Do values or principles matter anymore? If so, what is the most important value or principle you live by? Why?
For me, two intertwined principles seem to rise up from deep within our collective humanity during trying times such as these we are facing today—a global pandemic, widespread unemployment, and the recalibration of political, cultural, gender and racial justice. These principles have been my guiding light throughout my entire life especially during turbulent times.
Hope and Healing After 9-11-01
One such time I remember is the aftermath of the 9-11-01 events. I was inspired, at 45 years old, to pedal my vintage bicycle 3,369 miles in 70 days from Phoenix, Arizona, to Ground Zero, New York City to honor the heroes of 9-11. Supported by my wife, Lyn, we rolled across America and shared a powerful message of hope and healing with thousands of people across America. People shared heartwarming stories with us, grounded in timeless principles that can help each of us be more peaceful and joyful no matter what is happening in our lives and the world.
The Golden Rule
The principle that echoed the deepest in my heart and others’ hearts that I connected with during my bicycle journey—and has echoed again during this present chaotic time—is The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. This overreaching principle embodies values such as respect, caring, trust, honesty, and simply being nice.
The Diamond Rule
Another equally powerful principle is the flip-side of the same coin. I call it The Diamond Rule: Strive honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. It means to walk a mile in another person’s moccasins to better understand their unique perspective.
The unsettling events we are collectively experiencing today are great opportunities to reassess what is important in life. As we strengthen our human values and realize just how precious life is—that there are no guarantees of what tomorrow will bring—we can live life more fully today and every day.
I have discovered that when I consciously live the Golden and Diamond rules, I feel happier and tend to attract more positive experiences. When I find myself out of alignment with these principles, it causes me to feel “dis-ease.” It dims my spirit. It eats me up inside.
Create a Magnetic, Attractive Energy in Business
I have also discovered that these life-principles work equally as well in business. They create a magnetic, attractive energy that attracts the right people to work in your company and the right customers to purchase your products and services. In fact, as a business consultant, the first two questions I ask business leaders to help them clarify their desired culture are: (1) How do you want your employees to treat each other?; and, (2) How do your customers want to be treated?—invoking The Golden Rule and The Diamond Rule, respectively. The answers to these questions form the core values of your organization, which will significantly contribute to your lasting success and fulfillment.
So, in life and in business, consider practicing The Golden Rule and The Diamond Rule. It will create a positive ripple effect in your family, business, and community. It costs nothing, yet its value is priceless.
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