Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Change your Philosophy - Change your Life

Your personal philosophy defines who you are and how you interact with the world around you. Whether you have thought about it consciously or not, you do have a personal philosophy.

If you have actually taken the time to think about your philosophy give yourself a high five. I find that most people have not. Or if they have it was no more than a five minute exercise and was no more than skin deep. Defining your personal philosophy, your outlook on life if you will, takes time and a fare bit of soul searching.

Not sure what your philosophy is, or how to start defining it? Try this exercise. Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and answer these questions:

How do I want to be remembered after I am gone?

Who was the worst person I ever worked for and why? How did he/she treat you and why was that a problem?

If you could go back in time to one event in your life, where would you go and why?

What were three of the happiest moments in my life?

If you could speak one more time to a deceased loved one what would you want to tell them?

Now I am sure as you quickly read this you are wondering what these questions have to do with your philosophy on life. For many people, coming at the idea of a personal philosophy head-on is like running into a brick wall. You just can't get anywhere. But, go around that wall and you can suddenly see into the distance. These questions, or more importantly your answers to these questions, will help shed light on what is truly important to you from the inside. The answers reveal your deepest desires, your innate feelings about how to treat people, and your personal regrets.

After you finish all the questions (it could take more than one sitting) put your paper away. Come back after a few days or a week and review your answers. Do they still feel right, do you need to clarify anything. Once you are satisfied with your answers look for the underlying theme. This theme is your personal philosophy coming to the surface. It reveals how you feel about the world, about your place in the world, and your future. Not happy with what bubbled up. That's okay. Knowledge is power. Being aware of your base tendencies means you can focus on changing them to what you desire them to be. You cannot change what you are not aware of.

My hope, and my suggestion, is that you take the time and work through your answers to these questions. There is no right or wrong and no grade. There is just knowledge. There is just light. And when something is brought into the light it can be better appreciated or worked on (depending upon what you see and your feelings about it).

There is only one you. You are unique and you are a gift to the world. You owe it to yourself to become the absolute best version of you that you can be. Do not deprive yourself or those around you the greatness within you.

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