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.
For the most part, life gives you so many decisions to make and so many opportunities to recover from your mistakes that, if you handle them well, you can have a terrific life. Of course, sometimes there are major influences on the quality of our lives that come from things beyond our control—the circumstances we are born into, accidents and illnesses, and so forth—but for the most part even the worst circumstances can be made better with the right approach. For example, a friend of mine dove into a swimming pool, hit his head, and became a quadriplegic. But he approached his situation well and became as happy as anybody else, because there are many paths to happiness.
My point is simply this: Whatever circumstances life brings you, you will be more likely to succeed and find happiness if you take responsibility for making your decisions well instead of complaining about things being beyond your control. Psychologists call this having an “internal locus of control,” and studies consistently show that people who have it outperform those who don’t.
So don’t worry about whether you like your situation or not. Life doesn’t give a damn about what you like. It’s up to you to connect what you want with what you need to do to get it and then find the courage to carry it through.