Why write out a list of principles?
For one thing, it’s my birthday. And, although I’m only in my twenties, I’m feeling a bit reflective.
For another, I’ve just been given a copy of Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (affiliate link).
According to Dalio (ix),
Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be aplied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals.
With that in mind, here are 10 principles I’ve developed so far. I’ve followed Dalio’s lead in casting my principles as imperatives. No, I don’t always do an excellent job at these. But they’re worth striving for.
No, this is not an exhaustive list. And no, I don’t always do an excellent job at these. But they’re worth striving for.
1. Go to Church: Word & Sacraments
This principle, and the following one, are purposefully at the top of the list. Why? Because they will place you in a context where your desires, your view of reality, and therefore your principles will be formed in the right direction.
So, go to a church where you can hear the Word of God preached and where you can partake of the Sacraments.
- For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann (affiliate link, as well as all book links below)
- Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community by Simon Chan
- The Church: A Theological and Historical Account by Gerald Bray
- Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical and Ecumenical Introduction by Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger
2. Do the Daily Office: Morning and Evening Prayer
- Rookie Anglican’s Daily Office Booklet
- The Daily Office from Mission St. Clare
- The Daily Office from The Trinity Mission
NOTE: I realize that a WHOLE LOT MORE could be said with/underneath these first two “principles.” As an overarching principle, “Become More Like Jesus Christ in All I Think, Feel, Say, and Do,” is quite good. In fact, I’d consider most of the rest of this blog to be relevant in that respect.
However, I’m going to devote the next eight principles to various pragmatic concerns, such as productivity, physical fitness, and financial well-being.
3. Think on Paper: Keep a Journal and To-Do Lists
4. Read More & Take Notes
- How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler
- Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes – Tim Ferriss
- The Top 3 Most Effective Ways to Take Notes While Reading – Farnam Street Blog
- Deep Habits: Create an Idea Index – Cal Newport
5. Ask More/Better Questions
- A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger
- Testing The “Impossible”: 17 Questions That Changed My Life – Tim Ferriss
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
- The Art and Science of Learning Anything Faster – Tim Ferriss
6. Sit Less & Move Heavier Objects
- Staying Fit With No Gym in Sight – Mr. Money Mustache
- Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe
- Stronglifts 5×5: The Simplest, Most Effective Workout to Build Muscle, Gain Strength and Get Ripped
7. Eat Less Sugar & More Vegetables
- Everything You Need to Know About the Slow-Carb Diet – Medium
- In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (also a documentary [available on Netflix], which is worth watching!!)
- 7 Rules for Eating – WebMD
8. Turn off the TV and the Notifications on Your Phone
- 10 Reasons to Watch Less Television – Becoming Minimalist
- Turn Off Your Push Notifications. All of Them. – WIRED
- Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
- The Low Information Diet – Mr. Money Mustache
9. Get/Stay out of Debt
- The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
- Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
10. Invest a 401K and IRA in Index Funds or Lifecycle Funds
- (See books from #9 above)
- The Basics of a 401(k) Retirement Plan – Investopedia
- Individual Retirement Account – IRA – Investopedia
- How to Start Investing in Index Funds – Forbes
- What is a Lifecycle Fund? – The Motley Fool
What principles would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!