Principles shape our lives, so its important that we proactively shape them.

No one starts building a house by tossing their family portraits where they think they’ll hang them. There are a thousand steps which must be undertaken prior to decorating a house with art. Among those steps is, quite obviously, making the decision to build the house, but even that isn’t fundamental. No one builds houses to build houses. They may build houses to entertain themselves, to make money, or for protection from the elements, but every project or action isn’t fundamental; there is a need behind it, and that need biases our actions. It should.

A developer builds houses to make money; at the end of the project, once the house has been sold and vendors paid, they want to have money left in their accounts to feed and house themselves, their family, and fulfill other needs and wants, like the latest gadget or an early retirement. A wealthy retiree embarking on the construction of a home isn’t looking to make more money – they want a home better suited to their needs. They’ll make vastly different decisions, even if they are starting ceterus paribus. They should. Even though they are both building a house, they’re doing very different things.

Whatever you’re doing, keep ‘the why’ in mind, even if it isn’t yours. It should be shaping your decisions. Why are you going to school? Why are you working? Why are you eating? Why are you going to bed at a certain time?

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