Values/beliefs/principles/ideals for me are all synonymous in my mind. They represent a thought that I hold as truth. That thought then acts as a filter on my perspective of the world and its inhabitants. I can choose to hold onto many truths like this and live in harmony as long as they do not conflict with each other.
Context/variables represent everything outside of my-self including people/places/ideas. The experience of interacting with context will result in conflict of truths which then requires choices to be made. I can either alter my truth to accommodate the context, I can attempt to alter the context to match my truth or I can accept that there are as many truths as there are perspectives.
The first choice is very common among society and I personally viewed myself as a chameleon for many years being able to fit in anywhere. This choice leads to losing ones-self and your own identity as you become hollow, without your own truth to fill you up. Focusing on the outside world and adapting to make others happy will not last and the price is your own happiness,
The second choice is to attempt to force the context to match your designs. This will either lead to the world shifting to make you happy and resenting you for it or you will face off against another that is attempting the same thing and war will ensue. This path leads to a false sense of power and leadership as all of the followers either fear or resent you for forcing them to change or you will be in a state of perpetual conflict and will suffer for it.
The third option is in my opinion the choice made by the wise amongst us. We can choose to use the context as a means to refine our own truths to better suit our own desires. This choice breeds freedom and appreciation for varying thoughts and perspectives and allows for growth.
Lasting change does not happen by shaping our environment but by shaping ourselves and then watching our environment shift to match. The world is a mirror reflecting back at us that which we hold inside. All of the love, hate, pain , hope, despair, joy, frustration that we feel internally is exactly that which we see externally.
It has been my experience that choosing truths that give me a positive feeling have been the most rewarding and it has been the “negative” experiences in my life that have enabled me to fine tune my truths. There is no negative experience only my perspective of the experience, because I can look back and see every “negative” experience as having a positive outcome for me.