“The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It can be easy to grab hold of a new technique for productivity, a tool for planning, a diet plan, or some other hot process for improvement. Doing these new things might even work for a little while. But are they the best for you? Do you understand the why behind them? Are the principles aligned with your unique situation and environment?
I love to read and learn new things and then figure out how to apply the right components of what I have read to business and life. When I was much younger, I would grab a new tool and run with it as if I owned it; I expected a silver bullet-like impact from whatever new shiny object was now in my hands. However, as I have become more “seasoned,” I have learned that the careful study of principles and then the thoughtful application of appropriate methods is a far more impactful and lasting approach.
Do I get it right all the time? Of course not, but leaning into the contemplation of principles can and will change your selection of tools and methods.
Why before what. It makes all the difference in the world.