I stumbled upon a very heavy loaded article on this topic few days back. The author had provided quiet a long list of his philosophies of life and what he would like to achieve. It was obviously very thought provoking and made me reflect on my own philosophy of life. I tried this exercise on a few of my friends and was quite surprised to see the results. I asked a few friends what is their philosophy of life and none of them were able to answer it correctly. At first they were startled at the question, and then they thought for a few minutes and finally came up with this bookish answer about their philosophy of life which was completely unrelated to what they were following.
So what is Philosophy of Life – It involves living your life the way philosophers live, according to a set of principles. But what exactly are these principles? The author of the article I read had suggested ton of them. A few examples below:
1. We are each here for a purpose and everything happens for a reason.
2. Everything around us is a mirror of ourselves.
3. We get what we expect to get, what we focus on, in this life
4. Everything exists in circles – birth – life – death – rebirth
5. What happens to one affects the others.
You don’t really need to have a ton of philosophies to sustain your life. You just need to have that one philosophy that can be a driving factor for all your actions. It can give you confidence when you are down, help you bounce back when you hit a roadblock, make you humble when you achieve success.
After much thought, I realized that my philosophy in life is “To Stay Positive”. This is the key driving factor for my life. There is lot of things in my life that happens for reasons unknown. Just when I think I am about to achieve success, something terrible goes wrong and I am back to where I started. There are things that I want to do, but for reasons beyond the realm of my understanding, things happen and I am not able to control them. But no matter what happens – after every such event I am able to pick myself up and start rebuilding things again only to come out much better the second time.
Say for instance – The Tsunami (The one which stuck Indonesia and neighboring countries in 2004 or the recent one in Japan in 2011). Everything was going on as normal in the lives of hundreds of people living there and for reasons unknown to them, their world was turned apart. They lost everything they had – family, friends, house, property, business and were left with nothing. Sometimes people say that what happens to us is a reflection of our actions. Which might be true in most cases but not in the case of the Tsunami. It was absolutely no fault of the people living there that had to undergo this loss; their only fault was that they lived in an earthquake prone area (Ring of Fire). Although everything was lost, people in these countries managed to stay positive and picked up the remaining pieces of their leftover lives and started rebuilding it all over again.
Knowing your philosophy of life doesn’t mean you have achieved the silver bullet. Although I know what I need to do when I have failures but I still fall. I sometimes fail to follow my philosophy. I become an unconscious victim to the emotions of the past or the emotions of the future. However, with every new experience it keeps getting better and growing every moment. Try to watch and learn from your negative emotions instead of automatically reacting. I know it’s difficult to accept failure and it takes a lot of courage to overcome it. Most of us don’t wake up in a whole lifetime. Reflect on your own philosophy, take your time and see what’s best for you and make efforts to follow it not just preach it.