THE FIVE PRINCIPLES

Learn the principles, abide by the principles, and then dissolve the principles.

INTRODUCTION

It is your principles that you turn to when you face hard choices. Without them, you would be forced to react to circumstances that come at you without considering what you value most and how to make choices to get what you want. They can help you solve problems more easily, enjoy a flow of abundance, and have the strength and energy to achieve greatness.

The most successful principles are those that come from our own experiences and reflections. We therefore ask you when considering each principle to please ask yourself “is it true for me?” And if it remains something that is important for you to consider when you are deciding on what is important and how to behave, then by all means please adopt it. 

Open stairs on wall

#1 - BE SELF AWARE

PURPOSE

Being self aware is about taking an honest look at yourself and helps you learn more about who you are and what you are capable of achieving.

DESCRIPTION

More than we’d probably like to admit so many of our days are spent in a state of self-delusion, making excuses, justifying our actions, both good and bad. Self-awareness is about paying attention and being honest with yourself. It’s about focusing on the reality of your behaviour and not the story you tell yourself about yourself. It involves understanding your shortcomings, observing your own contributions or lack thereof, and being present and confident in who you really are. 

Self-awareness is not about finishing a book or a seminar. It is a practice, a muscle that grows with time and effort that ultimately provides us the strength to succeed in life. We all have the capacity for self awareness – to be aware of how we are performing. The more you learn to be conscious of your impulses, thoughts, and actions – the more you can learn about yourself (in a way that no one else can teach you) and use it to your advantage. Not sure if you need more self-awareness? Reflect on just how well you know yourself: Who are you? What do you want? How can you get it? What is your purpose? Are you happy? How do others respond to you? Are the results you’ve gotten in life so far worthy of your potential or not?

HOW TO KNOW YOURSELF

Self Analysis

If you wanted to get to know someone else, you would spend time with them. Observe their habits. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. You get to know your true self the same way. You ask yourself bold, open-ended questions, and answer them as honestly as possible. Ask yourself what are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your priorities and plans? What things are important to you? Is what you are currently doing taking you towards or further away from your goals? Analyze yourself thoroughly. Pay attention to the details.

Acknowledgement and Tracking

Keep a journal to track your progress and to cultivate your self awareness habit.  Acknowledge the road blocks in your life and start making the changes that you need to make today.

Become Mindful

Re-connect to your true self by slowing down your thoughts through meditation.  Allow yourself to visit the beautiful silence and stillness waiting within that will enable your limitless potential to shine through. 

Try New Experiences and Help Others

Acts of service and reading inspiring works can help you; work through old wounds, beliefs, and relationships; find new truths and insights; and bring alignment and flow to your daily life.

Obtain Feedback

Pick people you trust (such as family, friends, and colleagues) and ask how they perceive you?  Listen to their honest insights without judgement as these can help you assess your values, beliefs, attitudes and preferences so you can take the first step in creating what you want. 

Cultivate Self-Discipline

Embrace present moment awareness in all of your actions.  Refuse to allow obstacles to consume and dissipate the quality of your attention in the present moment

STORY

Growing self-awareness is like your eyes adjusting to darkness. When you have very little self-awareness, it’s like being in a very dark room and you can’t see anything because your eyes haven’t yet adjusted. You try to feel your way around but you keep hitting sharp corners and knocking stuff over. Eventually you realise that all you actually have to do is to sit still, be patient and let your eyes adjust. Slowly, blurry shapes come into focus. Over time, you can see more detail. And as your eyes gradually adjust, you can begin to move around, safely, taking care of yourself as you do.

The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves - that is the day you will find your way out.

#2 - LIVE YOUR TRUTH

PURPOSE

We rarely stumble accidentally into an amazing life. It takes a conscious commitment to tell your truth and embrace what it means to be you. Are you living as your authentic self?

DESCRIPTION

We primarily grow as human beings by discovering new truths about ourselves and our reality. Many of us are surprised by how many lies we tell ourselves and how many times we suffer because of them. For example, how can you achieve a fulfilling career if you won’t admit your current job isn’t right for you? Is it possible to improve your relationship if you refuse to accept that you feel empty and alone? How can you lose weight it you won’t accept that your current habits don’t serve you? When you deny your problems, or tell yourself or others lies, your results suffer. You become disconnected from your true self, living as a mere shadow of the brilliant person you are meant to be. Resisting the truth can cause unrest, physical and emotional stress, disease, illness and premature aging.

Your connection to your inner reality is strengthened when you align your thoughts, words and actions with truth and have the courage to act with sincerity and honesty. Your troubles won’t fix themselves overnight but you’ll be taking an important step in the right direction. Commit to tell your truth and embrace who you are, no matter how difficult or unpleasant the circumstances. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Stay true to who you really are.

HOW TO LIVE YOUR TRUTH

Self Awareness and Assessment

Become aware of your truth by paying attention to how you feel. If you are feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, exhausted, bored, overwhelmed, depressed, confused etc. then the chances are you aren’t living your own unique truth. Living authentically feels blissful from within – a deep knowing that you are on the right track, regardless of what is happening in your life. Journaling your thoughts, being honest about what needs improvement will help you face the truth of your situation.

Tune Into Your Heart

Living your truth is a deep inner knowing that you are completely in tune and listening to your heart, trusting it and having the courage to let it guide you.  Connect to who you really are through your heart.

Own It

Accept and own the whole truth and rid your life of falsehood and denial.  Don’t wait for circumstances to line up, for ‘someday maybe’ or to reach a specific destination.  Be willing to live in the now and act with what you have. For example if your physical body is flabby and weak then fully accept the truth and whether you are willing to live with the consequences. Or when it comes to your finances are you creating abundance or scarcity?  Admit and accept what’s true, even if you don’t like it or don’t have the strength/ability to change it just yet.  Because only when you surrender to what is can you begin to create what you want. 

Take Action

 A passionate, fulfilling, abundant life requires work – a daily commitment to face your fears, pay attention to your heart and jump on the opportunities life brings you.   And the work never stops, so learn to enjoy it.

STORY

When you get what you want in your struggle for wealth, and the world makes you King for a day, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, and see what that guy has to say. For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife, who judgement upon you must pass. The feller whose verdict counts most in your life, is the guy staring back from the glass. He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear up to the end, And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test, if the guy in the glass is your friend. You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum, and think you’re a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum, if you can’t look him straight in the eye. You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, and get pats on the back as you pass, But your final reward will be heartaches and tears, if you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

Only the truth of who you are, if realised, will set you free

#3 - BE PROACTIVE

PURPOSE

Live the realization that, if it’s going to be, it’s up to me. Are you driving or in the passenger seat of your life?

DESCRIPTION

We as human beings are 100% responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.  If you want to go places in your life, you will get farther and faster if you aren’t waiting for people to take you there.  In order to be effective at whatever you choose, it is imperative that you take complete responsibility for your results and use discipline to create the life you desire.  More often than not we limit ourselves to what we know and focus on.  Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Accept responsibly for your life and rise to the challenges in front of you. 

HOW TO BE PROACTIVE

  • Take responsibility for your situation and use discipline to create the life you desire. 
  • Be dedicated to completing the four daily practices (Meditation, Journaling, Contribution, Inspiration.) 
  • Set your daily tone by mastering a period of time upon awakening into a new day e.g. create a disciplined routine or ritual for your first waking half or full hour. 
  • Practice present moment awareness in all your actions. Refuse to allow obstacles to consume and dissipate the quality of your attention in the present moment. 
  • Set yourself personal quotas/Key Performance Indicators (K.P.I’s). 
  • Materialize your long term objectives by writing up a desired plan and working daily towards its completion – proactively choosing the focus for your energy. 
  • Stay super fit, flexible and get sufficient rest.
  • Tap into more enduring states of being to motivate and propel you.

Think of something you want to have happen – something pretty cool.  Just imagine how it would BE if you got it?  What would it feel like if you’d made all the right decisions and achieved it.  Think about that burst of feeling just before you know you are going to get that goal.  E.g. content, happy, satisfied, joy, balance, equanimity. And as you are having that feeling now, what’s the smallest next step you can take to move in that direction?

STORY

If a reactive person were to captain a ship, the ship would flow with the currents. This person would be preoccupied with studying the currents, trying to predict where the ship will end up as a function of the currents. If the currents are good, this person is happy. If the currents are poor, this person feels stressed. On occasion this person might attempt to set a destination, and if the currents are good, the ship will arrive. But if the currents are poor, this person will bemoan them and give up the destination for an easier one. 

If a proactive person were to captain a ship, however, the ship would go wherever the captain wanted it to go. This captain would still note the currents, but they’d merely be used for navigational purposes. Sometimes the ship would flow with the currents; other times it would steam against them. It matters little whether the currents are good or not; this captain will reach the intended destination regardless of the currents. The currents can only control the time of arrival and the exact path from starting point to final destination. But the currents have no power to dictate the final destination; that is entirely the captain’s choice.

It is in the ordinary events of every day that we develop our proactive skills. It is in the little things that we show our true character traits. Our response to the little irritations in life will also affect responses to disasters.

Be the change you want to see in the world

#4 - FIND YOUR PURPOSE

PURPOSE

Every single human being on this planet has a path and purpose/dharma to fulfill.  When you uncoil your sleeping life force, you get out of ‘poor me’ and awaken a giant within – an awesome, untapped power to be your best self and lead a life you love.  Are you living on purpose?

DESCRIPTION

Some people wander aimlessly through life or just respond to what the world delivers.  Others measure their success by their accomplishments, for example, how much money they have, their career, status, power, relationships and so on.  Yet, even though they may be successful in various aspects of life, they still have an empty feeling – that something is missing.  Living with purpose, changes everything.  It makes getting up each day the most exciting thing in the world.  It makes you happier, content, successful, fulfilled, resilient and alive.  

The life purpose formula is simple – we are happiest when we are being our natural and authentic selves.  When you are being your authentic self, no effort is required; your strengths and talents appear naturally and effortlessly; and because you are happy and aware of your strengths and talents, you automatically find a way to use them in the service of others.  If you want to fully activate your potential, lead a beautiful life and feel empowered by the decisions you make – it’s critical that you discover your purpose. 

HOW TO LIVE WITH PURPOSE

Pay Attention to Your Talents

Everyone has a purpose in life – a unique gift or special talent to give to others.  There is something you can do better than anyone else in the world.  Make a list of what brings you happiness; your unique talents, values, passions and strengths. Think of all areas of your life including relationships, health, career, spiritual, environmental, fun, finances etc. Identify the things you love to do more than anything else. Then whittle them down and focus on the ones you couldn’t live without.  Your purpose will be something you excel at and has significant meaning for you.  It offers you an abundance of joy and fulfillment.   

Give Back

Once you’ve discovered your unique gifts and talents, begin to think about how they can be shared with others.  Your sense of fulfillment will spontaneously arise when you focus on what you can give.  Shift your focus and internal dialogue from “what’s in it for me” to asking yourself daily: “How can my unique talents serve and help others?”, “How can I contribute?” and “How can I give back?

Believe

 Once you find your purpose, believe in it and that you are capable of achieving it (no matter what anyone else tells you).   If you don’t go after it then you’re not living the life that you were intended to live and you will feel out of balance as a result.  That  doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it won’t come at all if you don’t believe it is possible.

Lean Into It

Once you find your purpose, you don’t need to overhaul your life completely and all at once.  But you do need to commit to it, to begin to live it and stay in tune to the feedback you’re receiving and how you’re feeling.  Keep the end in mind; like creating a beautiful sculpture, just keep chipping away. 

STORY

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy finds her life at home unfulfilling and wants to find a place of greater happiness and meaning. She begins to dream and follows a path along the yellow brick road. After an adventurous journey, Dorothy and her friends reach the Emerald City – home of the ‘all powerful’ Wizard of Oz. They discover that the Wizard is just a mere mortal who has created a grand persona of himself. Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion, learn what they were looking for was within themselves all along. It was through their service to Dorothy that her friends discovered their strengths while Dorothy rediscovered her true home. 

All the disappointments that you have encountered in your life up to now are just your own version of meeting the Wizard of Oz, traveling down your yellow brick road and not finding what you expected. Now it is time for you to look deep within and discover the purpose of your life – the authentic you. What makes you happy? What are your strengths and talents? How can you serve?

We know we are in Dharma when we cannot think of anything else we would rather be doing with our life.

#5 - ACT WITH LOVE

PURPOSE

Each day make a conscious choice to nurture loving kindness and compassion towards all things; to be a source of light, an expansive, unconditional loving human being. 

DESCRIPTION

Loves lends meaning to existence, it is the essence of our being.  All things require love to survive including ourselves.  We began life, bathed in our mother’s love and swaddled in our own innocence.  Everyone was created to be completely loved and completely loveable for their whole life.  Yet as we grew to adulthood, the scars of hurts and wounds clouded our certainty.  When we look at ourselves as adults, many of us see flaws; things that we believe make us less than completely loved and lovable.   

When you seek power and control over other people, you waste energy.  When you seek money or power for the sake of your ego, you spend energy chasing the illusion of happiness vs. enjoying happiness in the moment.  When you are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates. It is your unlimited power to care and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life.

HOW TO ACT WITH LOVE

Believe in Love

 Love is a powerful force with it’s own power to transform.  It can cut through doubt, suspicion, distrust and hatred.  It can heal, renew, make you safe, inspire you.  Whilst love is often expressed through emotions and sentiments, love is also the essence of the universe.  It is the ultimate truth at the heart of creation; it is the essence of our souls.  In spirit you are pure love. 

Practice Self Love First

We must first attend to our own needs for love before we can love others. When we neglect ourselves emotionally we become emotionally toxic and are not whole enough to give love to others.  Finding love is as easy as allowing it to enter into your life; allow positive energy to flow; do things that nurture you, make you stronger, and make you proud of who you are and how you live your life; change your inner dialogue from the inner critic to that of loving companion. Turn within and ask your higher knowing to show you where you lack integrity, love, trust, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.  Then ask yourself to heal.  Practice meditating on the heart and start heart focused breathing.  Be patient with the process. 

Commit to Connecting

Each day, make a conscious choice to live lovingly and express love to yourself and others. Commit to purposefully journeying towards loving yourself and loving your neighbor and let these experiences of compassion sink into your heart (taking in the good).  Recognize that in each moment you are either opening or closing your heart. 

Remain Open

When you feel hurt by someone else, remind yourself that they are just like you (they feel fear, have insecurities, they need to defend/protect themselves).  You are both just doing the best you can.  Practice acceptance and compassion towards them, regardless of their actions toward you. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view, to convince or persuade.  Let go while remaining open. 

Be In Service to Others

Nothing will help you find compassion within yourself and for others like coming face to face with people who have much less materially and way bigger problems than you.

STORY

We each have two wolves inside us – a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. Everything depends on which one you feed. We have these two wolves because we evolved them 2 million years ago to keep us alive. Today, you can observe the wolf of hate all around us when we experience someone different or if we feel threatened, mistreated or desperate. We can’t kill the wolf of hate because hating it just feeds it. Instead, we need to stop feeding it with fear and anger. Meanwhile, we need to feed the wolf of love with heart and hope. Practice taking in the good of everyday experiences (appreciating and cherishing them); practice compassion for self and others; recognize the good in other people and the goodness in you; see what’s already good in our world, and what could be even better in a future we can make together.