Sunday, January 1, 2012

Practice 9 Principles: On the Road to an Excellent 2012!

Photo By L. Frehlich 2011
In reflection of 2011 and preparation for 2012, this sign I saw out x-country skiing made me stop and think of The Road Less Traveled. I realized that 9 principles that I had been applying to my life on a daily basis were on this road; some days a more difficult road to travel.  However, I find the more I practice these principles, the better my life becomes.  As a teacher, I heard we make up to 500 decisions a day.  How was I to feel good about all those decisions and the implications for children and in turn, their families, and not question my every action?  I found my answer; and you can too when you make a conscious decision to choose to practice these 9 Principles.

1. Love: When making decisions and interacting with other people, if you come from a position of Love for that person, then you are making good decisions.  This is harder if a person you are dealing with is not coming from a place of Love for you!  Shake the offense off and go on.  Love is simply being good to people, keeping a good attitude and treating others well.

2.Joy: Joy is a daily choice and allows us to lighten up a little. When things aren't going the way you planned, make a conscious decision to hang onto your Joy. Once a day has passed, you never get that time again; so enjoy every moment. Get out of our own problems and help or give to someone else; it will jump-start your Joy.

3. Peace: One of the most important things we can have in life is Peace.  No job, amount of money or success is beneficial without Peace. This requires a choice and using self-control not to let others steal your Peace.  Live in harmony with others around you and choose not to get upset by letting your emotions control you.  This includes keeping a positive attitude and watching what you say. Storms will pass, so be a model for others and teach them how to hang onto Peace by your actions.

4. Patience: Patience is not waiting; but how we act while we are waiting.  It is something we have to choose on purpose. It is to remain stable and enjoy the journey because much of our life is spent waiting for the next thing to happen. If you find yourself becoming impatient, check your pride: do you feel you are too important to wait a little? You show tremendous Love for others when you are Patient with them.

5. Kindness: Kindness is being Kind to all you meet and especially those who don't deserve it. When someone is rude to you or maybe they did something that hurt you, be kind to them and watch what happens!  Kindness requires self-control; it is a choice. It allows you to slow down and give people some time. By being Kind to someone who doesn't deserve it, you are not justifying their behavior nor taking ownership of their actions- only yours! At the end of the day, you can sleep well knowing your actions were based on Kindness.

6. Goodness: Take your mind off yourself and make a choice to be Good to people. It can be in the form of giving your time, a compliment, an encouraging word, opening the door for someone and using your manners voicing: "Please", "Thank you" or "Excuse me". It is a mindful way to be a blessing to someone else.

7.Faithfulness: Faithfulness requires sticking to something until you know you are finished.  The way we grow is to stay with something. This involves integrity: people will know they can count on your word and depend on you. This also includes if your administrator asks you to do something, you are willing to do it.  Be on board with your leaders; avoid strife at work, home and in your relationships.

8.Humility:  Humility is defined as freedom to enjoy someone else's success. Humility is the opposite of pride. Pride is about "I" and is manifested in the form of impatience.  Out of impatience comes pride and pride dries up compassion and sensitivity. Watch your thoughts and attitudes you have towards others; let go of judgements, as what others do is none of your business- and pay attention to your own actions. If you feel yourself puffing up, check your pride.

9. Self-Control: Self-Control is to live in moderation. All of the above Principles require conscious choices. To purposefully choose to act in these Principles, requires Self-Control and discipline of your thoughts, actions and words. You have it in you; it is a commitment which leads to excellence.

So, there it is in a nutshell.  Practice these 9 Principles (Fruits/Virtues, Character Development), and you will find yourself on the road to an amazing 2012 filled with excellence.  Some days you may think that you are somewhat alone on this Road Less Traveled and that implementing them is difficult, but as you stay on this path, your actions will speak volumes to others. For more reading, you can read Secrets to Exceptional Living by J. Meyer, or  The Virtues Project by  Linda Kavelin Popov.

Enjoy your journey and best wishes to you in 2012!


  1. I love this. It's a great reminder. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Rebecca, I love your Artistic Expressions blog as well!