What principles do you live by?
We encounter interesting phrases in news headlines nowadays. Headlines like…….Unprecedented times or times of great uncertainty. How do we manage our fears, aspirations and dreams at this time?
There are no simple or quick answers; no “silver bullets” to resolve our challenges. I would like to suggest, therefore, that we consider what principles of life we may navigate the season facing us
What are principles? Stephen Covey, author of “7 habits of effective people”, believes they are part of most traditions and philosophies over the ages — they’ve been woven into the fabric of societies throughout human history. They often concern human behavior and govern interactions between people.
There are certain principles that transcend cultural differences and do not change over time. They determine the ultimate outcomes or consequences of behaviour and actions, as much as gravity determines that something will fall when dropped.
Using principles. If you’re looking to create a timeless sense of purpose and to shape the overall mission of your life, then you should use principles. Establishing a set of principles creates a compass to which you can refer whenever something is in doubt or you need to take a stand or evaluate any particular opportunity, behaviour, or situation. Here are some principles to consider:-
1. What can you do with what you have?
A resourceful person can see opportunity when others only see obstacles. Garrett Gunderson
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. Ernest Hemingway
These two ideas reinforce the concept that resourceful people tend to focus on what is within their control and on what they can accomplish, rather than on what they don’t have or to limit themselves until they have the perfect opportunity.
You can focus on what isn’t working, why it can’t be done and who’s to blame, or you can focus on what is working, how it can be done and what you want to achieve. You can be part of the solution or part of the problem. You can move from ‘Yes, but … to ‘Yes, and … .’
2. Is there another way to look at the situation? Can I change what I see by changing my perspective?
I do believe that out of adversity comes incredible resourcefulness. Phil Keoghan
Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience, and resourcefulness. Naomi Wolf
The lesson here is that adversity, challenges and obstacles are not always bad things. Many successful entrepreneurs have reframed their difficult family background or unstable financial situation to approach their future with confidence, purpose and hope. In doing so, they build on this characteristic of resourcefulness.
3. Learn to be appreciative and grateful.
Being truly thankful makes you infinitely more resourceful. By sincerely appreciating what you have, you find new and valuable ways to make use of it. Ralph Marston
It may surprise you that highly successful people have also learnt the healthy habit of being deliberately appreciative and grateful. What is interesting is that this intentional focus on being grateful appears to correlate with seeing and taking more opportunities.
I remind myself of this focus every time I access a free gratitude app. Others use a gratitude journal. Find something that works for you and build this competency.
4. See yourself as resourceful and as an apt problem solver.
If you can see yourself more than just a victim, aha, now you’ve got the place to move into that is much more vital and creative and … resourceful than being a victim. Kelly Carlin-McCall
There are many ways to increase your problem-solving ability. Many sites on the internet help the committed person to build their problem-solving skills. I am aware of at least 18 tools to use to build the muscle of problem solving and the ‘six-pack of resourcefulness!’
5. Be relentless in your pursuit of resourcefulness
If you want something you must become relentless for success, resourceful for what you need and resistant to excuses. Anonymous
Traditionally, South Africa has a high rate of small business failure in the first two years of a start-up. There are many reasons for this, like little or no market research; no clear market; poor management of resources; entering into a highly over-traded space, and more.
Yet failure is more often attributed to the ‘jockey’ or the entrepreneur than to the ‘horse. Thus, a commitment to personal mastery, built upon a foundation of resilience and resourcefulness, will go a long way to building businesses for the long haul.
Finding a new normal may mean revisiting the principles we live by.