14 Roots and Principles to Live By

Victor Hugo once said, “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” Living by principles instead of running around looking for the perfect methods gets you where you want to go.


When the helicopter carried us away to Royal Columbian Hospital, my principles were firmly in place. As I read them over again, I was reminded of the power they have had in my life during this storm and recovery.

People can’t live with change if there’s not
a changeless core inside them. (Stephen R. Covey)

During times of adversity, solid principles are like rocks holding us steady. These 14 core principles are examples of what has held me steady during our storm. Let me encourage you to write yours down so when your storm comes, you are ready.

14 Stabilizing Principles to Hold You Steady During Your Storm

1. Success at home is more important than success at work.

Having a place where you feel safe, loved, cared for, and can be during your time of recovery is essential. I have that place for which I am so grateful!

2. Cultivate personal intimacy with God.

My faith is a big part of who I am. For me, knowing God is what gives me lasting hope and the internal strength to face each day no matter what comes.

3. Walk your talk.

No one likes a hypocrite – a play actor who doesn’t walk their talk. There’s a time for words, but only after you’ve lived what you are trying to teach.

4. Pay now – play later.

You either pay now or you pay later. It’s way more fun (long term) to do the hard work first then take time to play (do my exercises now – watch the Canucks lose later).

5. Do not feed unloving thoughts (Tamil proverb).

I see myself as a positive person but it’s no accident. I’ve worked at feeding the positive and loving thoughts knowing full well – what is fed in fact grows!

6. Be yourself, not someone else.

It doesn`t pay to be someone other than yourself. It’s my goal to be a genuine me and not try pretending or wishing I was someone else. I ride the scooter around the grocery store no longer caring what people think!

7. Be free to fail for failure is not falling down but staying down.

Fear of failure has paralyzed me in the past but thankfully holds less of a grip on me today. Now I see failure more as a learning opportunity and stepping stone.

8. Be a life-long learner.

When you’re through improving, you’re through! I love learning and will never tire of it. I think I learned this partly from my Grandfather who kept learning all his life.

9. Let wise counselors lead you.

No one of us is as smart as all of us (assuming you have the right us). I have several wise people in my life in a host of areas. They lead me where I cannot lead myself.

10. Live with the end in mind.

Finishing trumps starting any day but if you never start, you’ll never finish. The goal is to figure out your end, then get started!

11. Plough deep rather than wide.

I used to think I had to be good at everything. I was a generalist. I’ve since learned it’s better to hone in on a few strengths instead of being mediocre in lots of areas.

12. Maintain a sense of humor.

If we don’t laugh, we don’t heal. “Being cheerful keeps you healthy” says Proverbs 17:22. I`d take laughter over Oxycodone any day!

13. Be honest with how you’re feeling.

Honesty is the best policy. Many times during this storm I’ve struggled with fear, doubt, sadness, loneliness, discouragement, anxiety but each time have found people and places where I expressed my feelings and found help.

14. Be content with what you have.

Contentment speaks to material things but also to life itself. My goal continues to be to hold all I have with an open hand and be content with what I have “right now.”

What are your guiding principles?
How have they (written or unwritten) made a difference in your life?

Image source: Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, anxiety, Attitude, Character, choice, Emotions, Endurance, failure, family, Growth, healing, Laughter, learning, Optimism, Pain, Perspective, Preparation, purpose, self-awareness, suffering, tears and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 14 Roots and Principles to Live By

  1. Helen Parkins says:

    Once again challenging authentic as I see you live out
    these principles. Prayers always for both of you!

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