and close to me.  I find that it is very effective and I am able to empower and influence others more easily.

Principle 3: Treat others the way they want to be treated
This sounds kind and loving, but sometimes what people say they want is not what’s best for them. If your friend is an alcoholic and he says he wants a drink, should you give it to him? Or, to be less extreme, think about people who say they want honest feedback but in the next breath tell you that they only want feedback in a particular area or in a certain way. As I discuss in my seminars and coaching sessions, when people set conditions for honesty, it limits honesty because others will use those conditions as a reason not to be truthful. The result is missed opportunities for growth. This may be the way these people want to be treated, but that doesn’t make it the best. This assessment got me thinking about what makes a good guiding life principle. It didn’t take me long to realize that for years I’d been observing a valuable life principle in action, but simply hadn’t realized the power it could have for me.  I am not sure if I agree with this one, but it does make some sense. Your thoughts?

Well, what do you think? Do you agree? If not, I would love to hear your comments. If you would like to read the rest of this, click here for the full article. Stay tuned for Sunday’s post that I will share with you about colors and how they can make a difference in your life. Until then.

~tu-anh

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