Create Your "Guiding Principles"
to Be Happy!

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Guiding Principles are fundamental ways you commit to "act" in your life. Along with your values, they can determine who you are and how happy you will be.

"Guiding Principles" are an important foundational component to true and total happiness (along with your values and personal Definition of Happiness). 

These 3 concepts (values, guiding principles, and Definition of Happiness) form the basis for happiness.  In fact, I believe you can't be truly happy without first exploring these three concepts.

1.  Your Values

Do you know your life’s top 5-10 values? If not, click here and go through the quick “values” discussion before going through this guiding principles process. It’s essential to know your values before you can design some broader guiding principles (or minimum standards) for yourself.

This is important; because, your guiding principles (which are based largely on your values) will help to further determine who you are (your identity), what you accomplish in life (for example, it can determine your goals), and ultimately, how happy you can become. 

Values are essentially "important and lasting beliefs" - the things most important to you in life - which can determine or strongly influence your overall attitude about life. 

Examples of values are "family", "peace-of-mind", and "integrity".  These are "internally focused" beliefs which determine your identity.

So, values generally will help define your guiding principles (which is how you act) and your Definition of Happiness, which is what you need in your life to be totally happy (more on this below).

First, though, once you have taken the time to access your values, lets move on to...

2.  Your Guiding Principles

As stated in the box above, guiding principles are fundamental ways you commit to "act" in your life.  So, these are a bit more "externally focused" (in contrast to values - which are more "internally focused").

Here are some examples of how I like to structure guiding principles to illustrate how yours might be structured:

  • Be Honest
  • Be Fun
  • Be Family-oriented
  • Be Wealthy
  • Be Adventurous
  • Be Successful
  • Be Goal-oriented
  • Be Friendly
  • Be Secure
  • Be Giving
  • Be there for my children
  • Be Healthy
  • Be Free
  • Be Helpful
  • Be Spiritual
  • Be Independent
  • Be Peaceful
  • Be at peace
  • Be Educated
  • Be Knowledgeable
  • Be Trustworthy
  • Be of high integrity
  • Be punctual
  • Be a great spouse, parent, sibling
  • BeHappy!

My former business partner, Tony Robbins, calls these his Code of Conduct.

And, again, these are the way I prefer to structure my guiding principles. I like doing it this way because it’s short and simple – therefore easy to have listed in my PDA. There are many other ways. Some people like to use complete sentences to describe their guiding principles. For example, “I will live with the highest possible integrity” or “I will put family before anything else in my life” or “I am committed to helping people everyday”.

However you want to do it is fine; as long as you have a list – written down – of, ideally, between 3 and 5 of your life’s guiding principles. Typically, they are direct “expansions” or descriptions of the values you listed when you went through the BeHappy! values process.

Now, with your (1) values and (2) guiding principles, it is critical that you use these to create...

3.  Your Personal Definition of Happiness

Your personal Definition of Happiness is essentially "what you need in your life to be totally happy".  Since this article is about guiding principles, and since I have a whole article about your Definition of Happiness, all I will say here is that it is essential to use your values and guiding principles to create your personal Definition of Happiness

Interestingly, even though most people think they know what would make them totally happy in life (like wealth, success, and great relationships) the reality is that most people don't really know.  As you can see from this article, it's a bit more involved than what you might think - which is why most people are not totally happy.

The Bottom Line...

With your (1) values, (2) guiding principles, and (3) Definition of Happiness identified, fine-tuned, and written down, your foundation for the happiest possible life is solid.

Again, these three things are the basis for everything else in your life. They will determine your identity, purpose, passions, goals, and ultimately, your happiness!

It’s that important.

So identify and create your list of values, establish your most important guiding principles and develop your own personal Definition of Happiness. Doing these three things will be the beginning of your ability to...

BeHappy! my friends


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