Living Around Principles vs. Living In Integrity

Do you center your life around principles? I wanted to bring up the idea of cheating and getting around your principles first because it gives me a great opportunity to talk about its opposite, living in your principles or living in integrity. Read on for my thoughts on this topic.

After I titled this post “Living Around Principles,” it occurred to me that might sound like I mean living by getting around your principles, shoving them aside and living the life you’d be leading if you didn’t have any principles.

Uh, no. I left the title alone because I wanted to go ahead and bring up that idea, and then talk about why it doesn’t work and what I really meant.

Getting around your principles will not create the kind of life you want.

I’m assuming you do have principles, because almost everyone does. I’m also assuming that you want, at heart, to live those principles. I’m also assuming that sometimes it might be easier to try to steer around those principles and “cheat” a little bit to get where you’re going.

What I really wanted to talk about in this article was the importance of centering your life around principles. Bringing up this idea of cheating and getting around your principles really gives me a great opportunity to talk about its opposite, living in your principles, or, if you prefer, living in integrity.



When we center our lives around our principles, life becomes very easy. We know exactly what we believe, what we’re willing to do, what we’re not willing to do. We know how to accomplish what we most care about, because our principles guide us.

Living a “principle-centered life,” to quote Dr. Stephen R. Covey, is the key to really living the life we want to live.

On the contrary, if we’re constantly having to figure out how to deal with a given situation so that we “get what we want” out of it, we’re really putting too much work into living. I mean, why should we have to make a new set of decisions every time something comes up? Why can’t we just have a standard by which every decision is made? That’s where principles come in.

Living in our principles simplifies things because we know what the right thing is, and therefore we know what we’re going to do. We don’t have to weigh a lot of options and try to figure out the best way to “get what we need.”

Getting what we need is a natural byproduct of living in our principles. If we’re doing what we really believe is the right thing, we are automatically going to get what we need out of the situation. We’re going to be doing what is right for us, and what we believe is right for everyone else.

That’s the great thing about centering our lives around principles. They’re always the same. They don’t change with the situation. This makes life so simple. We don’t have to think about principles; we know them. We don’t have to wonder what we should do; we know.

I love when life is simple.

How can you make sure your life is centered around your principles, rather than trying to get around them?

  • Take the time to identify your most important principles.
  • How important do you make these principles in your life?
  • Start basing your decisions on your principles.

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