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How to Find & Follow Your Life's Guiding Principle

Follow your lead.
How to Find & Follow Your Life's Guiding Principle

What is the meaning of life – YOUR life? One way to understand your purpose on Planet Earth is through the lens of a guiding principle. Your guiding principle is a powerful idea that influences your thoughts and behavior. It’s a fundamental belief set deep within your soul. 

Whether you call it your credo, your mantra, or the essential truth of your being – your guiding principle is probably something that you probably already know. You just need to identify it. Having a specific, concrete idea of what you stand for can help you make choices that are in line with your authentic desires – especially when the going gets tough.

But before you can live by your guiding principle, you have to figure out what it is.

What Is the Meaning of Life? Finding Your #1 Priority in Life?

Your guiding principle is centered around your top priority in life. For now, forget the idea of “having it all” and don’t worry about what you “should” choose. Simply pick the priority that speaks to your soul right now, and don’t overthink it. Go with your gut.

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Self-Care & Self-Love
  • Personal Growth
  • Adventure
  • Freedom
  • Work & Career
  • Conscious Living
  • Spirituality
  • Creativity
  • Recreation & Play
  • … anything else you want!

Chances are, you’d like to have ALL of these things in your life. But for now, choose one priority. Start with one guiding principle first and you can always add more in the future.

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Give Your Priority Forward Motion into a Guiding Principle

Now that you’ve determined your priority, hold the word gently in your mind. What other ideas is it pulling you toward? What words pop up alongside it and seem to ‘click’ immediately? Why is this priority so special – and what is its deepest meaning to you?

If nothing is coming up, that’s okay. Let yourself loosely think about it for days. Sooner or later, your guiding principle will appear. It should excite you, challenge you, and feel “just right” as you sit with it. It will feel like it could be the answer to the universal question: what is the meaning of life?

Here are some ideas of guiding principles to get you started:

  • Be kind to all.
  • Live in balance.
  • Pursue adventure.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Love yourself.
  • Commit to passion.
  • Keep growing.
  • Practice non-attachment.
  • Use your imagination.
  • Enjoy the moment.
  • Be flexible.
  • Inspire others.
  • Challenge yourself, always.
  • Get outside your comfort zone.
  • Dream big.
  • Be confident.
  • Live with honor.
  • Set a good example.
  • Keep moving forward. 
  • Nourish your spirit.
  • Let your goals drive you.
  • Create positive energy.
  • Do the work.
  • Always keep learning.
  • Act with compassion
  • Live responsibly.
  • Take care of things.
  • Do what is right.
  • Be determined.
  • Get it done.
  • Let go.

The Hard Part: Letting Your Principle Lead You

Once you have your guiding principle, you can start using its power to live in balance with your true essence. Grab a pen and paper and think about the past few weeks. Jot down all the times when you acted in harmony with your guiding principle – not just your thoughts, but your actual behavior. Were there any times when you acted in opposition to it?

In the future, how else could you “live the truth” of your guiding principle? Start simple, and start small. And be sure to write down your guiding principle in an obvious place. The next time that life gets tough or you are faced with a difficult decision, look to your guiding principle to help show you the way.

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