Is our philosophy of life framed from what we believe life is or the stress felt by considering what it has been so far or the anxiety regarding what life may have for us in future?
Dale Carnegie once said,
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
Carnegie may have a valid point there. Among the numerous people I have met in my life, ironically it is those who may appear to have little in the eyes of the public who seem to thrive in the “rich” life they lead.
If we were to consider some of the elements that goes into the formation of a healthy and positive philosophy of life, we’ll be surprised that a lot of it depends on you and your outlook. Our philosophy will reflect our attitude to society and our role in it. Do we see ourselves as the focal point of the universe or are we looking at us as a member of a universe seeking to coexist in harmony?
Fostering a healthy philosophy of life involves affinity and empathy to fellow members of society. Our help need not always be through financial support, but could just involve time and effort in sharing our knowledge, expertise and wisdom gained from experience in life.
Be passionate about life. Live life in the best and noble way possible. Be what you are whether in the public eye or in your personal space. As a child, my Father would instruct me to say “thank you” at home too. His reason was simple. He would say, “Make this show of courtesy a part of your existence, so that you would not have to take the pains to remember to be courteous in public”. Those days, I used to wonder whether he was over emphasizing the courteous factor in our life.
Today, I agree that it is indeed better for us, if we are who we are, no matter what environment we are in.
Awareness of the environment plays a key role in developing a wholesome and healthy philosophy of life. Observe and listen well. Our environment and the people in it are all communicating to us in their own unique ways. It is indeed up to us to be sensitive and alert to non verbal and verbal communication around us. Our awareness will enable us to then understand the environment, people and of course ourselves better.
Self – Awareness enables us to be sensitive to not just what our mind is communicating with us but our body too. This can be especially observed when some may experience a racing of the heart or churning of the stomach just before speaking to an audience. These are physical symptoms of anxiety or stress and the body is communicating the distress its experiencing. Similarly sweating excessively when handling a crises at home or in our workplace is another signal of acute discomfort that the body is communicating.
By carefully analyzing what the body is attempting to tell us or warn us, we can then make purposeful concrete steps in preparing ourselves to overcome the feelings of discomfort. For eg: Many individuals will vouch that one of the most aggressive fears they have is of speaking in public. Now this fear can be dealt effectively by joining the Communication and Leadership skills promoting non profit making dynamic organization, Toastmasters International. Indeed, by paying deeper attention to what our body is attempting to tell us, we can lead a happier life. Our awareness of our environment and ourselves plays a key role in formulating a healthy and positive philosophy of life.
Open attitude to learning – continuously learn and improve. Apart from helping us get an insight into factual and conceptual knowledge, learning or acquisition of knowledge improves our critical thinking skills. We are less likely to believe something purely on the basis of the source that shares the information. This desire to question the hypothesis of any learning will enable us to stay clear of bias, prejudice, or dogmas. The more we are open to learning, the more we would realize the role every individual plays in the larger realm of bringing in a positive change to existence is concerned.
Avoid being judgmental – practice tolerance as a way of life. The continuous mode of learning we involve ourselves would eventually spur us into a state of tolerance. Tolerance would enable us to get to know people from other countries, communities and cultures without judgement or preconceived notions.
Creativity is a positive process that can enhance the quality of any action or thought in life. Creativity is like adding magical dust to make things or situations more beautiful. Imbibing creativity as a way of life indeed reaps dividends – both in our personal and private life. This process propels innovation, vision and enthusiasm in our philosophy of life and attitude to existence.
Our philosophy of life is directly related to our adherence to values and principles we hold close to us. To have convictions we need to be courageous – be bold to stand by what we believe in. We need to also accept that not all may share our values and beliefs. Each of us come with our own set of unique individual differences and characteristics.
The more we realize the role our philosophy of life plays in our life and happiness, its impact and significance will herald the dawn of a new joyful beginning for us.