Spoiler alert, I’m about the quote the movie “Rio.” I have children – THAT’S why I’ve seen the movie, so…just shhh.

There’s a great song in the movie (incidentally sung by Jemaine Clement, one of my faves), and I love this line from it:

Like an abandoned school I have no principle.

This post is about principles.

What happens when we have them, and what happens when we don’t.

But first, let’s do a little defining…

Principles are values, standards. Principles are the foundation from which we act, assuming we have them in the first place.

In the previous sentence, I focus on the word “act” just as much as the word “principle.”


Because having principles means you act more and REact less.

Here’s what happens when you have clearly defined principles:

You have a core. You know where you stand. You are grounded.

The bonus?

Choices become easier and quicker.

In fact, most choices actually stop being choices at all. You might recognize several different ways you could go, but no longer feel the need to weigh and compare them. And, you don’t react to any of them, but instead act on the one you know is right for you.

Decisive. Strong. Effective.

And now the other side of the coin:

Here’s what happens when you don’t have principles:

You get bounced around like a pinball.

You deliberate so much and so often, that you stand still. You are reactive, insecure, and vulnerable to fear. You float from thing to thing.

But…Here’s the rub.

It’s harder to be principled because it sometimes means doing things that aren’t popular, even though you know they’re right. It sometimes means acting and moving when and where most people hang back. It means not necessarily being agreeable simply because being agreeable is convenient, and less controversial and confrontational.

While living on principle may be more difficult, it makes for a better life. A more meaningful life. A life of accomplishment. A life of evolution and growth.

First things first, though…

(And, no big surprise here, but my small steps approach does a spectacular job with this).

It all starts with discovering what you stand for.


Learn how to bring your strength out of hiding so you can begin calling the shots in your life, and begin thickening your skin.

Yes that’s what I said: Thicken. Your. Skin.

Perhaps now more than ever, the world needs people of principle. The world needs people of strength. The world needs people of action.

Got it?

Good. Now, let’s get to work.





2 Responses

  1. This post really speaks to me. More than yo-yo diets or crash improvement courses, this feeling of being adrift, of having to weigh every option before making a decision (analysis paralysis), had kept me from moving forward in my life. But no longer. The more I Small Step, the more Principled I become. The more I know who I am, the easier the decision making. And the weight is slowly lifted. Thanks, Sid!

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