If you have ever heard the beautiful song by Ray Boltz titled, ”The Anchor Holds”, you will have a good mental picture of a concept that makes all the difference in the world in a human being’s life. Sadly, there are so many people in our society today who do not have an anchor, and they are adrift in the sea of humanity, being buffeted by every wind or tide that comes along. If you happen to be this person, or know someone like this, who lacks direction or purpose in life, then take heart, I have some good news for you.
Several weeks ago I finished reading a fantastic book titled, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” by Dr. Stephen Covey. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. I have always considered myself to be a fairly stable, well-adjusted person, but I learned a lot from Dr. Covey’s book that I never knew and had not thought about before.
One point in his book that has stuck with me is when he discusses where we get our sense of value and self-worth. He lists a number of centers where this takes place in the lives of different individuals. For example, if our personal value and self-worth comes from being centered on our spouse, family, work, money, possessions, self, church, friends or any number of other things, when we encounter a serious problem with any of these people or things on that list, we fall apart. Our emotions play a vital role in our stability, and when they are fractured or strained, this can have a serious and adverse effect on us.
On the other hand, he says, when we are principle-centered, and our value and self-worth are tied to principles, we are then free to take action or respond in a manner that is best for that particular circumstance. Principles don’t react to anything. They don’t get mad or treat us differently. They won’t divorce us or run away with our best friend. They are not out to get us. They can’t pave our way with shortcuts or quick fixes. They don’t depend on the behavior of others, the environment, or the current fad for their validity. Principles don’t die. They aren’t here one day and gone the next. Even more important, we can be secure in the knowledge that we can validate them in our own lives, by our own experiences.
There is something else that I have observed that may be helpful to some people. Sometimes very handsome men and beautiful women are at the greatest disadvantage. This is particularly true for women. Almost from the time they were beautiful little girls, the world has shown them favoritism – from winning beauty pageants, to having their photographs appear in highly flattering places, and later having men line up on the highway to fix a flat tire. In a nutshell, this is how beautiful people relate to the world. If they don’t take the time and make the effort to get highly qualified, apart from being handsome or beautiful, they are often in a world of hurt once they get older and their beauty fades, as it often does. This problem is exacerbated for a woman if she goes through one or more divorces.
Again, it all comes back to what Dr. Covey was saying about having a principle-centered life. If we will take the time and make the effort to learn about principles, and how they work, this will be the best insurance we can have for old age. To be successful and happy, it all boils down to treating others like we want to be treated and to be honest, dependable, trustworthy, kind, loving and efficient. Such a person is someone others love to be around.
Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in the Log Cabin Democrat in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states.