Possess Your Own Guiding Principle

“To have reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle. A belief of some kind. A bumper sticker, if you will.” ~ Judith Guest, Ordinary People … 

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my such guiding principle in life?” After all, there must be some reason we each get up in the morning. Perhaps some of us are content with having to use the bathroom as our reason to get up in the morning, or maybe even something as simple as having to be at work or school. But I am sure you, too, have felt that there has to be more to it than that; after all, how exciting would life be if the only reason we got up was so that we did not lose our jobs or were late for class?

I feel that what Judith is suggesting here is that we each need a “bumper sticker” in our lives that defines our deepest purpose that drives us forward. And if our only reason for getting up is to use the bathroom, or to get to work on time so we are not fired, I am pretty sure that she would argue that we really are not making the most of our lives. Our lives have great purpose and meaning, and if we have not figured out what that is just yet–what we are doing on this wonderful planet that offers us so many blessings and so much opportunity–then we need to begin searching for that guiding principle.

For me, that guiding principle is service. I know that I have been called to serve others in life–my children, my relatives, my friends and coworkers, and those I meet each day. Perhaps I can help build up my daughter’s confidence after she experiences a setback, and encourage her to try once more with more determination and resolve. Maybe I can help lighten the load for a friend who is grieving from the loss of someone dear to them, or provide words of comfort and compassion for a family member who is going through difficulties right now. There is tremendous need of my service all around me if I but look.

Life is much more enjoyable when we can wake up each morning with purpose and desire. But it is up to us to define such a guiding principle in our lives, for no one else can give it to us. Yet once we have one, our lives will become much richer and brighter. And from the moment we awake each morning, until the time we close our eyes each night, the fulfillment we experience will confirm and help sustain the importance and worth of having a guiding principle in our lives.

Take a moment to reflect upon your own guiding principle in life.

Questions to consider:

What gets you through each day? How could a “guiding principle” make each day of yours richer and more fulfilling?

How do we tend to go so long through life without any sort of guiding principles?

What are your major reasons for getting up in the morning? Are they enough?

For further thought:

“Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.” ~ Anonymous


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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