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May 9, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Living a Principle-Based Life

Brian Beckcom

Brian Beckcom

May 9, 2018 12:00:00 AM

I have been a member of a legal marketing and mindset group called “Great Legal Marketing” for almost a decade. The group was founded by a lawyer in Virginia named Ben Glass. (www.BenGlassLaw.com). Ben is one of the smartest lawyers – indeed smartest human beings – that I have had the good fortune to know during my professional career. Ben teaches hundreds of lawyers how to create law practices that serve their families and their clients. Ben changed the way I thought about practicing law specifically and living life in general.

Every week Ben sends the Great Legal Marketing members a short marketing letter to the group, which I always look forward to reading. His most recent newsletter article was about living a life based on principles. It was fantastic. Essentially, Ben’s point in the letter was that you need to think long and hard about what principles you will use to run your life, and then use those principles to make important decisions in your own life. When you live a principle-based life, all your decisions become a lot easier, because you can ignore the stress and hurry of the present moment and use your principles to guide your decision making.

Ben’s letter got me to thinking about the principles I want to guide my own life. This is a work in progress but here are some of the principles that are important to me:

  1. Ignore the critics. You cannot succeed at anything worthwhile if you concern yourself with the naysayers;
  2. Ignore conventional wisdom. The reason we call it “conventional wisdom” is because it is simply something that people assume is true, and so they believe it based on nothing more than habit. Following conventional wisdom encourages lazy thinking. Nobody ever achieved anything awesome by following what everyone else thought;
  3. Don’t be boring. Life is to short to be boring or try to blend in. Live your own life, and live your own life on your own damn terms;
  4. Constantly ask “Who Made That Rule?” Don’t accept so-called “rules” just because someone says it’s a “rule.” Sometimes rules are stupid and discourage progress;
  5. Love yourself first. This was a hard one for me to finally figure out, because I have always been my own worst critic. In fact, if someone treated me the way I often treat myself, I’d consider them an enemy. And more important, you can’t love other people if you loathe yourself;
  6. Trust that people have good intentions until they prove you wrong. This has been another hard thing for me to learn and accept, because I am naturally skeptical. However, the truth is that most people have good intentions, or, at the very least, their intentions aren’t much different from your own;
  7. Get in bed early. Nothing good happens late at night. Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health;

What do you think? What principles do you live by? Email me at Brian@localhost with your principles and maybe I will steal some of them for my own! Plus, I get emails every month about the newsletter and I really enjoy hearing from you all.