It sometimes takes some hard knocks in life before you understand certain things. Without guiding principles you have no moral compass. When you have no moral compass, all paths seem to be of equal value. When you can’t distinguish the difference between wasteful paths and valuable ones, you waste a lot of time pursing wasteful ones, living reactively to life.
Without guiding principles, you have no means to measure yourself. Without measuring yourself, you are unable to make course corrections when you make mistakes. You inevitably end up spending a large amount of time on paths that have no value. When you become so invested in those paths, it is easy to defend them, further entrenching your commitment to them.
In the end, you find yourself in a meaningless place at a great expense to yourself. This is where you would rather look to someone else to blame and prolong your misery.
In contrast, if you have established guiding principles, you have tuned your moral compass. Decisions are easy and guided in the direction that you have chosen with thought and deliberation.
You’re constantly measuring value, hence correcting the course you have made when needed. You are also invested in your decision but investment comes from measuring the value of the investment first.
You end up accomplishing things of great value. You are happy, engaged. In the end, you’ll do remarkable things, and life is fulfilled and happy.
You can create your moral compass at any time. Decide what will guide your life with a set of guiding principles. Envision your life and set a goals of where you are, and where you want to go. If you find yourself going off course, you can stop at any point and change direction. You can spend the rest of your life engaging in things of value. This is the only way to avoid a life of misery and without purpose, a life that accompanies those who lack clarity and sense of direction.
To achieve greatness, one must not simply follow the path of least resistance, or the greatest temptation. One must modulate things. The best way to do so is to stay true to your values, principles that you have discovered in moments of clarity and insight.