Methods are many. Principles are few.

The proverb says, “Methods are many. Principles are few. Methods always change. Principles never do.”  Once you understand the principles you can begin to create your own methods to apply them.  The beauty of this too is that you accelerate your learning and abilities by being able to apply key concepts to different areas.  For example, if you understand the principle behind midline stabilization.  You can create numerous methods for bracing your spine with your breath and your abdominal muscles in every situation where it is applicable.

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” — Harrington Emerson

I see the value in many different methods and I am always on the look out for more methods with regard to everything in my life.  I believe most people are drawn to methods.  Look at what we consume in regards to cook books, self help books, workshops, gadgets: all methods to improve our life.  However, I try not to lose sight of the principles.  I am often the first to dismiss methods that come from faulty principles or principles that I do not agree with.  Methods born from strong principles pass muster and stand the test of time.

Take a look at the principles behind which you set up your life.  There an invisible script that holds the keys to the principles by which you and I live our lives.  That invisible script is the code for whether we believe people are inherently good or inherently bad.  It is the script that tells us whether we are worthy or unworthy of love, money, happiness, success, etc.  Deep down we have a script that formed a principle that formed the method by which we live our life.   Sometimes that script is working in our favor and sometimes it is not.

One way to improve your odds of success in any endeavor is to examine your fundamental beliefs and the script that they arise from.  Try to rewrite it to be more favorable.  Like when we are ill we try to combat the symptoms, but you can only really get better if you go and kill the virus that infected you in the first place.  I have a script that tells me I’m entitled to things.  It comes from being an only child and a son and the oldest of all my cousins.  This entitlement script gets me in trouble because it leads to false expectations about what I deserve.  Those expectations are seldom met and often lead to disappointment and resentment.  A feeling of entitlement does not create a strong work ethic.  I can come off as a slacker.  I can come off as a jerk. Spoiled. Arrogant.  Ungrateful.  Not great qualities.  I haven’t killed the virus yet. However, the fact that I know it’s there and can recognize the symptoms helps me fight it.  When I feel resentful, disappointed, or ungrateful, I look and see if it’s based on me feeling entitled.  When I merely act appreciative and show gratitude I feel like the virus is weakened.  Now that I understand the principles, I have methods to rewrite the script, and methods to fight the symptoms.

Take a look today at what’s not working in your life.  What are the principles that govern those faulty methods.  Then go a layer deeper and ask what is the invisible script that created these principles.  But do not get down on yourself.  Do the same query for the things that are working in your life.  There is a lot more going right than going wrong, I assure you.


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