Developing Your Inner Constitution: How To Create A Personal Bill Of Rights

We The People

Forget politics for a change and focus on something more important today than the media’s influential news.

I encourage you to consider developing your inner constitution.

The inner constitution is a set of conscious principles that you live your life by. It is a set of moral rules and regulations that define your character. Creating an inner constitution will help you focus on what’s important and make better decisions in life: ones that reflect your true character.

A well thought-out inner constitution, one that was constructed from critical & rational thinking, should be consulted before every important decision.  If you are debating whether or not to make an expensive purchase, consult your inner constitution. See if it agrees; does your rational state agree with this current state of emotional want? An inner constitutional can help to eliminate careless error from irrational decision making. If you are debating what to do in a stressful situation, check your inner constitution. Are you folding under pressure? When deciding between telling the truth or a white lie, examine your inner constitution. Are you standing true to your morals? Developing a well-defined inner constitution helps us be consistent in our daily judgments. It brings speed to sound decision making.

The best way to begin creating you inner constitution is to start with ten non-negotiable standards. These regulations and rules will create your personal bill of rights: a sense of your character and personality. Your personal Bill of Rights will help you remain on  the correct course in life and stay aligned with your life’s purpose. Consistency of this kind will help you to remain rational during decision making thus, reducing your likelihood for error. The most important part is taking plenty of time to form your non-negotiable habits correctly. It may be good to revise them from time to time.

A few critical questions to ask include:

What is really important to me?

What do I really want out of life?

What is more important for my happiness: being rich or being healthy?

What excites me?

What inspires me?

What motivates me?

Do I need to serve something higher than myself?

Is giving to others more important than receiving for myself?

When I look back in 5, 10, or 30 years will I feel satisfied with how I lived my life?

These are just a few of the mandatory questions you need to ask yourself. Take some time and think deeply about them in a quiet place. Take caution: the responses that appear as immediate answers to these questions are not always what you deeply believe to be true. Automatic responses are not always how we really feel about a certain situation. One example is that is easier to blame others for our problems that take responsibility for our actions. Taking action requires energy and hard work; it’s easier to be lazy.

Your current mood may also play an influential role in determining your answers. I recommend thinking deeply about each question when your current state is in more of a neutral setting. This keeps overly negative and overly positive streams of thought away from the important decision making at hand. It’s difficult to be rational in a state of excitement or depression. So, try and think about each question for more than a minute. Give it a day or two or maybe longer. Take the time you need. Sleep on the questions, turn the answers over in your head, and you will know when the answer is right.

Below is my personal Bill of Rights. Hopefully, it will point you in the right direction:

1. Responsibility: Nothing is more important than how we react or respond to a situation. The ability to be aware and recognize a situation for what it truly is determines our behaviors. Our behaviors reflect what we believe about others and ourselves. Instead of comparing myself to others, I choose to be responsible for myself.

2. Respect: Those who want respect, give it. I believe in equality:  race, religion, color, and sex. There is no physical, mental, or spiritual aspect of another person that makes them different from myself or anyone. We are all the same. Differences of appearance, creed, or rank cannot separate us from one another. I choose to look past the physical appearance of a person, carefully examining what is left, and in this moment I realize that we are all the same. In this way, I can respect everyone’s freedoms like the right to believe, even if they are wrong.

3. Honesty: I am honest, first, with myself. Then, I am honest with others. If I cannot tell myself the truth, how can I share it with anyone else? There is no substitution for honesty.

4. Integrity: Before doing anything, I understand the entirety of the situation. I am aware of the completeness of the entire picture. As much as I like to believe we are all separate and special, I know we are not. We share the same air, water, and land. We share the same space. I know that I am not complete without others and they are not complete without me. Integrity is about building a more perfect union, sharing with each other, and looking at the bigger picture.

5. Purpose: My purpose in life gives me direction. It is the ultimate GPS. Without it, I am lost. My purpose is to think about how I can help others before I help myself. My purpose is to live and leave the world a better place than I found it. My purpose keeps me focused and on track. I know that others have given me so much and it is my duty to repay their favor. My purpose is bigger than myself.

6. Forgiveness: I forgive others because I know that I am not perfect. Just as I make mistakes, I know others do as well. I believe we should both be forgiven for our imperfections. I forgive both parties because I know we are all suffering in some way or another. We share the pain of life. For this reason, I forgive, because we all deserve a break in life. Everyone deserves a second chance.  I understand that my forgiveness can be the change that people need. By forgiving others, I forgive myself.

7. Non-judgment: I will try my best to not judge others. I will try not to judge their appearance, their beliefs, or who they are as individuals. I choose to respect their beliefs, even if I disagree. Just as they are free to believe whatever they want, I know that I am too. In this way, I do not judge them. I will practice non-judgment on myself as well. I understand that judging myself can limit my perspective. To think I know all the outcomes of a situation is a careless error. I will not commit to an act of limiting my potential by misjudgment. I cannot possibly know everything. I know that certain daily judgments are necessary, like determining whether or not to go to school, go to work, pick out an outfit, or eat breakfast. These are necessary judgments. When it comes down to myself and others, I realize that actions speak louder than words, everyone makes mistakes, and we are the same people.

8. Conscious Selfishness: I refuse to be selfish. Living for only the benefit of yourself is a miserable existence. The alternative is to be conscious of my selfishness and direct it toward bettering others. I know that I cannot be truly selfless, so I direct my energy and efforts toward serving others in a way that we both can benefit. Becoming aware of our selfish nature and redirecting it toward something greater than our personal benefit is the powerful change the world needs.

9. Faith: We all have faith in something: ourselves, God, friends, family, or such simple faith as trusting that the universe will not fall apart today or the world will end tomorrow. However you want to spin it, we all have faith in some way or another. People tend to avoid talking about faith because of the negative connotation it has with religious stereotypes. Unbeknown to them, faith is power beyond the preacher. It gives us the strength to get out of the bed in the morning and get a move on our day. Without it, life would be hopeless.

10. Belief: I believe that life is a miracle. It is our greatest gift. My beliefs define me. I believe in love. I believe we can all improve. I believe we can build better businesses, relationships, and a better world. I believe anything is possible within reason. Because I believe these things, they become true.

What do you believe in?

Start designing your inner constitution today and I guarantee it will change your life.

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.

Speak Your Mind