“…And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
There are some individuals who believe that everything we see in this world is not as it seems … things seem solid, tangible and real when in fact, the world and everything in it is really nothing more than a projection of our minds. We are living a collective dream and the activities that absorb us during our waking hours are as real as the dreams we experience when we are asleep.
We sometimes find ourselves presented with delightful surprises, or in the middle of circumstances we think are less than desirable and this wonderful mix of experiences, both individual and collective, is what we call: Life.
And in order to make the most of it, there are few things more valuable than building a meaningful philosophy to go with it.
Except in rare circumstances, most good philosophies will fulfill your basic needs, although this usually isn’t a big concern since most of us are living well beyond the minimum threshold required to simply ‘survive’ but what’s interesting from a psychological standpoint is that:
Those people who have a ‘why’ to live, can deal with almost any ‘how’ …
Victor Frankl demonstrated the importance of the meaning of his life when he endured incredible suffering in the concentration camps. He withstood tremendous pain where he could withstand the pain because of a powerful vision he was living in his mind.
This kind of ‘passion’ for life and its meaning is a remarkable strategy for deriving ‘happiness’ and will help you cope through a breakup, death of a relative or unemployment.
The process of refining your philosophy on life is like building a ship. It will carry you in rough times and allow you to float easily during the pleasant moments.
It’s not hard to define a life philosophy – just keep it practical and easy to remember with three or four points centred around your answers to the following questions:
- What should I do to have a meaningful life?
- Where would I have to go to have a meaningful life?
- What would I spend my days doing to feel most fulfilled and alive?
- What concerns or problems do I feel more compelled to solve?
- What consumes my heart and mind the most that I forget to eat?
- What does a perfect day look like for me?
Building a life philosophy is an ongoing process of refinement, not an end result but an aim … you should view your life strategy often and don’t limit yourself to your daily life routines.
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same …
Connection is the number ONE human need and vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection. Connection is the energy that exists between individuals when they feel heard, seen and valued. There is great strength in vulnerability, because you can’t get to ‘courage’ without first walking through vulnerability.
This is a hot topic and as you will see in time there is a new breed of leaders emerging who achieve high performance, engagement and collaboration all by being humble and vulnerable. They know how to connect with others by discussing their philosophy of life and helping others find their meaning and purpose in their life, changing others how they think, feel and behave.
Don’t take life too seriously!
A great life philosophy makes you feel excited by possibilities, adventure and opportunities.
Your time is limited … so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
This personal life philosophy of pursuing your dreams regardless of the opinions of others is unique and authentic to you and how you want to live it! Pausing on a regular basis to look inward (seek within) to become aware of ‘how’ you are thinking and feeling is fundamental for you to stay on your path with the life you want to live.
The key is to be fully present with each interaction and allow enough regular reflection time … this guides your personal and work life. This is your life, there is no right answer, there is strategy, execution, and iteration … the hardest thing but yet the most rewarding thing is to get over your fear that you won’t have the right answers because you don’t have the experience, the perspective, the time to perfectly organise or plan your meaningful life.
View life as a continuous learning experience …
The reality is that there are many paths to success – not just one ‘single’ one. Realising this will free your mind and move you forward, to get things done in the best way that you can. Once you start executing and realising that you can make reasonable decisions that lead to successful outcomes, you gain the confidence to keep going.
Let me ask you this – are you spending your precious time on something that is truly worthwhile?
Remember: Life is short. Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.