We Want to Thrive in a Complex World

Principles and Values: Primary Principle

A principle is “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”1 My primary principle is:

We want to thrive in a complex world.

What is primary about it? I mean primary in the sense that this is the first principle. I take this principle as an axiom. I can think of no firster [sic 😉] principles than this. 

One consequence of this being the primary principle is that I cannot provide an explanation for it. It just is.2

We Want

This used to be a self-centered principle. It used to state I want instead of We want. I always acknowledged that for me to thrive, others must also thrive, but I felt it was less presumptuous to speak only for myself than all of us. Ultimately, we communicates the principle and its intent better and serves as a reminder that we’re in this together.

to Thrive

The word thrive is very intentional here. I believe it is not sufficient to only persist or endure. Please do not misunderstand. It may be the case that the best we can do at times is persist or endure. This is not a judgement that people doing that are somehow lesser. Thriving is an aspirational statement.

in a Complex World

This is such a simple phrase, but here be multitudes and here be dragons. I found that complex means a lot of things to a lot of people. What I mean by complex is very specific and it will take me multiple posts to communicate the exact essence of the concept. The picture of a jungle is a hint. I’ll return to complexity in depth later on, after going through the remaining principles and values.

What Do You Think?

Do you have a primary principle? Let me know in the comments.

Next Up

Optimize For Learning…

1 Google Dictionary (“define principle”), accessed on 27 Feb 2021.

2 While I cannot provide a cause for a primary principle, there was a process that allowed me to stumble across it and articulate it to myself. In the first part of How to Do Things, I mention that “I want to thrive in a complex world” resulted from answering the question of “how should I do things?”.



  1. Pingback: Onboarding to a Software Team: In Three Parts | No Motherships
  2. Pingback: Optimize For Learning… | No Motherships
  3. Pingback: A Complex World | No Motherships

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