Sunday, November 08, 2015

Soft Skills:Principles vs Values

TL;DR: Principles are unchangeable objective truths, values are your subjective prioritization.  The better you can align your values and actions with principles, the easier your life will be. 

Differentiating principles and values sounds pedantic, but it's important to differentiate the concepts. You choose your values, but your values have no impact on principles. Conversely, principles, can have a huge impact on your ability to live life according to your values.   When your values and principles are out of alignment, you're bound for some suffering.

Stephen Covey differentiating principles and values:

Principles apply at all time in all places. They surface in the form of values, ideas, norms, and teachings that uplift, ennoble, fulfill, empower, and inspire people. The lesson of history is that to the degree people and civilizations have operated in harmony with correct principles, they have prospered. Correct principles are like compasses: they are always pointing the way. And if we know how to read them, we won’t get lost, confused, or fooled by conflicting voices and values

Principles, unlike values, are objective and external. They operate in obedience to natural laws, regardless of conditions. Values are subjective and internal. Values are like maps. Maps are not the territories; they are only subjective attempts to describe or represent the territory. The more closely our values or maps are aligned with correct principles—with the realities of the territory, with things as they really are—the more accurate and useful they will be.

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