Five Bedrock Principles You Can Always Bank On
Last week, I wrote about being overwhelmed by circumstances and offered a list of suggestions that might help someone get unstuck. You can read it here. Interestingly, right after I posted it I bumped into something I wrote on LinkedIn long before I ever had a blog. It tells me we’ve been struggling with overload for a long time. I’m reprinting it here with a few edits for the sake of brevity.
In the last decade, we have seen huge shifts in how we live and work. In the midst of chaos, it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamental principles that never go out of style. But timeless wisdom is just that; eternal, unchanging and as dependable as gravity.
Why it’s so hard to see clearly today
Things change fast. Time flies. We all know that. In today’s world, the pace has accelerated ridiculously. Life comes at us so fast and in such huge gulps, it’s easy to feel like a drowning man. Overwhelmed.
It’s complicated. We live in a time when we’re constantly connected and always “on”. Downtime to think things through is almost non-existent. Forget taking a sabbatical, we fear what might lose if we unplug for even a day. Heaven help us, we might drop the ball.
It’s all connected. More than at any point in history, we’re enmeshed in a sticky matrix of politics and protocol. Social media has left us naked and transparent. Everything we do is hinged at so many intersecting points and under so many watchful eyes it’s easy to become become paralyzed in our decision making.
Sound judgment, lasting values and thoughtfully applied wisdom are more urgently needed now than ever before. Good strategy is nearly impossible to create on the fly, shooting from the hip. Generations before us have pondered on this for centuries and long before we came along, they laid the foundation for us if we are open to hear what they have to teach us.
Here are five bedrock principles we can count on, as true today as in any point in history because incorruptible values never vary. I’ve included some “then and now” quotes for each to show how long we’ve been thinking about them.
1.) Trust is the foundation of all organizations.
Trust is a two-way street and we earn it by keeping our commitments both large and small.
“The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” ~Steven Covey
2.) Actions speak louder than words.
My mother always told me this and she was so right. If you really want to know someone, watch what they do more than you listen to what they say.
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Walk the walk…talk ain’t necessary.” ~George Akomas Jr
3.) Relationships are our most valuable asset and the catalyst for all our efforts.
It really does take a village. Everything we do requires good teamwork that can only happen when everyone involved feels valuable and necessary to the task. Relationships are strengthened by showing appreciation for the support and contribution that each person brings to the table. Everyone matters.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”~ John Donne
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”~Babe Ruth
“Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.”~Anthony J. D’Angelo
4.) Bedrock truth. We reap what we sow.
This truth truly is from antiquity. The world is a mirror that reflects back to us whatever it is we do and what’s more significant, we get back ten-fold what we give, whether good or bad.
“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”~ James Allen
“Life responds to deserve and not to need. It doesn’t say, ‘If you need, you will reap.’ It says, ‘If you plant you will reap.’ The guy says, ‘I really need to reap.’ Then you really need to plant.” Jim Rohn
5.) Honesty is the best policy. Period.
This one really doesn’t need more comment from me. It’s about as basic as it gets.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”~ William Shakespeare
“Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity” ~ Zig Ziglar
When we can take a step back long enough to think our way out of a frenzied state of mind, we can always be sure that the guiding principles that have served mankind so well for generations still exist. If we honor them and consider how we can simply “do the next right thing” as author Matthew Kelly so aptly puts it, we will always move forward in the right direction.
Sometimes we all lose our way and veer off track. Maybe all it takes is a reminder and the reassurance that we can learn to see life with new eyes. Fall is a perfect time for a refresher as we shift into the final part of the year. Need a pick-me-up for your staff or organization? I’ve created two content-rich, fast-paced programs just for you! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact me now for the best dates!