To be friend-centered is one thing, but I think to have friends centered around oneself is another thing entirely. In Sean Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, he mentions life centers. A person can center their life around achievement, for example. Everything that person does during that day reflects back on their awards, ribbons, medals, certficates, titles, recognition and resume. That comprises their entire self and drive their life forward. That is the person’s life center. Other people might be family-centered, money-centered, school-centered or friend-centered. Whatever the case, having your life centered on things like this take the focus off of what is important. Instead of looking to something that is true, we look for our families, money, school or friends to validate us and make us feel successful. However, as my mother says, “success isn’t the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success.” What is happiness? I think happiness is staying true to principles. You can decide on the principles yourself, but I think there is a pretty universal agreement on good principles.

When we embody the principles of honesty, trust and sincerity the friends will come. When we follow the principles of humility, discipline and hard work success in school will come. When we practice the principles of kindness, patience and bravery a strong family will surround us. Money will come through thriftiness, appreciation and cleanliness. Maybe most of all, peace will come through treating others like we would like to be treated. Principle-centered living, as Covey said, is the only true center.

* This picture was made by my good friend Jonathan Huffman after he read this entry. It means a lot to me because I know how much time it takes Jonathan to make these great graphic designs, but it also means a lot to me because it shows exactly what I mean by principle-centered living. Great things happen to others and to us, ourselves, when we follow great principles. Thank you Jonathan for being a very good friend and may I say, quite a good artist as well.