Influence Of Principles On Successful Life

Why do people succeed? Is it because they are smarter? Or is it because they are lucky? Neither. Today I want to shed light on the actuality of principles and the ways they affect success as well as patterns that lead to success. Becoming successful is not a phenomenon. Though it may be difficult and take grit, success is established through a set of principles. Those principles are specifically coded for a specific person and situation. Different people function on different values and limits. Thus, the principles that guide us are established through personal experience and understanding.

So, what exactly are principles? In a more technical way, principles are what regulate relations of actuality and potentiality as we work across time. Through my studies, many philosophers have debated over what it means. However, I have narrowed it down to the “ultimate source, origin or cause of something” (McDonald). Principles are regulative elements or norms that function in society. Success can occur in many forms: wealth, happiness, physical, career, community etc. yet principles play a key role in these patterns of success. There are literal forms such as mathematical, scientific laws or ethical rules, but you must understand that different principles apply to different aspects of life (Dalio). The basis of principles is a basic foundation for success. For example, in a more cause- effect situation: technology, the principle that organisms can fly led the invention of flying technology (McDonald). So how does this affect success? Principles are not “bodies, objects, or entities but are the basis of the judgment or evaluation” (McDonald). Principles serve to help us make choices and understand the basis of cause- effect relationships.

Principles are seen everywhere whether abstract or literal so the use of them are undeniable. Scientific, engineering, and real-world laws are cases of principles (McDonald). For example, “law of gravity” or rules of “right conduct” all exhibit principles. The use of them are regulative elements that are applicable to different instances (McDonald). There are many cases of how principles actuate a process no matter logical or mathematical. In deductive science mathematical laws determine the model. The adoption of principles of ethics regulates behavior. These are all ways principles ultimately effect conditions, thus principles differ hierarchically, in level of logical generality and the degree to which it applies.

Life is filled with many patterns that affect you and in order to understand these cause- effect relationships, learning the principles behind everything will truly open a world of betterment and success. Ray Dalio, a billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, has spent years learning, defining and understanding what has led to his success. After reading Ray Dalio’s book, Principles, it enlightened me on the elements impacting success. His book is more specifically about principles in work success and life and he explains that people who understand and use principles are much more effective. He believes that having principles is “essential for getting what we want out of life”. The use of principles is very important because “all successful people operate by principles” (Dalio). Without principles, you would face a situation without considering the values and the outcomes which would ultimately impede your success. In all areas to experience success one must go through growth and change. Here, a more specific example, the principle of process. The principle of process is long and difficult which causes many people to break away from the basic rules and choose to take shortcuts. However, when people take shortcuts and skip over the principles, it only ever results in disappointment (Covey). As we grow and develop, principles become more and more valuable. We refine our principles from our own experiences and reflections that shape the choices we make (Dalio). Principles can often be seen as internal rules that act as guiding forces of our lives. For example, hard work: in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he expands on the principle of hard work, and in order to achieve greatness it requires 10,000 hours. While not everyone may operate on this specific principle, it shows that principles truly are a great force in establishing the foundation for success. While reading the book, Gladwell notes that “the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambitions, hustle and hard work.” I have learned through my research that they are many more variables responsible for success and one being principles.

The foundation of success lies in the basic understanding of principles. I have learned that all successful people operate on principles that they understand. Principles guide the way we act towards situations and success requires a deep understanding of those situations. Ultimately, if you are able to grasp the understanding of principles surrounding you, you will be able to reach success.

Works Cited

  • Covey, Stephen R. “Part One Paradigms and Principles.” The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
  • People, by Stephen R. Covey, Simon & Schuster, 2003, pp. 5–34.
  • Dalio, Ray. Principles. Simon & Schuster., 2017.
  • Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: the Story of Success. Back Bay Books, Little, Brown and
  • Company, 2013.
  • McDonald, Hugh P. “Principles: The Principles of Principles.” The Pluralist, vol. 4, no. 3,
  • 2009, pp. 98–126. JSTOR,
29 April 2022
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