This post is all about making decisions from a principle centred place.
As you may know, I'm in the process of reading 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Steve Covey. I have to say, reading it on the tube (London Underground trains for my US readers), I haven't got all that far but I'm up to the 3rd habit and was inspired to write this post.
The second habit Steve talks about is that of creating a personal mission statement from which to make decisions; all decisions. He argues that if we make decisions based on work, other people or even ourselves, the paradigms shift constantly so we ourselves become inconsistent and this makes decision making much harder than it needs to be.
He suggests that we all create a personal mission statement. A short 'creed', for want of a better word, describing how we want to be. A simple exercise for figuring out what this is would be a short creative imagery exercise imagining what you would want different people in your life to say at your funeral. Take this as the basis for the sort of person you want to be.
By creating a personal mission statement, for example, 'I always come from a place of integrity, I am kind and honest, I stand up for my family and am unconditionally supportive of them', it gives you a constant basis from which to work.
This links in nicely to my article, 'The biggest time waster in your life' where I talk about training your intuition to tell you instinctively if something is the right decision for you by the way it feels.
Covey's method simple breaks that down more and tells you why it instinctively feels right. Simply because it is in-line with your underlying belief system, your personal ethics and moral guidelines.
Your personal mission statement gives you a roadmap by which you can live your life. It's constant, nomatter who you're with or what you're doing, your moral compass remains the same. It might get updated over the years, perhaps when you have a family and your priorities necessarily change, but overall that moral compass is clear, in black and white, to guide every decision you make.
I've written mine, the first draft anyway, but I'm not going to share it with you, simply because it's a very personal thing, and I'm still working on it. Perhaps I will do in a future post but for now I want to sit with it a while, get to know it, and check myself against it.
Why not write your statement, spend time on it; perfect it; be completely at one and at ease with it; then write it out and stick it somewhere you look every day; keep it in mind; and keep referring to it - is what your doing in line with those statements? If not, make a change today.
N.B Cross posted to my blog.