There are five Ideals. The First Ideal is the motto of the Knights Radiant and was shared by all ten orders. The four later Ideals were said to be different for each order of Radiants.
"Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. That was their motto, and was the First Ideal of the Immortal Words. There were four others."
Kaladin raised an eyebrow. "Which were?"
"I don't actually know," Teft said. "But the Immortal Words - these Ideals - guided everything they did. The four later Ideals were said to be different for every order of Radiants. But the First Ideal was the same for each of the ten: Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."
Life before death - The Radiant seeks to defend life, always. He never kills unnecessarily, and never risks his own life for frivolous reasons. Living is harder than dying. The Radiant's duty is to live.
Strength before weakness - All men are weak at some time in their lives. The Radiant protects those who are weak, and uses his strength for others. Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.
Journey before destination - There are always several ways to achieve a goal. Failure is preferable to winning through unjust means. Protecting ten innocents is not worth killing one. In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.
Called the Ideal of Law, this requires the Skybreaker to swear an oath that they will become a personification of law and truth. Nale is the only current Skybreaker to have achieved it - and the only Herald - as it has been centuries since anyone mastered the Fifth Ideal.