Your Top Ten

September 26, 2009


Your Top Ten: Principals that guide your life—your thoughts and actions.

When life throws you lemons, don’t even bother to squeeze them and make lemonade, just put on your armor and deflect them immediately, moving onto the next opportunity in your life.  Let me suggest a vision of armor that is never removed from your body, but is a part of you—a flexible shield that cannot be detached and simply serves to bounce things off you that do not nourish, sustain or help you excel in any way.

How do you create your armor?  An enjoyable way is to produce your Top 10 Principals list. It’s almost like your personal Ten Commandments. How do you begin to build this list, you ask? One way is to take some time and think about those things that have easily penetrated your armor. They caused you to get angry, dwell in depression for too long, or act in ways that are the antithesis of your being. 

Here are a few examples…

  1. Let’s say you are a very competitive person and you happen to get down on yourself when others in your team achieve success and recognition more quickly than you do.  A powerful principle that you can adopt (which I absolutely love and use for myself) is: “I am Always, and in All Ways, better than I think I am.” By employing this principal each time a situation like this comes up, you will be more inclined to (before and after as well) focus on your own initiatives and your own success. It also will most likely be easier for you to be genuinely happy for the success of your co-worker and take that opportunity to learn something from his/her achievement.
  2. Let’s use another work example. You are completely overwhelmed! And, each time your boss or someone else asks you to tackle another project or task it adds a new level of stress to your day. If one of your principals is: “I am in complete control of my schedule and my life.” How do you think you’d feel then if caught in this scenario? How much less anxious would you be?
  3. Finally, let’s use one that many individuals without a job right now may be experiencing. You are an established professional with much to offer any organization. In fact, your skills are as such that you may be able to work in a different industry or position because your skills are transferable. However, it’s been months and you just can’t land a job. You have given up and you just don’t believe in your abilities or yourself at this point. How about if this were your principal: “I have everything within me that I need to be successful, and the universe/God, etc., brings me the assistance I need at the precise moment I need it.” Did your spirit lift just now after reading this? Mine sure did!

 So, by now, you should get a clear idea of what a principal can be for you. It can feel like a value (integrity, trust, patience, etc.), an affirmation (like example 1), or it can be a Universal Truth (whatever that may be for you—like one of the Ten Commandments). There are no rules. These are yours and you can create them as you like.

I’m not going to say that creating your 10 will be easy. In fact, it shouldn’t be. You must get to a point that you know yourself SO WELL that there is no question that you desire to live your life by these principals.

Who are you and what do you live by? Who do you most desire to be? What are you waiting for to begin living in this fashion—with such resilience that those around you have no choice but to feel, see, hear the difference? Wow, that’s exciting!

I was flipping through O’s Big Book of Happiness, and I read Oprah’s “What I know for sure”, when she was describing how embarrassed and betrayed she felt when one of her family members sold her “secret” of abuse and pregnancy to the National Enquirer. She felt like the entire world would see her in a different way, that she would no longer be respected. It was one of her principals, however, that got her out of this black hole, the one that states— “When you know who you are and what you stand for, you stand in wisdom.”

Know yourself.

Know what you stand for.

Be enlightened, and light the way for yourself and others.

Create your Top Ten, read them daily, and stand in wisdom.