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Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Mike Doane

Forget your goals and start building the foundation of a life well-lived

A mentor recently asked me a poignant question. “Beginning with the end in mind, how would you like to be remembered?”

He was asking about my legacy.

I first thought about goals. I almost listed them. But goals are short-sighted. They only take you where you’re already going.

Being too goal-oriented can also get you in trouble. You might attempt to achieve your goals at all costs, and the cost could be diminishing returns at the expense of integrity. Winning isn’t always winning.

So I did the sensible thing and said I’d like to be remembered for my principles.

Principles are, after all, the driving force in life. They’re there when you’re setting goals and they’re there when you’re achieving them. They’re there when you’re asked a question, and they’re there when you’re asking one.

Principles guide both action and reaction. They’re the foundation of a life well-lived. If your legacy is built upon principles, you will be remembered for how and why you lived rather than for what you did. And that’s a legacy worth living for.