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.
Realizing that we innately want to evolve--and that the other stuff we are going after, while nice, won't sustain our happiness--has helped me focus on my goals of evolving and contributing to evolution in my own infinitely small way. While we don't like pain, everything that nature made has a purpose, so nature gave us pain for a purpose. So what is its purpose? It alerts us and helps direct us.