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.
It helps to clarify whether the weakness or mistake under discussion is indicative of a trainee's total evaluation. One day I told one of our new research people what a good job I thought he was doing and how strong his thinking was. It was a very positive initial evaluation. A few days later I heard him chatting away at length about stuff that wasn't related to work, so I warned him about the cost to his and our development if he regularly wasted time. Afterward I learned that he thought he was on the brink of being fired. My comment about his need for focus had nothing to do with my overall evaluation. Had I explained myself better when we sat down that second time, he could have put my comment into perspective.