Introduction to the Timeless Principles
Let me start by making some things clear:
I am not a guru.
I am not exceptionally smart or talented.
I’m not even really good at taking my own advice.
I’m just a guy who’s had about 40 years (so far) to watch, listen to, and interact with my fellow humans, and I happen to enjoy writing things down.
I write a lot of poetry, fiction, and essays. I also write commercially for businesses. Doing so tends to make me a hair more introspective than the next guy, but it doesn’t mean I’m right. Or that I’m good at learning from what I see.
It just means I think a lot. And when something clicks inside my head like a deadbolt sliding home, I enjoy the fleeting pleasure that goes with “getting it”, even if it only lasts a few seconds.
If you read my poetry and fiction, you may catch a hint of sadness, angst or confusion in something I’ve written, especially if it touches on the autobiographical. There’s a good reason for that.
I’m often a sad, angry and confused man.
I think most of us are at one point or another, regardless of our circumstances. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make things better. As a matter of fact, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that I’m generally a very well-adjusted and cheerful individual, despite what I choose to enter into the permanent record.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy, of course. But what worthy goal is?
The only thing I’ve ever found to match the pleasure I derive from that “getting it” feeling is being able to share that feeling with someone else, hence this series of essays.
This is a new experience for me: writing about how to improve yourself, your relationships, your self-esteem and your level of satisfaction and success in life. Even as I hit “publish” on each post, I’m constantly concerned that someone, somewhere will realize I’m just a huge faker who’s throwing this stuff together off the top of his head.
But, I do it any way. And it feels right.
It’s not because I’m trying to change your mind, or change the world. I guess it’s just because if you’ve never thought about something that I have thought about, and it can help you out at some point, it’s good for both of us for me to share it with you.
And I’ve stuck with the whole “throwing it together off the top of my head” formula the whole time because, frankly, words are like food: the more heavily processed they are, the worse they are for you.
ABOUT THE TIMELESS PRINCIPLES
So, as you’ve no doubt guessed from the title, Timeless Principles: How to Live a More Satisfying and Successful Life Now is technically a self-help book. But, hopefully, you’ll see that it’s not like other self-improvement hype you’ve run across in the past.
There are literally thousands of self-help books, websites, courses, podcasts and seminars. You can spend the rest of your life just reading about how to make your life better, or you can do something about it now!
You see, the actual basics of living better are not difficult to learn. They really require very little learning, because they are based for the most part on common sense.
As your grandmother probably told you, common sense is anything but common these days, so some simple reminders are in order. And that’s why I’ve put together a quick reference list of what I call Timeless Principles.
To facilitate your “doing something about it right now”, you’ll note that the entries are very short. I’ve purposely removed all the unnecessary fluff. You’re getting exactly what you need from a self-help text: a bird’s eye view of the principles, and hard-hitting practical application to your own life. No more, no less.
I hope to help others with this book because I believe this world is tough enough without struggling against ourselves along the way. So my hope is that something I write about here helps you see things just a little clearer.
I want to make a point of this too:
These principles are NOT religious.
Although I’m a very religious person, and I feel there’s a time and place to discuss religious matters, this is not the time or place.
But, many of the principles I discuss may also be discussed by your preferred religious teachers or in your preferred holy books. That’s not because they are religious themselves, but because THEY WORK. Therefore, they form the basic tenets of most if not all of the faiths common to man.
Think about that.
Each section of the book builds on the last, so reading from beginning to end will give you the best overall grounding in what the Timeless Principles are all about and how they can be applied.
THE FIRST SECTION IS CALLED THE BASICS.
Every sturdy building has to be built on a strong foundation. This section contains the Timeless Principles that will form that foundation for you.
This includes general personality traits and ways of thinking that will slowly mold your outlook on life, on others, and on yourself. Some of them probably sound old-fashioned and quaint, maybe even ridiculous, depending on how you were raised and what kind of life you are currently leading.
But don’t mistake old-fashioned for out-dated. They are two completely different concepts. Generally speaking, if something has been around long enough to be considered old-fashioned, it’s because it was made to last.
It’s not going to be easy to instill The Basics into your life if you’re not already doing so. But the rewards are going to be immediate and intense. So, as you work your way through this section, keep that in mind, and don’t give up!
Section Two is called Next Steps.
Now you’re building on that strong foundation from Section One. Consider these Timeless Principles the framework of your sturdy, well-built life.
To make the most of the Principles in this section, of course, you need to have a full understanding of The Basics and be actively working to apply them.
These are Timeless Principles that add tremendous value to the basics you learned in Section One. Like the framing that goes up on top of a solid foundation, these principles help your self-improvement goals to take shape and grow even stronger.
Since these go beyond the basics, they lean more heavily toward specific interactions with others and how you make decisions that will have an impact on those around you. Again, these are not easy concepts, some may even require a complete paradigm shift for you.
But you’re going to love it once you make it happen.
FINALLY, SECTION THREE IS CALLED PRACTICAL APPLICATION.
Your solid structure is built on a strong foundation. Now it’s time to let others come in and take a look around!By putting The Basics and Next Steps into practice in your daily life, you’re going to strengthen your resolve to live the Principles, and you’re going to help others do the same!
This is where the tires really meet the road because each chapter discusses exactly how the Timeless Principles introduced in the first two sections can be used in everyday interactions such as at work, at school, in the home, on the road, and so forth.
WORDS TO REMEMBER: “NO ONE ELSE CAN SPEAK THE WORDS ON YOUR LIPS. DRENCH YOURSELF IN WORDS UNSPOKEN. LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN. TODAY IS WHERE YOUR BOOK BEGINS. THE REST IS STILL UNWRITTEN.” — NATASHA BEDINGFIELD
Self-improvement is a journey, not a destination. We’re never going to be able to “get there” and say our journey is done.
But when you think about it, that’s part of the joy of living, isn’t it? I mean, how boring would it be if we had nothing more to learn? Nothing more to improve on? Nothing more to create or conceive of?
I wouldn’t want to live like that.
So take up the journey proudly, with passion and enthusiasm. And take notes! You’re never going to get a second chance at this day!
WORDS TO REMEMBER: “You should live every day like it’s your last day because one day you’re gonna be right.” — Ray Charles