The principles work, but you have to work the principles.”


In my last WoW, I shared with you the business perspective of the principles contained in my international Best Selling book, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You! The Eight Principles You Must Follow to Thrive in Life and Work. This week I have applied them to relationships.

As you read, think of someone you are in relationship with right now. Perhaps your spouse or partner, or your child, relative, neighbor, friend or colleague, and ask yourself, ” Am I doing all I can to make this a successful experience for us both?”


Principle #1: Honesty:

When I have an honest relationship with reality,

I can make more effective choices.

When I am honest with myself and with you,

I set myself free to be really me.

When I am real, authentic and true,

I make it easier for you to be true, too.

It’s just good for relationships

Principle #2: Keep My Word:

People keep invisible lists in their heads

Of those they can count on and those they can’t.

When I give my word and keep it,

I build a bridge of trust between us.

When I know I can count on myself to do what I say,

Then you will count on me, too.

I want my name to be on your integrity list.

It’s just good for relationships

Principle #3: Acceptance:

As I respect the laws of reality and accept situations and people as they are,

As I begin to trust that who I am is more than enough,

I let go of trying to change people.

I stop fighting against the current.

I begin to understand everyone and everything that enters my life is there to help me evolve.

And I accept and say, “Thank You!”

It’s just good for relationships


Principle #4: Win/Win:

When I am as committed to having you win as I am for myself to win,

When I am unwilling to have my needs met without yours being fulfilled as well,

When I take responsibility to respect my own wants and needs,

As much as I respect yours,

Then I am playing a really big game.

A game that honors myself and others…

And restores mutual respect and ultimately changes our world.

It’s just good for relationships


Principle #5: Courage and Commitment:

It takes courage to commit to something when I don’t know how it will turn out.

Yet, when I don’t commit with clear intention,

I am at the mercy of chance and luck.

I wish, I want, I hope, I try, but I am not empowered.

I must be conscious and clear about what I set my will to because

I will always receive the result that supports my commitment.

It never fails.

It’s just good for relationships


Principle # 6: Perception/Reality:

My perception is not The Reality.

My perception is only my view, my opinion, my belief, my reality.

I do not own the Capital-T truth. I only have my truth.

This does not make either of us right or wrong.

It merely means we see things differently.

With this understanding, we can work things out with mutual respect.

It’s just good for relationships


Principle # 7: Accountability:

No one can make me do anything I don’t choose to do.

Or make me feel anything I don’t choose to feel.

I can account for my connection to events as they occur.

My choices put me there.

I have an ability to respond to things as they occur.

I choose my response.

Every choice I have made in my life has led me to this very moment.

I own it all without judgment or blame because every step of the way, I have made the best choice I knew how to make in the moment.

So did you.

It’s just good for relationships


Principle #8: Give and Receive with Gratitude and Love:

Breathing is the most fundamental activity for life itself.

When I breathe in gratitude, abundance and joy,

When I breathe out generosity, forgiveness and understanding,

Love appears. It is as natural as breathing.

When I give and receive equally,

I begin to thrive with balance, health, wealth and happiness.

The plants give out an abundance of oxygen that sustains my life.

There is no scarcity. It is an abundant world.

When I breathe out, I do not give carbon dioxide to only certain plants,

I give with unconditional generosity.

There is plenty for everyone.

Abundance, unconditional giving and receiving…love.

My very life depends upon it.

And besides . . .

It’s just good for relationships


REMEMBER: The principles work, but you have to work the principles!


To purchase my Best Seller, click here.

Thank you!

“The principles work, but you have to work the principles.”

Ten years ago, I wrote my book, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You! The Eight Principles You Must Follow to Succeed in Life and Work. It instantly became an international Best Seller, reaching #3 on the Amazon Best Seller list. (Two places under Harry Potter!)

The principles that create a successful context life are also what creates a successful context for business. The practical examples of how that is true are too many to mention, but I briefly summarized the principles here.


Principle #1: Honesty:

When I am genuine and honest, I create sincere and trusting partnerships.

When I seek the honest answer (even if it isn’t what I want to hear),

I deal with reality and will be best prepared to respond effectively.

Being honest means I must face my fears of rejection and disapproval.

But in the end, isn’t it I who must accept and approve of myself?

When no one is looking and no one knows and maybe never will…

Will I still do the honorable thing?

If I do, then I can stand tall and be at ease with myself.

I will be a person of good character

It’s just good for business.

Principle #2: Keep My Word:

“You can count on me. I give you my word.”

With these words, I step into a different space and will be tested.

I will be challenged to be creative, ask for help, delegate, stop procrastinating, say no, set priorities.

I will be required to face my fears, risk failure and make mistakes.

But aren’t these the very things I have avoided in the past?

And hasn’t it always limited me and held me back?

Keeping my word, no matter what, gives me the opportunity to grow, to achieve, to reach new heights and to succeed.

Keeping my word builds my self-esteem and self-confidence.

When I keep my word, I become a person of integrity;

Others trust me and I build lasting relationships.

It’s just good for business.


Principle #3: Acceptance:

Things are how they are.

I can wish, want and hope they were different,

But reality requires me to realize, “it is what it is”.

Acceptance does not mean giving up or giving in.

It simply means “going with”.

When I accept fully, I will stop fighting, resisting and complaining.

I will get on with finding a creative way to deal with the situation.

I will respond in a way that looks for solutions.

It’s just good for business.


Principle #4: Win/Win:

When I put the good of the team above my own ego…

When I support the success of the entire company above my own need to be right…

When I look for ways to serve what the customer wants…

When I let go of being a part of the problem and begin to look for solutions…

You win and so do I!

When I stand up for mutual respect and understanding…

When I maintain my own boundaries and create a healthy life balance…

When I confront difficult situations that may be hurting me…

When I make sure I don’t slight myself or neglect my wants and needs…

I win and so do you!

Everyone walks away feeling whole and happy.

It’s just good for business.


Principle #5: Courage and Commitment:

Courage and commitment do not come cheaply; the risks are great.

When I truly commit, I do so with the realization I may not be up to the task.

There is no guarantee I will succeed and there are bound to be obstacles and barriers along the way.

However, there comes a critical moment in the process when I realize I have a choice – to quit or courageously persevere.

It is at this moment I determine if I will win or lose.

If I am to become the very best I can possibly be, my choice is already made.

It’s just good for business.


Principle #6: Perception and Reality:

We do not always see eye-to-eye,

Yet which of us is right?

When I let go of my ego long enough to realize my reality is not “The Reality”…

When I am willing to let go of my position and step over to your side and see things from your perspective…

Then perhaps, you will be more willing to truly listen to mine.

Together we can find a solution and mend any differences…

If we are willing.

It’s just good for business


Principle # 7: Accountability:

When I take full ownership of my actions, reactions and results,

I begin to control my life

When I am a victim, life and outside circumstances control me.

However, when I choose personal power,

I realize every choice I have ever made led me to where I am right now.

I do not blame.

I take full personal responsibility for my results.

If that’s not good news, I can make a different choice and change it!


It’s just good for business.


Principle #8: Give and Receive with Genuine Caring

Balance. It is the secret to success throughout the Universe.

When I ask, “What can I give to you?” without worrying about what you’re going to do for me,

I am practicing genuine caring.

When I am also willing to gratefully receive support, suggestions and constructive feedback without pushing you away,

I am allowing you the opportunity to give and we are practicing genuine caring together.

Then we are in balance.

We are in alignment with the natural rhythm of the Universe.

It’s just good for business.

 REMEMBER: The principles work, but you have to work the principles.

 To purchase my Best Seller, click here.



Knowing others is intelligence;

Knowing yourself is true wisdom;

Mastering others is strength;

Mastering yourself is true power.”

Lao Tzu

You may be many years out of school, deeply involved in your work or with your family, and like most of us, you may have learned many of life’s lessons the hard way. But lessons never stop and learning never ends.

Enlightened people always ask themselves, “What’s next? Where is my next step of growth?” None of us is “finished”. Life constantly serves us opportunities to evolve as human beings and as we do, so does our experience of life. With growth comes increased joy, fulfillment and inner peace. The choice to grow is yours . . .

10 Things Never Learned in School

Karani Phaustin

1. School never taught me how to love

The teachers insisted on the importance of me understanding how to balance equations and prepare gasses in chemistry, but they never taught me how to know if I had the right chemistry with someone.

2. How to handle money

Although I was taught math, it was predominantly calculus and algebra – which I never use. I wish they taught me how to budget my finances instead.

3. Embrace my uniqueness

School never taught me the importance of celebrating my uniqueness. They made me think it was better to fit in than to stand out. Now it has come to my realization that anyone who conquers the world first breaks out the preset mold.

4. The importance of creating an impact

It was ingrained in me that I should get good grades and a good job thereafter and slowly sail into the sunset. They never taught me making a worthwhile contribution on this earth that will outlive me is more important than being tied to a monthly salary.

“A lot of people die at 20 and they are buried at 90.”

Robin Sharma

5. Expressing Gratitude

While I was taught to say thank you, I was never taught how to be constantly grateful for all the blessings in my life. My good health, my sound mind, my loving family – I grew to take all this for granted only to realize later they were blessings.

6. Grades can’t measure my potential

School made me sit through exams and fit me to a certain position depending on my performance. They made me believe those who performed better than I were set out for success throughout their lives. It is not true.

“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein

7. How to follow my intuition

Following my intuition was never taught in school and I never knew anything about listening to my heart. I was taught to react to situations instead of listening for guidance from my heart, which knows right from wrong.

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

Steve Jobs

8. Silencing self-doubt

Lessons were taught inside and outside the classroom and lecture hall. Training my brain was never one of the lessons. I thought negative thoughts were normal and I wish they taught me how to silence them and wire my brain positively.

9. Practicing powerful habits

School never insisted on constantly practicing habits like setting goals, having a vision, meditating, conscious thinking, how to deal effectively with people and most important, how to release the victim, stop the complaining and excuses and take 100% accountability for all my actions, reactions and inactions – i.e. my results.

10. The importance of happiness

Lastly, I wish school had taught me about the importance of happiness because my brain’s productivity is directly correlated to my level of happiness. Living in a world that is mostly negative, school never stressed the importance of choosing to be happy.

Thank you to Luminita Saviuc
Author of  15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

The good news is that it’s never too late!

To continue on your road of transformation, contact me for the next step . . . martha@marthaborst.com

The people who win in life are not those who never fail. They are the ones who never quit.”


Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit –

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure comes about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit…

It’s when things seem worse when you must never quit.

Author Unknown

“For all the sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are those: ‘It might have been.’”

John Greenleaf Whittier

“The quality of life is more important than life itself.”

Alexis Carrel


Live A Life That Matters

Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. In the end, it won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

 What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who love you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

 It’s not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.
Vow to live a life that matters.

Author Unknown

“We shall advance when we have learned humility; when we have learned to seek truth, to reveal it and publish it; when we care more for that than for the privilege of arguing about ideas in a fog of uncertainty.”

Walter Lippmann, c.1917

The Truth Will Set You Free

 There is a truth. There is a reality. Oftentimes, we think OUR truth is THE truth and OUR reality is THE reality, but it is only OUR perception of what we THINK is the truth. So who is right? Who is wrong? Who has the RIGHT way of governing? Whose side has the RIGHT answers? Who has the RIGHT God?

Look at the results. Don’t you see how impossible all of this is?

“There is no god higher than truth.”

Mahatma Gandhi

I think that all any of us want is a world that “works”, but works for whom? How and where do we find the answer?

Religious people look to their religious teachings – but there are many religions. The common core of most major religions is very much the same: “God (Allah/Buddha, etc.) is love”, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. But everyone fights and even kills, to claim their religion as the RIGHT religion and they deviate from the basic core teachings with their own perceptions of what these pure messages mean.

Governments form political parties that are diametrically opposed to one another and the value each can bring to the table is completely lost when focus is placed on their differences. Self-righteous positions are formed and the fight is on.

Look at the results. Don’t you see there is no way out of this?

This “right/wrong” thinking spreads throughout society, each person trying to be more powerful, more “right”. Sides are formed. We gather armies (people who think like we do) and ammunition (so-called “facts”) and soon we are at war and everyone claims, “God is on OUR side.”

That doesn’t work for me. Look around you. How’s it working for you?

Our country and this world is ignoring TRUTH. We are seeing masses of people being manipulated by what is known as “Perception Management”. We listen to, subscribe to and pass on Fake News and totally false conspiracies.

We only listen to and read news sources that agree with our own perceptions. We eat up “reality shows” on TV that are manipulated or scripted to provide entertainment (usually in the form of conflict). We listen to pundits and vote for politicians who

continuously contort the truth – (and down deep, we all know we’re doing this!) We surround ourselves with people who think like we do and disregard the rest as “stupid, illiterate, fools” or “elitist, entitled snobs”.

We have come to EXPECT the truth to be distorted and soon that becomes “normal”. If a lie is repeated enough times, we begin to believe it. We check in with Twitter, YouTube and other social media, see 10 million hits and think, “It MUST be true!”

That distortion actually becomes our new Truth and we soon find ourselves slipping into an altered reality and believing it!

We must get our heads out of the sand! We must not allow ourselves to be lulled into a lazy unconsciousness by those who are only out for their own win. We must be vigilant, stay alert and retain a connection with results, reality and facts and we must begin by being truthful with OURSELVES. We must admit to our own willingness to ignore the truth we know is right in front of us.

Ignoring factual awareness in order to be right ultimately never works because results, reality and truth don’t care about OUR perceptions/OUR truth. Reality and truth don’t have emotional reactions, feelings, beliefs or positions. Nor do they take sides. All they do is give us a RESULT and results don’t lie. Results tell us everything about how things are “working”.

Our society as it currently exists, doesn’t work for me. How’s it working for you?

What would it be like to have a world/society/community that works for everyone, a world where our commitment would be to collaborate and cooperate with one another, to seek mutual fulfillment of the basic wants and needs of everyone?

Why should one of us win at the expense of another? Which one of us is more important? Are you more valuable than I? Am I more valuable than you? I think not. At the core, are we not all equal?

What kind of society could we create IF:

  • We all simply committed to stand for the TRUTH.
  • We refused to listen to or believe the biased rhetoric.
  • We stood up to the surrogates’ twisted spin on anything and everything and voiced our disapproval to news agencies that allow this to happen.
  • We committed to listen ONLY to the facts: what was ACTUALLY said, what was ACTUALLY done, what science can actually PROVE.
  • We demanded of ourselves and our leaders to ONLY produce results that work for everyone.

Maybe, just maybe things could be different. Because I’m clear about one thing, the way our society is headed, a way that sweepingly disregards facts and entire sections of humanity as well as the well-being and health of our planet, doesn’t work for me and TRUTHFULLY . . . .

How’s it working for you?

“Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion”


Teaching our children to fully understand the implications of giving, as well as the value of giving, is perhaps one of the most important things we can ever do as parents. The following article is particularly good and I ask that you take a few minutes to read it . . .

Let Your Children in on the Conversation of Charitable Giving  

Ron Lieber

Money is one of the most powerful tools we have to teach children the values and virtues we want them to adopt. Given how many of our own values are wrapped up in charitable giving, it makes sense to bring the kids in on some of the decision making.

This doesn’t need to be a conversation about how much money you make and what percentage of it you should give away. Younger children don’t have enough math skills and experience to grapple with five- and six-figure numbers anyway. But a family’s choices about how it divides its charitable dollars reflect its values.

So what’s the best way for parents to help their children see their values in action in this context? And how best to get them to question parental priorities and express strong feelings of their own?

Here’s what my family did as an experiment this holiday season: We put 100 dried beans on the dining room table, with each one representing 1 percent of our annual giving. Then we divided them up into piles to represent the causes and institutions we had supported in 2012.

Next, we looked through a pile of solicitations that had arrived in the mail, from organizations we had supported in the past and ones that hoped to persuade us to give before the end of the year. We also came to the table with new ideas, based on issues that were newly important to us.

Here’s what we learned by making this a family conversation about how to re-divide the beans for 2013:


One surprise was that our 8-year-old daughter applied the “Want-Need” test to this particular exercise. Normally, this comes up when we talk about consumer purchases more broadly and whether various objects of desire are things we actually need or simply want. The necessity of cable television is one we’ve been debating recently.

The test came up while discussing a pitch from the Public Art Fund, which helps place art in public spaces around New York City. Set against real human need, locally and globally, our daughter wondered whether this was something we really needed to support or whether we merely wanted to. It didn’t make the cut, though we agreed we can help improve our local park by participating in cleanup days more often.


Our family devotes a decent chunk of our giving budget to the educational institutions that gave me scholarships a couple of decades ago. We also try to give generously to the places that have helped shape our daughter, so they can help as many children as possible afford their tuition or programs.

Many overnight camps lack much racial or socioeconomic diversity, since they have no endowments or much of a donor base. Our daughter helped persuade us to support a scholarship fund at her camp. We also decided to give to an organization that helps homeless children locally, moved as we were by the New York Times series  about a young girl living in a shelter with her family.

We received a pitch from a dance company where our daughter took some lessons a while back. But the solicitation said nothing about its efforts to help children afford its classes, so we made a collective decision to pass on that one.


We’re well aware that by looking at the solicitations at all, we’re encouraging nonprofit institutions to send ever more mail each year. This clogs mailboxes, kills trees and wastes piles of the very money families like us donate.

This was an experiment, though, so we wanted to see what kind of impact the pitches would have on a child. It probably won’t come as much surprise to learn the clever folks at Heifer International were the only ones who managed to sway our daughter via a direct-mail piece. Like many children, she was moved by its catalog of smiling people around the world who are able to make money and feed their families with the help of a water buffalo or sheep the organization provides

One wrinkle here was she didn’t want anyone eating these animals, because she’s a vegetarian. Several pages into the catalog, however, she found a beehive she wanted to donate.

My guess is any family that tries this would hear their children echo at least some of the values they hold dear. If not, the conversation offers an opportunity to find out which issues and institutions matter most to every family member and why.

Our plan is to make the dining-table allocation exercise an annual tradition, albeit without most of the mailers. Any other tweaks to the bean exercise that you would suggest?


Ron Lieber writes the “Your Money column” for The New York Times. He is the author of “The Opposite of Spoiled,” about parenting, money, values and raising the kinds of children all parents want to push out into the world, no matter how much money they have (HarperCollins, February 2015). He hosts regular conversations about these topics on his Facebook page and welcomes comments here or privately, via his Web site.