“Sometimes changing the game is as simple as finding a few people who play by the same rules you do.”

“Sometimes changing the game is as simple as finding a few people who play by the same rules you do.”

—Curtis Tyrone Jones, Author of Guru in the Glass

Image from Unsplash by Christopher Paul High

Imagine you are about to play a new board game. Although you want to begin playing immediately, you must first read the rules.

What if your current life was actually a board game in which the rules – and even the players – were already established without your knowledge? How much do you enjoy playing your current game, and how often do you experience that winning feeling?

Upon opening the box to your new game, you are surprised to see that instead of being highly detailed and specific, the rule sheet offers a number of provocative questions for you to create your own set of rules.

You have the power to guide your play and who you invite to join in the fun.

EXERCISE:

What questions could you ask yourself to reveal a set of rules that would most fully resonate with your most closely held values and guiding principles?

Which people in your world that live by these rules can and will you invite to take their turn rolling the dice?

“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”

“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”

—Omar N. Bradley, 20th Century American Military General

Image from harborfreight.com

Historically, sailors used a device called a sextant to determine their position in the ocean, and to chart their course.

Given the fixed positions of various stars, including Polaris (The North Star), and other commonly seen constellations, they were surprisingly successful in finding their way.

With today’s GPS technology, only a few sailors continue to use the sextant — although many a masterful sailor uses it as a backup in case technology fails.

With the volume of cruise ships, container vessels, and other boats on our oceans, it would be foolhardy to try to navigate strictly by watching every passing ship.

EXERCISE:

Consider your core values and guiding principles as fixed stars that guide your life. Which do you cherish the most? How do they help you navigate life’s rough seas?

Principles have no real force

“Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.”

—Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Clemens

Image of a feast

Image from Flickr by Igor Shatokhin

What would you be willing to do if you and your family were literally starving? Would you be open to the possibility of stealing, or even killing an animal to survive?

When we look to the news these days, we see far more unprincipled behaviors from people around the world and within our own communities than we ever have in the past.

What is all this craziness about?

Twain’s quote suggests that many around the world are starving for things other than food, such as respect, dignity, freedom, peace, and leadership.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you satisfy the fundamental appetites of your communities to more fully live in a more principled world?

be true to yourself

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

– Hardy D. Jackson

Image from imgion.com

Image from imgion.com

Have you ever felt disconnected and off your game? How does this feeling differ from being in the zone and experiencing flow?

What if you had the ability to shift from disconnect to flow, and stay there for longer periods of time?

Exercise:

Create a list of your fundamental guiding principles for living. Google this subject to see what others have written, and collect the seven to twelve principles that resonate best for you. Display these principles in multiple places in your life, as a reminder of what is in your heart.

If you are presented with an experience or situation that does not fit with these beliefs, take yourself out of it.