Principle #3 – Short Summary

Man, by nature, experiences a physical existence and in his mind he holds the basic faculty of choosing.  The result of his choice is never a matter of choice (see Principle #1) and as he matures in experience he learns that only he can ultimately be accountable for the choices he makes, particularly regarding his values.  This makes man a free agent, to act based upon the motivations of his own mind (see Principle #2).   Whether or not he lives in a society where he is permitted to carry out the choices he makes to their full extent (which is the definition of personal liberty) , with this agency comes an undeniable recognition that whatever his life “will be,” at the most fundamental level, is determined first and foremost by his own choice.   How deliberately a man accepts and manages this stewardship over his own life is the first key to pursuing a life that leads to lasting happiness and joy.

The physical resources that any man takes possession of for his own use, become tools subject to his stewardship.  Therefore, how well he uses those tools in carrying out the pursuit of his deliberately chosen values is something for which he cannot escape accountability—in one form or another.

As an agent, regardless of the circumstances that may be beyond immediate control, a man or a woman can choose to be a victim or a steward.  A victim thinks to himself, “It’s not my fault. Life is not going well; I’m broke; I’m unhappy, if only life would have been different for me.”  A person who holds the truth of principle #3 firmly in mind is a steward with the opposite mentality.  A steward thinks, “Alright, this is what is happening, this is what I have, what am I going to do about it?”  Using the same expression of as the victim, if a steward finds himself thinking, “I’m broke; life’s not going well.”  Instead of wishing whimsically for a different life or a different set of circumstances, he takes an inventory of his surroundings and remembers his personal values and then asks, “Alright, what am I going to do about it.”