Philosophy isn’t reserved only for the scholarly and deeply poignant thinkers. It’s in all of us, omnipresent. A life is led in myriad different ways, as many people are in this world.
What is a life philosophy then?
A life philosophy is a combination of your beliefs, tastes, interests, prejudices, successes and failures, faces, activities, conceptions, attitudes, lifestyle and so on.
In short, it’s everything you are, everything you represent, everything you do and believe in: a summing up of you and your life.
You have a choice to develop it yourself, but if you don’t, it will impose itself on you. Whether you know it or not, you do have a life philosophy already.
Mind you, it’s not easy to detect and define it. Deep inner examination is required to find one’s own life philosophy.
It’s not about being poor or rich, successful or not – it’s what’s important to you, the core of your being, and your submerging to it. Giving life to your life. Finding a special meaning, even when it’s difficult to make sense of the stressed, banal and complicated.
The Viennese psychiatrist Viktor Frankl found a meaning in his suffering while in the Nazi concentration camps.
Making Your Own Life Philosophy
In order to come up with your own life philosophy, you need to ask yourself plenty of questions. Make lists of things you like and dislike, your principles, the opinions you hold, the interests you maintain and what you do and why. Order them by importance.
In sorting these random lists, you’ll be able to spot a pattern, something that stands out, the truth about you.
If you want to have a family and posterity is the most important to you, it will show up. If you’re interested in making a difference in the world, you’ll see it. If your whole being is inclined towards being successful in any way, it will be ranked at the top.
And it doesn’t need to be big and sensational. You may simply want to enjoy life, thus maintain it as a life philosophy. You may want to devote yourself to helping people in need or live in Italy.
I, for example, want to remain humble, and it’s an important part of my life philosophy. Another one of mine is to create, no matter the struggle, the failure and the doubt, to create and keep creating. And to love with all my soul; a love that can make you go to the other side of the world, a love that will make you happy and crazy at the same time, a love that shakes and moves and never stops.
Three words are more than enough. Just one word can be a complete and powerful life philosophy.
Changes and Stages
If you change, your life philosophy will automatically change too. It’s as flexible as you make it. The more you lean towards maturity, the more it will mature as well.
The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard identified three phases in his life: aesthetical, ethical and religious. This is what he believed in, this is how he lived his life and developed a broad philosophy out of it.
A change is good; it shows development. Sticking to one or trying out a couple before you see which one fits you best is a personal choice.
Also, if you can’t find your own at the moment, don’t be devastated. Sometimes it takes years to develop one. It shows your commitment to finding the true one, rather than adapting someone else’s. And that’s what matters.
A life philosophy is individualistic; if you try and copy one you may as well have copied someone else’s life. Why not live your own? It’s more special. It’s just yours.
So what’s your present life philosophy? Do you have one?