Throughout my life, I’ve been a curator. I curate all the beautiful things, books, people, places, and time spent in luxuriously intentional moments.
I’ve always edited my life in one fashion or another. Whether it’s editing out certain thought patterns, my closet, or toxic relationships, I curate and edit fastidiously.
Through all of these “edits” and “curations,” I’ve always stuck like glue to my values, beliefs and principles – whatever they happened to be at the time. Because yes, they do change as we age and experience new things.
One thing is certain — I will always have personal success principles.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
These aren’t trivial day-to-day things like “make my bed first thing” or “never wear yoga pants in public unless working out.” They are, in fact, overarching principles by which I try to live my life. Personal success principles to guide me through the everyday.
On occasion, principles come to me quickly, and other times they’re more challenging to curate. Sometimes they require my mind to be weeded and edited to find them beneath whatever weed was hiding it.
It’s an activity that requires intention, mindfulness, and a bit of creativity. And, it’s a fabulous way to distill your core values into something meaningful that makes sense to you.
To get you started as you work on your list of principles, here are mine:
- Appreciate the change that happens in the silence.
- Create yourself; don’t find yourself.
- Live inspired.
- Choose to shine.
- Be you, Michelle.
- Trust in the process.
- Be kind, even in the face of serious misdemeanours.
- Keep going.
- Don’t avoid, feel.
- Elegance is refusal.
- Align your actions with what you want in life.
- Let it go.
How do you curate your own list?
Coming up with your own list requires patience. It’s not all going to come to you right away. The list you see above took me a week to do and went through several edits. I wanted to be sure to keep them simple, but at the same time, convey emotion so they would be meaningful and inspire me to take action.
It isn’t a race. Take your time. And most importantly, don’t get frustrated with yourself if nothing comes to you right away. It’s happened to me! I’ve sat staring at a blank page for 20 minutes, and nothing comes — no big deal. Just walk away, take a few deep breaths and come back to it when something comes to you or you’re feeling more inspired.
Here are a few tips to help you come up with principles of your own:
Consider thoughts, quotes and phrases that have stuck with you.
Quite often, quotes become a mainstay in my life. Many elegant women have graced the principles in my life, from Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel to Oprah. If you find that a certain thought, quote, or saying stays top of mind, it’s usually because it holds special meaning to you. Now there is one caveat here; we all have both negative and positive thoughts, so one would hope that you select something positive to make a principle. Please, please don’t choose something negative, for the love of!
Keep it simple.
Oh! Humanity. How we love to overcomplicate life and living. Creating your principles should NOT make you want to weep uncontrollably or require hours of mental anxiety over getting it right.
Keep your list short, sweet and simple. If you’re stuck for ideas, take a break and wander outside, cook, read or do something else that you usually get lost in. You’ll be surprised when something magically and mysteriously just comes to you. And the kicker? You’ll wonder if it was there all along, and you were wracking your brain for no reason.
This is YOUR list, made up of principles that will help you live your life. While taking the time to look at others for inspiration can be helpful, don’t let them guide your life unless they actually do resonate with you.
It’s also not a competition. Comparing your list to someone else’s and believing your list is somehow inadequate will get you nowhere except well on the path to self-doubt. Take some quiet time away from the internet and social media and create a starter list with your beginning principles. Then, if you’re still stuck, head for positive online spaces for inspiration.
Add, change, or edit when it feels right.
Principles are not like values and beliefs that are a solid foundation in your life. They are there as a guiding light, a North Star, to keep you pointed where you want to go. As your life changes and you experience new and different things, your list of principles will inevitably change. And that’s okay. You’re not Moses writing the ten commandments on stone tablets! Add, change or edit whenever it feels right to do so. With that said, try to remember the second suggestion in this list and Keep it Simple!