Do you live by principles or beliefs? I prefer to live by principles. Like, do unto others as you would like to have done to you, or treat everyone equally and kindly, or help others whenever it is feasible, or don’t take yourself too seriously, or without personal integrity your chances for happiness are greatly diminished. These are principles that I like to uphold and maintain.
To live by beliefs perhaps is to cling to illusions and in the end has no value. Beliefs, like there is one benevolent God or malevolent devil, or we live many lives and never really die, or we live in a hologram or that white people are better than black people or visa versa, or that capitalism is necessary as well as governments, or that Om was the first sound, or that all is illusion, or that hell or heaven awaits us depending on our behavior, or that life without chocolate would not be worth living, etc., etc.
Maybe this is the first time that you have ever even considered the question of principles verses beliefs. It is possible that you haven’t been aware of the difference and have never deeply investigated the motive of your actions, or maybe you have. It is an individual thing. It is easy to be sloppy or lazy about many things, like language/ communication. Non violent communication (cnvc.org) makes it clear how sloppy we are with words and communicating and is much more precise. For example, sometimes a request can actually be a disguised demand. The way to know is, if the person refuses the request and you feel angry or disappointed, you know that it was actually a demand and not a request. Or you might say I feel instead of I think, and there are many other examples. The point being that it might be helpful to have a well examined life, just as it might be advantageous to have a well organized life. Or it could just be blur and then you are dead and you never really realized much of the infinite possiblities that exist for each of us in this allotted time.
The finality of death gives our lives the urgency we need to motivate us to realize its potential. Don’t waste time, not even a minute. But relax, I don’t mean to create any pressure for anyone, taking a nap, or having an ice cream, or doing nothing, or watching sports, having a beer, all may serve a purpose, so one might say, its impossible to waste time. But to debate what is a waste of time compared to what is worthwhile would be another discussion. And I can only foist so many ideas on you before you might feel overwhelmed and stop reading, or just go to sleep.
To get back to the original idea, do you live by principles or beliefs and if so, what are they. I would be interested to know you better in this way.