Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.
The outcome you get as a first-order consequence might be desirable, while the second- or third-order consequences could be the opposite. So focusing solely on first-order consequences, which people tend to do, can lead to bad decision making. For example, if you asked me if I'd like to not have rainy days, I probably would say yes if I didn't consider the second- and third-order consequences.