Whether we realize it or not, we all have a philosophy of life that we live by. However, if we don’t take it seriously, we are bound to live outside our standards.
You have the right philosophy when you live without regrets and feel good about what you have done. You will also know that your behaviour and actions are making the world a better place. Finally, you’ll have confidence that you aren’t making life worse for others.
If you have ever thought about how to live the right way by following a sound philosophy of life, keep reading as we will discuss how to know if you have found the right philosophy.
The best philosophy is one in line with our values.
It is difficult to say what the best philosophy is because every set of ideas comes out of someone’s experiences. If you are an extroverted person, it might be easier to see the value in guiding other people’s actions.
Whereas if you are introverted, you might be more drawn to a philosophy that asks you to do good and not get others involved.
Regardless of your personality type, it is essential to have a set of values that align with what you value and see as worthy. This is important because it will be challenging to live in line with those values if you don’t appreciate the things you say you do. So the best philosophy in life aligns with what you see as necessary and valuable to society.
So what do you see as important and worthy of consideration? It is easy to say things like don’t steal or murder, but those aren’t things you will likely have to deal with anytime soon. On the other hand, ideas like treating people fairly and with respect are important ideas, but it might be challenging to understand what that means when it comes to action.
Take some time to think about your values, write them down, review them, and ensure they are crucial to you.
For myself, I have a list of what some people would call affirmations, and each night I read them over after I do my exercise. The idea isn’t so much that these ideas are written in stone, but they help guide my actions and remind me of what I need to be working on each day.
What are some valuable ideas for a philosophy of life?
- Live and let live: This means that we want to allow other people to be themselves, with the expectation that they will let us be ourselves. If people start to interfere with our way of life or cause harm, we need to take action or do something, but otherwise, people should be able to live their lives.
- Treat others as you’d like to be treated: This is sometimes called the golden rule, and its implications are obvious. This is a good starting point for a philosophy of life, as it gives us a question we can ask any time we find ourselves in a difficult situation. If we don’t like the consequences of actions, we shouldn’t do it to other people; it’s pretty simple.
- Make improvements, not excuses: It is easy to blame other people when things go wrong, and while that can give us some short-term satisfaction, it doesn’t solve the problem in the long run. Put another way, if someone lets you down, don’t rely on them next time, but even better, if you can improve the situation, so it doesn’t happen next time, do that instead.
- Don’t wait for the right moment; start now: Often in life, we have goals that are important to us and require our attention, but if we keep pushing them off, we will never get anything done. While this applies to our goals, it can also apply to doing the right thing, don’t wait till next time, do the right thing now.
- Focus on the good, even better, make a list: Life can be difficult, primarily if we focus on the negativity around us. In addition, the media is constantly pushing bad stories in our direction, so to combat this, we need to pay more attention to what is going right. Once we start to notice the good, we can make a list, and we might find in time that there are more positives than we ever imagined.
- Eat well and sleep well; the rest will work itself out: Easier said than done, I suspect, but a lot can be said for something so basic, mainly when applied to a philosophy of life. I feel better when I eat well, and this is easier when we don’t have any junk around. On the other hand, so many of the negative experiences can be traced back to being tired, so always get enough sleep.
- Focus on the present: Much of our disappointment in life comes from focusing on what we lost or what we think we will not get. Instead, look at what you have now and appreciate all that it has to offer. At the same time, the lens of right now has fewer boundaries, so if you focus on it, you can make better choices.
- Live as if you were to die tomorrow: Don’t take this too literally; the life of a #YOLOer can be short and painful. But you want to live now rather than waiting till tomorrow; this means asking someone out if you like them, starting that project today, and telling that person how you feel. So much of what we could do today; we wait for the perfect time, which never comes.
- Stay weird: Often, when we are willing to live differently, people will give us trouble and criticize us, but we shouldn’t let that control us. Clearly, if we are making mistakes that can be improved upon, it’s worth changing, but generally speaking, you are who you are, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
- Don’t overthink: When it comes to finding a life philosophy, don’t overthink it. Your gut will likely lead you in the right direction, so go with what you know, improve where you can and live your life the right way.
What will your life philosophy be?
Ultimately, how you live your life is up to you, and while I’ve given some suggestions, as I initially stated, the right philosophy of life depends on your values and what you deem necessary.
No one else can tell you what to value, so if this is important to you, you need to be the one to take action and set out a plan.
While it is helpful to think about this stuff from time to time, it is not necessarily something you will use all the time. At the same time, most people’s philosophy of life is more ad-hoc, meaning; they come up with rules as they need them. So it is good to have a plan and a direction to head in, but too strict of a set of rules will likely cause more problems than it solves.
The best practice will most likely come from reviewing your past actions, deciding if you did the right thing, and using that as a guide for the next time. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you will see that I’ve learnt a lot over the years by simply making mistakes. Luckily, if errors aren’t critical or life-threatening, they are perfect learning experiences.
There is no perfect philosophy of life out there; there are only a collection of different people’s life experiences that you can take note of. Rather than focusing on one set of ideas, look at a whole bunch and pick the best pieces and add them to your bucket.
You know you aren’t perfect, so how can anyone else be?
In life, we need to be practical and improve where we can so that we will make better decisions in the future. On top of all of this, the most important rule is not to hurt other people; if you can keep doing that, you are likely on the right path.