Personal philosophy is defined by an individuals’ beliefs about their own life experiences, and consciously or subconsciously, they guide us in our daily choices and behavior. They mould our character, giving us unique views of life from a perspective personal to ourselves.
But have you ever wondered exactly where some of these philosophies come from, and how they effect our everyday life? We’re going to look at some of the best examples of personal philosophies that you probably think on a regular basis, even if you weren’t aware of it.
“Treat others how you want to be treated” – The Golden Rule
The most fundamental principles when it comes to a personal philosophy to guide us through life is that we should treat others how we want to be treated. This is heavily featured in the Bible, the Quran and other religions – though in truth, this philosophy predated these books, and can be dated back to Confucian times over 2500 years ago.
In Christianity, this rule is spoken in various different phrases and reiterated constantly, such as “Do to no one what you yourself dislike” (Tobit 4:15). In Buddhism, this rule is phrased “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful”.
A religious rule yes, but this is also the best example of personal philosophy in life. All of our personal relationships with family members and friends should be based upon this rule, as it ensures that you have a positive impact on the world.
There are no failures — just results to learn from
Most commonly attributed to Tony Robbins in the modern day with the quote “There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”, this actually has much deeper roots in philosophy.
Again, we can go all the way back to Confucius, who said “Our Greatest Glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall”.Or at a more modern time, when Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
We know failure can be learned from, and when you view setbacks as an opportunity to learn something from, this will be positive for you in the long term. What did the other person do that didn’t work out? Then you try another. It can be frustrating to fail when the results fall short of your hope and it will be harder to learn. . All steps are steps that remain unchanged. Value.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway
Trust is an essential part of the human experience, but unfortunately sometimes people take advantage of it. Everyone has their own personal philosophy on this, but many philosophers and academics came to the conclusion that trust was essential, and the only way you can determine whether you can trust them is.. to simply trust them.
These principles of trust remind us that we always need to give people a chance to prove their worth. You might be surprised when a human being proves themselves to be trustworthy. It will take you out of your comfort zone, but ultimately it’s necessary for the personal experience.
You are here to make good things happen
What does this philosophy really mean? My take is that it’s essentially telling us to create our own moral code of what is good and what’s bad, and work hard to make good things happen in life.
You want the best in this world, whether this means you place a high emphasis on family values, attaining higher education or understanding what life is really about. You are inevitably going to have an impact on other people, and it’s better to make that a good impact than a bad one.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect, as sometimes there many be a feeling that we will never be sufficient or good enough, which can result in burn out. So, be as compassionate towards yourself as to other human beings, and simply try to be a good person – whatever that is to you.
You measure success by how much good you do for others. – Zig Ziglar
Everyone wants success, but not everyone understands that success is different to everyone. Achieving a good career with lots of money is what is offered considered as success, but some philosophers have a different take – success is defined by how much good you do for others.
Recognizing success as a concept can be extremely important in defining our own goals, and determining our own way of living. To truly achieve success, we must use our guiding principles to put good into the world and the people around us.
The flow state is where the magic happens
As Lao Tzu one said, “those who flow as life flows know they need no other force“. Cognitively speaking, it can be helpful to understand that the flow state and our cognitive understanding of it may be different. A flow state refers to complete immersion in something, with no thought of pride or ego – when in this mode, you give up control of your self conscious.
There are benefits to giving up control. Upon entering a flow state, or giving up complete control of your actions, the subconscious mind will take over. You become fully immersed in the task at hand, at which point you’ll truly be in the present moment.
Impact matters more than intent
A common debate and hot topic, many argue that your impact matters more than your intent. Many of us have noble intentions and try to act in ways that fit our own philosophy, but we can all make errors in judgment from time to time.
If relationships matter less than being a good person, then their influence should have more importance than their intention. This means that even if your intentions were good, if you’ve made a mistake, it can be better to spend time rectifying it than arguing. If you’ve sent an incorrect message, you should apologize and correct yourself as opposed to being stubborn.
“You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out.” – Kody Keplinger
Touching on the topics of destiny and determinism, this quote shows something of a fatalist assumption – that the things that happen in our life are predetermined, and no matter what, we cannot change the path of life. This was a common principle of Stoics like Epicurus, and over centuries, many argued against it in favor of taking action and making our own decisions.
Whichever side you agree with, it’s true that there are times in our own lives where it’s better to sit back and watch how things pan out. All of us need to have faith in something – a God, a predetermined fate or destiny, or in some cases, our fellow humans.
Be mindful in both your personal and professional life
It’s important to stop regularly and take good note of how you feel in both your personal and your professional life. Do not judge yourself too harshly, but by being mindful about the steps we take through life, we can make sure that we’re going in the right direction.
You are still learning about your own self, and who you’ll become as an adult. Practicing mindfulness keeps you connected to your thoughts, feelings and the world around us. The more you understand yourself, the better you can know your core values and what truly means something to you.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
One of the most commonly heard quotes, this one sentence is enough to make a lot of people reevaluate their whole life philosophy, and what they’re doing on a daily basis. The message to take from this is essentially that you only get one life to live, and most people spend a lot of time wasting precious minutes and hours on things that don’t bring them satisfaction or pleasure.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon all of your responsibilities and go off on a hedonistic search of pleasure. But, it’s worth worth evaluating that you’re living life in the best possible way.
You don’t have to understand everything
Many of us are in a constant search for wisdom. This is not surprising, or even a negative thing, as the Buddha said “Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom”.
This does not require knowing everything about you, and at some points in life, you’ll likely feel like things are getting a little boring. There’s nothing wrong with this – boring can be good, and we don’t always need to be on the hunt for an extraordinary life.
This includes the hunt for knowledge too. You don’t need to worry about spending time learning everything, and although new things and new ideas can appear attractive, sometimes there are things that we’ll never understand.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
This premise of this an excellent reminder that happiness comes from personal ambitions, rather than from material possessions or acceptance from other humans that we cannot control. If we focus on our individual objectives, we have end up having more happiness and fulfilment in the long term.
This is one of the best personal philosophy examples that many of us forget. In search of validation from others, we sometimes neglect our personal values and what our goals in life truly are.
Learn by doing
As useful as reading books and learning videos can, nothing will replace performing the task itself. Practice helps improve performance, which will be learned over time as you hone your present ability. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn”.
The truth is that learning is important, but it can only take you so far in life. There comes a point where you’ll have to take action and do, as opposed to just reading books about doing.
Failure Inspires Positive Change
This example is one of the life philosophies one might develop in order to keep themselves in touch with the reality of life. You will fail, and acceptance of this is one of the most important things that you can do early in life.
Accepting that you’ll sometimes fail can inspire you to continue even when times get difficult. Failure doesn’t mean the end, and it can bring you into learning curves that will teach you everything you need to know to achieve success. There is no easy road for achieving a goal.
Always Act From a Place of Integrity
If someone acts with integrity, they act according to their beliefs. When you continually behave honestly and meet people’s expectations of you, you’ll build relationships and gain respect from others. They’ll learn to trust your behavior based on your previous actions, which is why personal integrity is such an important core value for children.
Someone who follows their own life philosophy can remain true to themselves at every moment of their life, no matter how difficult. When you make your decisions, it’s important to take responsibility for your actions, because as humans, our integrity is all we really have.